Agile vs Scrum
What is the right Agile methodology to choose? How can I understand what is the Agile framework that fits the best with my projects and the organizational needs?
What is Scrum?
Scrum is one of the Agile frameworks, probably the most popular one. Scrum method was originally formalized for software development projects, but it works well for any complex, innovative scope of work. Scrum is an iterative software development model used for product development (different than project management).
Scrum is the most enabled Agile framework – the result of a survey conducted by VersionOne reveals that about 58% of the Agile organizations adopt Scrum. It was created and developed by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland in the ‘90s. It is an iterative and incremental approach firstly thought to manage software delivery.
Scrum is a team-based approach where the development process is divided into several sprints in order to enhance collaboration with the final user. “Scrum” was named after a Rugby practice, where it is a synonym of “melee”: it leads to imagining how the development team works; all the involved actors pushing towards the same direction, as to say towards successful product delivery. Scrum was created to give an efficient management answer to the Software Development projects but its guidance and its flexibility are easily applicable to all those projects that require to give a fast answer to change.
AgilePM, the only methodology for agile project management
AgilePM (Agile Project Management) is the only Agile methodology for Agile project management. It is the result of the collaboration between APMG International and the Agile Business Consortium (previously known as the DSDM Consortium), it highlights the perfect balance between the standard structured approach of project management and the flexibility and agility typical of all Agile methods.
AgilePM is a methodology that can be used when all the characteristics of the final product aren’t perfectly defined and, as a consequence, several and repeated requests for change concretize or, the final user wants to receive some of the project benefits before the closing of the project itself. AgilePM was developed to harmonize all the aspects of traditional project management methodologies with Agile to adapt the framework to the high-paced continually changing working environments.
Scrum or Agile?
We hear very often the question “AgilePM or Scrum?”; apparently there is a trend towards learning and applying a single methodology/framework for all the projects and into all the environments. Actually, it would be tremendously useful to know both methodologies in order to choose the one to adopt case-by-case. The working environment and the kind of project should indicate what method to use and not vice-versa, adapting the project/product to the chosen methodology is always the wrong approach!
Scrum is a product development framework whereas, AgilePM is a project management methodology.
Contrary to common belief, the two methods in real life are perfect pairs. In Scrum we won’t find the concept of “project”, that’s why complex organizations using Scrum should apply an Agile approach also at the organizational level. For example, an organization that already has applied Scrum could also be interested in adopting AgilePM: Scrum is focalized on the product delivery, so it can be used to develop products while managing the overall project by applying a Project Management framework such as AgilePM.
Scrum, as also declared by its authors, is a framework simple to understand but difficult to apply. Organizations can utilize Scrum to let the customers feel close to the project and to quickly meet their needs during the whole length of process development, but they shouldn’t forget the importance of Project Management.
Scrum is a useful tool when handling complex projects because it allows to dynamically adapt to situations and to realize products that fit the exigencies of the final user effectively and creatively. AgilePM could be the right solution for organizations requiring to adopt a project management framework in a fast-paced environment where change can be efficiently and effectively addressed by Agile. It is particularly addressed to all those organization that due to complex governance reasons need to define the project guidelines since the first phases.
If you or your organization are looking for an Agile method to manage projects or non- software products in a lighter way than “traditional waterfall project management”, AgilePM could be the right methodology for you.
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