scrum vs agile

scrum vs agile
scrum vs agile

Difference between scrum and agile (scrum vs agile)

Sometimes, somebody ask me this question: what’s the difference between scrum and agile (scrum vs agile)? For a lot of people, the answer is clear but I wanted to explain the differences at others.

Scrum vs agile : Agile

Agile (or agility) is a new mindset that was born in 1991 to help the companies to have the capacity to confront the market. Agile is not a “method” or a “framework” but a lot of framework were born with this agile mindset.

Are you interested to know the origin of agility? Let’s read the following article :  The origin of agility existed before the Agile manifesto

Agile is a mindset and a new way of thinking; it want to help the company to change to be better in the future.

Here is a representation of agile mindset that I like a lot:

agile mindset
agile mindset – scrum vs agile – between scrum and agile

Scrum vs agile : Agile method

And a lot of framework are born around this agile mindset:

  • scrum in 1995
  • extreme programming in 1996
  • scrumban in 2009
  • […]

This frameworks use the same mindset and  the same concepts : iterative, incremental and adaptive.

The term of “agile method” appeared with the Agile Manifesto; this last one is the result of the workshop between 17  experts in project manager in 2001. They defined 4 values and 12 underlying principles to explain what an agile method is.

Article : Agile manifesto: 4 values ​​and 12 principles

Iterative and incremental

The agile method use two important concepts: iterative and incremental.

iterative and incremental
iterative and incremental – scrum vs agile – between scrum and agile

In waterfall (v-model for example), the team develop the product from specifications wrote before. The team will deliver exactly what there are in this document. But, it’s not sure that the customers will like the product…

So, the team will rework a new release of the product in taking into account the customer feedbacks. But the customers will be happy after 1 year of development…

With agile methods, the teams works in iteration (rhythmic times); they will start by a planning and finish by a review. During the review, the team will take feedbacks from customers; with these feedbacks, the team will change the scope of the product if necessary… So, the scope can change every time thanks to the feedbacks and the customers will be happy during the development of the product.

In agile, the team develop the product by small lot (items). It will deliver each item in stable environment to have the capacity to take many feedbacks. It’s the incremental concept use by agile methods.

Scrum vs agile : Scrum

Scrum is an agile framework. It offers at the teams the minimum framework to develop a product. It purposes:

  • sprint (iteration) and its ceremonies
  • 3 key roles: scrum master, product owner, dev team
  • backlog and its items

If you want find the official book of scrum, you can find the “scrum guide” (to google) on Internet in many different languages. Don’t panic, the book have just 15 pages.

Ceremonies of one sprint:

  • sprint planning at the beginning of the sprint (plan the sprint)
  • sprint review at the end of the sprint (review all finished items during the sprint)
  • retrospective at the end of the sprint (try to find axis of improvement for the next sprints)
  • daily scrum every morning (to align all developers)
  • product backlog refinement one time per week (refinement of the backlog)
scrum sprint
scrum sprint – scrum vs agile – between scrum and agile

Scrum vs agile : agile pyramid

I like the agile pyramid representation because it shows the difference between scrum and agile. Scrum is an agile framework that respects values and principles of Agile Manifesto; and Agile manifesto is the values and principles for an agile software project.

Agility is not just for agile software project but for the whole organization.

agile pyramid
agile pyramid – scrum vs agile – between scrum and agile


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About Judicaël Paquet 190 Articles
Judicaël Paquet (agile coach and senior devops) My activities in France and Switzerland: - agile transformation architect - customized agile training - sensitization and manager coaching - agile maturity audits and situations - agile coaching (teams, orga, product owner, scrum master, agile coach) Specialties: scrum, kanban, management 3.0, scalability, lean startup, agile method.

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