Is doing scrum all that there is to Agile?
The answer is No.
Agile is not only about doing scrum and doing scrum does not necessarily mean you are being agile.
What does this mean?
Let’s explore this together, Agile has been around for many years, however the adoption of Agile has been very slow, and the big question is why has it been so slow?
If we wonder why this has been the case, the answer would be, because Agile is not just a framework to implement, it is so much more.
Let’s take a look at this, together.
Why did Agile come into play in the first place?
Agile came into play because traditional frameworks did not enable teams to deliver the value they were waiting to harness off the back of their labors anymore.
Was this because requirements were not clear, was that because the implementation was not aligned to expectations, or was it because it was difficult to satisfy the stakeholders?
Many dynamic questions needed to be addressed.
This is where different Agile methodologies came to be in order to aid a company culture to transform into an agile, progressive, adaptive one.
Agile methodologies are meant to facilitate and help the company build and sustain this culture.
So if the focus becomes biased towards doing scrum only, unfortunately, the team efforts can be jeopardized and that compromises the team’s agility.
Back to agile methodologies, generally, agile methodologies were/are focused around knowledge work due to the nature of the work and the impediments teams tended to face on regular basis.
So one agile methodology couldn’t tackle all the challenges at the same time. And this is where different agile methodologies came from. They were created to help tackle different challenges.
That being said, all agile methodologies are based on the four principles of the agile manifesto, which are as follows:
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- Working software over comprehensive documentation
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Responding to change over following a plan
In addition to that, the twelve Agile principles which are as follows:
- Satisfy Customers Through Early & Continuous Delivery
- Welcome Changing Requirements Even Late in the Project
- Deliver Value Frequently
- Break the Silos of Your Project
- Build Projects Around Motivated Individuals
- The Most Effective Way of Communication is Face-to-face
- Working Software is the Primary Measure of Progress
- Maintain a Sustainable Working Pace
- Continuous Excellence Enhances Agility
- Simplicity is Essential
- Self-organizing Teams Generate Most Value
- Regularly Reflect and Adjust Your Way of Work to Boost Effectiveness
From those principles various agile methodologies were formed and adjusted and reengineered throughout the years.
Let’s explore together what other agile methodologies are there?
There are different types of Agile methodologies, and the main types are as follows:
- Kanban: I personally tend to distinguish Kanban as a lean methodology rather than an agile methodology,(N.B. yes there is a difference…), Kanban is a way of reducing waste (in terms of knowledge work it is mostly used to reduce waiting time and rework)
- Scrum: is a framework that focuses on the values, pillars, processes, and artifacts. Meant to promote a team culture.
- Extreme Programming (XP): composed of practices such as pair programming, planning games, continuous process, shared code standards, sustainable pace, and test-driven
- development. Mainly to aid planning and different feedback loops.
- Crystal: focuses on three elements in this specific order, team size first, criticality second, and project priority third.
- Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM): has a broader focus than most other Agile approaches in that it deals with projects rather than just the development and delivery of a product. It was meant to be an improvement on Rapid Application Development (RAD).
- Feature Driven Development (FDD): is customer-centric, iterative, and incremental, with the goal of delivering tangible software results often and efficiently. FDD in Agile encourages status reporting at all levels, which helps to track progress and results.
There are actually more agile methodologies that are meant to cater to corporate-wide initiatives.
Those methodologies focus on the interactions between operations teams and development teams, shifting from projects to products, maintaining a corporate-wide cadence that helps teams to have more handshaking ceremonies, and reducing red tapes.
Methodologies such as scaled agile have gone to a great extent to address all sides of any corporation’s business, production, and support.
Scaled agile is completely opposite to Scrum in the sense that scrum is a lightweight framework, while scaled agile is a comprehensive framework that has multiple levels.
The four levels of the scaled agile framework are:
- Team level
- Program level
- Portfolio level
- Large solution level.
There is so much more we can talk about in that subject, however we shall stick to the main aim of this article.
So to conclude this article, we have explored together different agile methodologies, why they were created in the first place, and what each method is meant to address.
When thinking about implementing an agile culture in any organization no matter what frameworks the organizations choose, there will be different elements that can be complemented by other methodologies and techniques.
It is always advisable to stick to textbooks until the team gains momentum and then deviate into customizing to cater to the team’s needs.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article and to explore different agile methodologies with me. If you need any agile templates, be sure to visit our free agile templates page.