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Scrum vs. Agile

By Nader K. Rad

Scrum and Agile are not the same. They are related, but different. Let’s see how.

Agile vs. Scrum

What is Agile?

Being Agile is the use of an adaptive lifecycle, which doesn’t fix, design, and plan the product upfront, but lets it evolve throughout the project based on feedback loops. It allows the product emerge from unclear requirements and environments, and therefore, is very flexible about changes. It’s faster, because changes do not slow it down. What is Scrum?

So, how are you going to be Agile? You need to have a practical way of using an adaptive lifecycle; you need to have:

  • An step by step approach to the project, and some rules to follow
  • A set of roles and responsibilities to organize the project
  • A number of management products (artifacts) to support your development

These are provided by Agile methodologies or frameworks. Scrum is the most popular Agile framework.

Scrum vs. Agile

The relation between Scrum and Agile is like the relation between a beautiful painting and beauty. Beauty exists in a beautiful painting, but it doesn’t make a “beautiful painting” and “beauty” the same thing.

That’s the same with Scrum and Agile: Agility exists in Scrum, and Scrum is a way of being Agile, but:

  • Scrum and Agile are not the same,
  • and there are other ways of being Agile (using other methodologies/frameworks such as XP, DSDM®, ADD, etc.)