Agile vs Scrum Methodologies: What’s the Best for Software Development

Agile vs Scrum Methodologies: What's the Best for Software Development

Don't you wish to complete your projects efficiently before the deadline or something near to that? Have you ever felt stuck in a large and complex project which made you circle around in such a fast paced and ever changing environment? We are sure you must have heard about the agile methodology to end up all these questions.

Different people are having different experiences when it comes to working with the agile methodology. You may hear some supporting Karban or some opting for the Scrum. In this article, we will be looking at both the Agile and Scrum methodologies to ease out the difficult situations when dealing with your projects.

» What is Agile?

Agile methodology is a practice through which you can have a continuous iteration of the development and testing in the SDLC process by breaking the product into smaller builds. In general, agile software development is based on an iterative and incremental approach because it is open to change the requirements over time by encouraging continuous feed from the end users. This eliminates the need for in-depth planning at the beginning of the project.

Agile Development
Image Source: SmartSheet

Agile is a procedure which helps your team to provide a quick and unpredictable response to the feedback that they receive on their project. This creates an opportunity to access the project direction while undergoing the development phase and teams can assess the project in regular meetings which is known as Sprints or Iterations. Agile comes out as an empowering process which helps the companies to design and build the right product.

» What are the business benefits of Agile?

› Transparency

The agile method involves the customer/client through its entire project by including all phases of iteration planning, review sessions and a new feature that they want to implant in the software. However, it should be mentioned here that this phase only involves the active participation of the client to check the work progress and not the end product.

› Early Delivery Prediction

Project sprints are scheduled on a weekly or monthly basis to check the project status as there is high predictability of inducing new features to it. This allows the team to perform a beta test or try to release the software sooner when it has incorporated sufficient business value.

› Cost prediction

As the sprints are scheduled on a fixed period of time, the costs are limited and predictable as they are based on the amount of work done. When you combine the estimated costs along with each Sprint, the customer can get a better understanding of the approximate costs in the future. This provides an opportunity to make improved decision-making by prioritizing the features or adding iterations.

› Deep Customer Engagement and Satisfaction

The agile approach is allowing to create multiple opportunities with each scheduled sprint meet-ups to develop genuine engagement opportunities between the team and the stakeholder. There is a continuous level of collaboration between all the parties because the client is actively involved in the entire project. This helps the team to understand the client's requirements and vision. Such an authentic and trusting relationship of the stakeholder with the team helps to get quick delivery of the high-quality software.

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» What are the Agile Principles?

While thinking to implement the Agile methodology, it is necessary to know a few things before getting started. The team should always be ready to accept the changes through the constant feedbacks which can further help in development. Agile processes allow making changes as per the competitive advantage of the customer. Business people and developers are likely to work daily throughout the entire project. This approach needs to have attention on achieving technical excellence and right design. By adjusting the project behavior, agile teams can become more effective as per the client's needs.

» What is Scrum?

The Scrum methodology is a kind of process which allows you to focus more on delivering the business value in the shortest span of time by making rapid and repeatable inspects with the software. It emphasizes more on accountability, teamwork and iterative phases for achieving the well-defined goal. The Scrum framework deals with the requirements and features that are likely to get changes or not known at the initial stage of development.

Scrum
Image Source: Boost.Solution

Scrum is recognized as the most popular approach for implementing Agile as it manages software development with an iterative approach. There are fixed-length iterations which are called sprints to allow shipping the software on a frequent basis. The roles and responsibilities along with the meetings are pre-scheduled in a Scrum. There are some task boards and burn down chats in order to take follow-ups for the sprint meetups and receive incremental feedback.

» What are the business benefits of Scrum?

› Desired Product Quality

You have a better quality of the product when you are checking in with your customers and stakeholders to add requirements during the sprints as they will be able to determine more rapidly if the software matches their needs or not. In case, if it does not meet the needs then you have a chance to pivot and change the directions much earlier and much faster as compared to a waterfall project.

Sprints work more like a time-boxed cadence in the Scrum methodology as the organization requires to conduct sprints typically every 2-weeks. This showcase the product to the customers much earlier than the traditional methods.

› Speedy ROI

ROI comes rapidly by delivering the quality products which the consumers are using in a shorter time frame. Opt for TurboTax rather than focusing on the software for all the states and federal income at once similar to waterfall project. Each and every sprint allows you to review and pivot the depending on the feedback from customers and stakeholders.

› Control and Risk management

When the projects are time-bound and well-explained it is more controlled by the team members. The scrum methodology allows everyone in the project from customer to the stakeholder and from developer to Scrum master to figure out what they are doing and how much time is left to meet the deadlines. Teams are communicating and collaborating daily so there are fewer crises which can pop up out of nowhere.

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» What are the Scrum Principles?

The Scrum approach is based more on self-organization which results in the healthier and shared ownership among the team members. This creates an innovative environment that is conducive to growth. Another crucial thing is collaboration which focuses more on articulation and appropriation of the project requirements. Next comes the time-boxing elements like daily sprint meetups and review meetings that help to define how time can be a limiting constraint in the scrum approach. Lastly, iterative development is emphasizing more on how to manage the changes in a better way by building products that satisfy user needs. It also defines the roles and responsibilities of the organization related to iterative development.

» What is the Difference between Agile and Scrum?

Let us look at some features which make both Agile and Scrum different from each other.

AgileScrum
It is based on the iterative and incremental approach.Scrum is one of the agile approaches where incremental builds are delivered to the customer every 2 weeks.
Highly suited to environments for small yet expert project development team.Scrum can be ideally used where the project requirements are rapidly changing.
Project head takes care of all the tasks.This approach is based on a self-organizing and cross-functional team.
Encourages feedback from the client during the process for a successful product.The functionality demo is given at the end of each sprint to provide regular feedback before the next sprint.
In this approach, the clients are satisfied by providing continuous delivery of software.The entire team is responsible to address the issues as there is no team leader.
Working software is considered as an elementary measure of the progress.Working software cannot be taken as an elementary measure.

» Which One are you going for?

We have seen the difference between the Agile and Scrum methodologies to figure out which approach is better suitable for your organization.

If we talk about the Agile then it is a kind of practice which helps to have continuous iteration during the development process. The priority is always to satisfy the customers by providing continuous delivery of valuable software. The main benefit of Agile is its flexibility as it reacts quickly as per the changes under the proper leadership. On the other hand, Scrum is an agile process which allows you to focus on delivering the highest business value. The daily sprint meetings are conducted for gathering reviews and feedback to decide the future progress of the project. When a team is don't with the current sprint tasks then and then only the next sprint can be planned in the scrum.

Therefore, the ultimate choices lie on the organization itself to choose which one they want to go for after looking at all the pros and cons of both the approaches. A right approach can help you to satisfy the customer as per their needs. Keep Learning!

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Vikash Kumar

Vikash Kumar works as a manager in the offshore software development company Tatvasoft.com. Sometimes he does have free time while managing campaigns, during which he likes to write and explore new technology trends and topics. Vikash also has published his bylines on major platforms and has been blogging since 2014. You can follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn

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