What is the Difference Between Agile & Scrum?

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  • 0:04 Project Management
  • 2:28 Which One Is Best?
  • 3:30 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Lucinda Stanley

Lucinda has taught business and information technology and has a PhD in Education.

In this lesson we'll discuss the Agile and Scrum project management techniques and their relationship to each other. We'll explore similarities, differences, and when it would be appropriate to use each one.

Project Management

When it comes to project management it can be difficult to decide which of the many tools and techniques are appropriate for individual projects. One common question is whether to use Agile or Scrum. This is a difficult choice because in actuality, Scrum is just one of the many forms of Agile.

Agile is a project management strategy that involves completing the project incrementally, or in steps. It is considered to be iterative in that once a process has worked for one step, it can be applied in other steps. Another key attribute for Agile project management is that it is adaptable, meaning that during the process, if requirements for the project change, the steps can be changed so the end result is more likely to be what the end user is looking for.

The Agile process encourages feedback during the process of its end user. That way, the end product will be more useful. The basic cycle for Agile project management is to plan what will happen, design the process, develop the product, release the product, then track and monitor the product to look for ways to improve it.

Agile comes in a number of forms, meaning there are a number of subsets to the Agile project management philosophy. Each one emphasizes a somewhat different approach within the confines of the incremental, iterative, and adaptable philosophy of Agile.

Since Scrum is a form of Agile, its basic attributes are going to be the same. It is an incremental and iterative process. The project is broken into steps and processes used in one step can be reused in other steps. The difference is that Scrum defines the steps and the process more precisely. Scrum starts with the product owner who defines the product backlog; basically a wish list of what they would like completed. This leads to creating the steps that need to be completed; in Scrum, they are called sprints. Each sprint is expected to take two to four weeks to complete.

These sprints then become a sprint backlog, and the project management team then chooses which sprint to implement. Once the sprint is completed, it's reviewed to make sure it fits in with the project as a whole. The sprint team will also perform a retrospective to identify things that worked well and those that need to be improved. Once the work has been accepted, another sprint is taken from the backlog and worked to completion. This happens until the entire project has been completed.

As you can see, the Scrum process is quite a bit more detailed.

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