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The Difference Between Agile and Scrum

by Srinivas Saripalli

Agile and Scrum can easily be confused because they both rely on an iterative process, frequent client interaction, and collaborative decision making. Scrum is an Agile methodology that is used to manage a project.

Scrum and Agile are also different in other ways.


  • Scrum is just a type of Agile methodology.
  • In Agile, everything is delivered at the end of the project.
  • Agile incorporates various cross-functional teams, while a Scrum project team has specific roles, such as the Scrum Master and Product Owner.

Although Scrum is an Agile approach, this does not mean that all Agile approaches are Scrum—there are many different methodologies.

Agile vs. Other Methodologies

While Agile and Scrum often get most of the attention, there are other methodologies you should be aware of. Below is a look at how Agile compares to Waterfall and Kanban, two popular project management strategies.

Agile vs. Waterfall

Waterfall project management is another popular strategy that takes a different approach to project management than Agile. While Agile is an iterative and adaptive approach to project management, Waterfall is linear in nature and doesn’t allow for revisiting previous steps and phases.

Waterfall works well for small projects with clear end goals, while Agile is best for large projects that require more flexibility. Another key difference between these two approaches is the level of stakeholder involvement. In Waterfall, clients aren’t typically involved, whereas in Agile, client feedback is crucial. 

Agile vs. Kanban

Agile project management seeks to improve the project management process through workflow visualisation with a tool called a Kanban board. Kanban boards display columns that represent project stages, with task cards or sticky notes representing tasks in those stages. The cards will move down the board column by column until they are completed.

Kanban and other Agile methodologies differ from other methodologies such as Scrum because it’s not possible to have multiple tasks underway at once.

Agile vs. Scrum: Choosing the Right Project Methodology

Once you understand what Agile and Scrum are and how they work together, you can begin to apply these approaches to your own projects. This, however, should not be about whether you should take an Agile or Scrum approach.

Instead, the question is: Which Agile methodology should you use? Agile methodologies exist, so one of them might be Scrum.

Before deciding whether or not to use Agile, assess your project’s requirements and constraints. Agile was created for software development projects, particularly. Also, projects with stringent scope and development requirements should avoid agile approaches. However, agile principles are found in a variety of different types of projects.

To successfully use Agile, you will have to assess if Scrum is the right Agile methodology for your project. Scrum works best for projects that have undefined requirements, are likely to change, and require frequent testing.

The key to a successful project is not only picking the right methodology, but executing that methodology in a competent manner. Understanding methodology in addition to other critical project management skills is necessary.

Leaders must also be skilled at communicating effectively, leading a team, applying critical thinking and problem-solving abilities, and being flexible in an organisational dynamic or situation.

“That is why it is only one of the key project management skills that you must have.”

Image Credits: Featured Image | Source: GOOGLE Search | Agile Vs Scrum

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