Agile focuses on driving team interaction to create a working product through customer collaboration with the expectation of rapid change. The aim of this article is to demonstrate how Scrum fits within Agile. We will first differentiate both terms and follow-through by highlighting the key elements that make Scrum a subset of Agile. Agile is a mindset and does not give how or what to do in running a project. That is where Scrum comes in; establishing a framework to achieve the very thing that the Agile Manifesto speaks about. Considering that the Scrum framework can be further broken down to include processes and methodologies.
There are key elements within the Scrum framework that are used to achieve an Agile mindset within a given team. The acronym R.E.A.R lays out each of these elements.
According to the Agile manifesto, there are four (4) key pillars of Agile.
- Team Interaction
- Working Product
- Customer Collaboration
- Rapid Change
Scrum makes very distinct roles to maximize team interaction and collaboration. Each role has a specific responsibility in moving the entire team closer to its goal. There are two specific events that facilitate these interactions: Daily Scrum and Retrospective. The Daily Scrum allows the team to track their progress through various touchpoints. At the end of a Sprint period, a Retrospective ought to be done to allow for introspection on how to better improve the team’s performance on a whole.
Agile prioritizes having a working product over comprehensive documentation. Scrum allows for a Product and Sprint Backlog as the minimum required documentation. This gives the development team a roadmap to develop any complex product in a series of increments within a narrow timeframe.
The Scrum framework establishes the Product Owner as the voice of the customer. He/She is responsible for capturing and identifying the most valuable requirements from the customer and relaying those to the Dev team. Furthermore, the Sprint Review allows the team and customer to review what was built at the end of the Sprint period.
Agile focuses on responding to changes over adhering to a strict plan. The dev team focuses on development features in increments within a short period of time. This allows for rapid response to changes to the Product Backlog. Changes to the business environment or market condition could also cause changes within the Sprint.
In short, Scrum uses the combination of Roles, Events, Artifacts, and Rules to deliver on the Agile Mindset.