what is the difference between agile and scrum

what is the difference between agile and scrum

If you’re new to the world of venture administration, the quantity of unfamiliar terminology and processes can really feel daunting. In spite of everything, venture managers fulfill many roles and duties as part of the day-to-day features of their jobs.

Challenge managers are liable for creating an efficient venture plan, and all the essential ancillary plans, for the initiatives they oversee. They determine and handle dangers related to their initiatives. They have to make sure that initiatives keep inside their numerous constraints. The checklist goes on.

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However earlier than you’ll be able to dive deeper into these particulars, you could select the correct venture administration methodology to information your efforts and usher your venture via to completion.

There are lots of completely different methodologies to select from, and every is greatest suited to several types of initiatives. Two of the most typical (and sometimes conflated) approaches to venture administration are Agile and Scrum. Given the similarities between the 2, it’s simple to grasp why they will generally be confused, however they’re, in truth, two distinct ideas.

Right here’s a have a look at what Scrum and Agile imply in venture administration, how they’re completely different from each other, and the way to decide on the correct method in your venture.

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What’s Agile Challenge Administration?

Put merely, Agile venture administration is a venture philosophy or framework that takes an iterative method in the direction of the completion of a venture.

The Challenge Administration Institute (PMI) says the purpose of the Agile method is to create early, measurable ROI via outlined, iterative supply of product options.

As a result of iterative nature of Agile approaches, steady involvement with the consumer is critical to make sure that the expectations are aligned and to permit the venture supervisor to adapt to adjustments all through the method.

Based on Joseph Griffin, affiliate educating professor for the Grasp’s in Challenge Administration program at Northeastern, “Agile is primarily a venture administration philosophy centered on particular values and rules. Consider Agile broadly as a guiding orientation for the way we method venture work.”

The hallmark of an Agile method is these key values and rules which might then be utilized throughout completely different, particular methodologies.

“As an illustration, in case you’re following an Agile philosophy in managing your initiatives, you’ll need to have common interactions with the consumer and/or end-users; you’re dedicated to a extra open understanding of scope which will evolve based mostly on suggestions from end-users; and also you’ll take an iterative method to delivering the scope of labor,” Griffin says.

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There are lots of completely different venture administration methodologies used to implement the Agile philosophy. A number of the most typical embrace Kanban, Excessive Programming (XP), and Scrum.

What’s Scrum Challenge Administration?

Scrum venture administration is among the hottest Agile methodologies utilized by venture managers.

“Whereas Agile is a philosophy or orientation, Scrum is a selected methodology for the way one manages a venture,” Griffin says. “It offers a course of for determine the work, who will do the work, how it is going to be completed, and when it is going to be accomplished by.”

In Scrum venture administration, the venture group, led by the venture supervisor, consists of a product proprietor, Scrum grasp, and different cross-functional group members. The product proprietor is liable for maximizing the worth of the product, whereas the Scrum grasp is accountable for guaranteeing that the venture group follows the Scrum methodology.

The Scrum methodology is characterised by quick phases or “sprints” when venture work happens. Throughout dash planning, the venture group identifies a small a part of the scope to be accomplished throughout the upcoming dash, which is often a two to 4 week time period.

On the finish of the dash, this work needs to be able to be delivered to the consumer. Lastly, the dash ends with a dash assessment and retrospective—or slightly, classes realized. This cycle is repeated all through the venture lifecycle till the whole lot of the scope has been delivered.

In some ways, this mirrors elements of conventional venture administration. One of many key variations, nonetheless, is how one creates “shippable” parts of the venture alongside the best way slightly than delivering every little thing on the very finish. Doing so permits the consumer to understand the worth of the venture all through the method slightly than ready till the venture is closed to see outcomes.

The Distinction Between Agile and Scrum

On the floor, it’s simple to see why Agile and Scrum can typically be confused, as they each depend on an iterative course of, frequent consumer interplay, and collaborative choice making. The important thing distinction between Agile and Scrum is that whereas Agile is a venture administration philosophy that makes use of a core set of values or rules, Scrum is a selected Agile methodology that’s used to facilitate a venture.

There are additionally different notable variations between Agile and Scrum.


  • Agile is a philosophy, whereas Scrum is a sort of Agile methodology
  • Scrum is damaged down into shorter sprints and smaller deliverables, whereas in Agile every little thing is delivered on the finish of the venture
  • Agile includes members from numerous cross-functional groups, whereas a Scrum venture group consists of particular roles, such because the Scrum Grasp and Product Proprietor

It’s vital to do not forget that though Scrum is an Agile method, Agile doesn’t at all times imply Scrum—there are various completely different methodologies that take an Agile method to venture administration.

Agile vs. Different Methodologies

Whereas Agile and Scrum typically get a lot of the consideration, there are different methodologies you need to be conscious of. Beneath is a have a look at how Agile compares to Waterfall and Kanban, two fashionable venture administration methods.

Agile vs. Waterfall

Waterfall venture administration is one other fashionable technique that takes a unique method to venture administration than Agile. Whereas Agile is an iterative and adaptive method to venture administration, Waterfall is linear in nature and doesn’t permit for revisiting earlier steps and phases.

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Waterfall works effectively for small initiatives with clear finish targets, whereas Agile is greatest for big initiatives that require extra flexibility. One other key distinction between these two approaches is the extent of stakeholder involvement. In Waterfall, shoppers aren’t usually concerned, whereas in Agile, consumer suggestions is essential.

Agile vs. Kanban

Kanban venture administration is a sort of Agile methodology that seeks to enhance the venture administration course of via workflow visualization utilizing a software known as a Kanban board. A Kanban board consists of columns that depict a selected stage within the venture administration course of, with playing cards or sticky notes representing duties positioned within the acceptable stage. Because the venture progresses, the playing cards will transfer from column to column on the board till they’re accomplished.

A key distinction between Kanban and different Agile methodologies, similar to Scrum, is that there are usually limitations relating to what number of duties will be in progress at one time. Challenge administration groups will usually assign a selected variety of duties to every column on the board, which signifies that new duties can not start till others have been accomplished.

Agile vs. Scrum: Selecting the Proper Challenge Methodology

After getting a transparent understanding of what Agile and Scrum are and the way they work collectively, you’ll be able to start to consider making use of these approaches to your individual initiatives. However, given the variations between the 2, this shouldn’t be a query of whether or not you must take an Agile or a Scrum method.

As an alternative, in case you determine that an Agile method is correct for a specific venture, the query is: Which Agile methodology must you use? The reply may very well be Scrum, or it may very well be one of many different numerous Agile methodologies that exist.

To determine if Agile is correct in your venture, you’ll want to take a look at the particular necessities and constraints concerned. Agile was initially created throughout the context of software program growth initiatives and is especially efficient on this enviornment. With this in thoughts, an Agile method is not going to be efficient for initiatives with very strict scope and growth necessities. Nonetheless, the guiding rules of the Agile philosophy are extensively used throughout many several types of initiatives.

If an Agile method is correct in your venture, you’ll then want to find out whether or not or not Scrum is the most effective Agile methodology in your particular wants and targets. Scrum is usually greatest suited to initiatives which would not have clear necessities, are more likely to expertise change, and/or require frequent testing.

It’s vital to do not forget that the important thing to a profitable venture isn’t nearly selecting the best methodology, however executing that methodology in a skillful method. Doing so requires an skilled understanding of the methodology you finally determine to make use of along with different vital venture administration abilities. To achieve success of their roles, venture managers additionally have to know talk successfully, lead a group, apply vital pondering and problem-solving abilities, and be adaptable to the organizational dynamics and complexities round them.

“This is the reason you must contemplate technical abilities as just one part of the abilities essential to steer initiatives efficiently,” Griffin says. “This is the reason Northeastern’s venture administration program doesn’t focus solely on technical abilities, however pays important consideration to creating competencies in teamwork, communication, management, vital pondering, problem-solving, and organizational consciousness.”

Griffin explains that college students find out about Agile methodologies in Northeastern’s Graduate Certificates in Agile Challenge Administration program and the Agile focus throughout the Grasp of Science in Challenge Administration program. Extra importantly, college students who pursue a sophisticated diploma in venture administration discover ways to execute the initiatives in a skillful and mature method from skilled professionals who’ve devoted years to refining their very own abilities in the true world.

To be taught extra about advancing your profession as a venture supervisor, together with actionable suggestions and methods, obtain our complete information under.

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