Comparison of Agile Development Methods

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Pros & Cons of Agile Development Methods

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:02 Agile Development
  • 2:18 Scrum
  • 3:16 Extreme…
  • 4:24 Kanban
  • 4:43 Crystal
  • 5:07 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed
Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Linda McCoy

Linda is an engineer and project manager with a Master's degree in Human Centered Design and Engineering and has taught at the college level for 20 years.

In this lesson you will learn about how agile development differs from the more traditional approach to software development. We will identify and describe several of the most popular agile development methods used by software development organizations today.

Agile Development

Software development projects involve many phases including understanding and documenting the requirements of the user, designing the software, writing actual code, testing prototypes, revising code, retesting, and eventually deploying. The traditional, or waterfall, approach to software development involves a sequential approach to completing each of these phases of development before moving on to the next.

For example, using the traditional development methodology, all of the user requirements are defined, documented, reviewed, revised, and accepted before any design specifications are created. Likewise, the design is finalized and accepted by all parties before any coding begins. While such a linear, straightforward methodology might seem to be logical, it is actually inefficient. Oftentimes, by the time a project is complete, the user requirements have shifted or the final product, though it meets the original design specifications, isn't quite what the client had in mind. Much time has been wasted.

Instead, more and more development teams are adopting an iterative approach to software development that considers smaller chunks of functionality, simpler code, and frequent testing, with a goal of delivering small working chunks of the overall solution as they become ready. User requirements, design, and coding are all continually revisited throughout the lifecycle of the project.

Collectively known as agile development, several methodologies emphasize generating a working product over documenting the requirements and jumping through the hoops of reviews and acceptance prior to beginning development. Agile development approaches provide the product owner or customer with regular opportunities to provide feedback to the project team and affect the direction of the ultimate product.

Agile development is an umbrella term that can refer to many individual development frameworks. While some agile methodologies focus on the practice of developing the product, others focus more on the management of the project. The most popular agile methodologies share the same general philosophy of transparency, frequent testing, and adapting and revising as necessary as the project proceeds. Let's look at the five most popular agile development methods.


Likely the most recognized agile development method, Scrum is best known for the incremental, iterative development phases known as sprints. The Scrum approach relies heavily on a specific team structure. The Product Owner represents the client or the end user and defines the overall requirements of the product; the self-organized Team develops the product bit by bit in each sprint, usually two to four weeks; and the Scrum Master facilitates the team and ensures a clear exchange of information across all parties.

Multiple teams deliver product increments in each sprint, each time building further functionality into the final product. A Daily Standup is a very short daily meeting of all team members to communicate progress and challenges that may affect completion. The Scrum approach is popular as it is simple, productive, and can be applied to many types of projects in addition to software development.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account