Scrum vs Agile: Important Differences You Need To Know

Async Labs
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If you are searching for the right methodology for your project, the question to ask and answer is: scrum vs agile?

If you have ever come across the terms scrum and agile and you are still unsure about these terms, we got you covered.

In project management, there are two most common and frequently used approaches — agile and waterfall. These approaches are used to describe the software development process.

The waterfall is a linear model that divides software development into pre-defined phases. Each phase has to be completed before the next phase can begin. An agile project methodology is an iterative approach to software delivery that builds software incrementally from the start of the project.

Companies today rely much more on business agility to drive digital transformation and maximize market opportunities.

What Is the Difference Between Scrum and Agile?

To better know and understand agile and scrum, it’s essential to determine these terms’ meaning.

Software development teams usually define their process as an agile methodology or call themselves “an agile team”. In this context, agile means that teams follow the values and principles of the agile manifesto that helps them define how to organize and execute their work.

The agile manifesto summarizes what the methodology of the agile project stands for and counts 12 principles. Some of them include principles of customer satisfaction, principles of quality, principles of teamwork, and project management principles.

One of the widely used and most popular ways to implement agile methodology is scrum. Scrum is a lightweight process framework for agile development, a subset of agile scrum that increases productivity and manages complex product and software development.

What Rugby and Scrum Have in Common?

The scrum concept is actually borrowed from the rugby game. The phrase scrum is used in the popular rugby game to begin a match, usually after an error or rule violation. During a rugby scrum, the team’s primary goal is to gain possession of the ball, which is placed into the opening between the two opposing front-line team members.

The agile approach to software development uses a scrum framework to manage product development and create custom software effectively.

Scrum team members support and empower each other. They are committed to their work, communicate frequently, and set realistic goals, just like a strong rugby team. One of the main things they are passionate about are scrum ceremonies.

There are four scrum ceremonies:

  • sprint planning
  • daily scrum
  • sprint review, and
  • sprint retrospective.

These are the meetings that ensure everyone in a scrum team is in-sync.

But what is a sprint? A sprint in rugby means short bursts players do when running the ball down the field. Similarly, on an agile scrum team, the sprint is a specific time-boxed period during which the scrum team works on a sprint goal and completes it.

Sprint planning is when the team meets and plans everything that has to be completed in the coming sprint.

The daily scrum is a 15 minutes meeting that helps the team detect problems at the earliest possible stage.

The sprint review is another meeting for presenting what the team made in the sprint.

The sprint retrospective is time for the team to review their work and check what needs to be improved in the next sprint.

How To Choose the Right Methodology?

To determine if agile is the right fit for your project, you need to look at the specific requirements and constraints.

If you need to be flexible and quickly accommodate changes in the project, get rapid feedback, or have a collaborative and passionate team, choose agile. But if you deal with a complex project that requires constant change or have experienced and self-motivated team members that work well together, go for scrum.

Ready to start transitioning to agile, but not sure where to start? Learn more about scrum and agile in our article, where we have explained these two terms in more detail.