If you’ve spent any amount of time looking into app development or project management practices, there’s a good chance you’ve come across terms like Agile and Scrum.
Have you ever wondered what these words mean? Do you want to know how they relate to app development?
Read on to learn more about the differences between Agile development and Scrum development. Then, use this information to decide which development approach makes more sense for your next app project.
What Is Agile App Development?
Agile development is a catch-all term that describes a variety of frameworks and practices.
Agile is different from other software development strategies because it emphasizes the people who do the work, as well as how well they work together. Collaboration and self-organization are key components of Agile development that allow for increased productivity and performance across the board.
The Agile Manifesto states the importance of prioritizing the following:
- Individuals (and interactions with them) instead of processes and tools
- Effective, working software instead of excessive documentation
- Collaboration with clients/customers instead of contract negotiation
- Flexibility and response to change instead of strictly following a plan
These values are all geared toward creating a better way of developing software. There are also 12 principles that further explain each of these values, as well as the overall mission of Agile development. They’re summarized as follows:
- Customer satisfaction is a priority and should come from early and continuous delivery of valuable products
- Changes in requirements are always welcome, even late in the development process
- Working software should be delivered frequently, ideally with shorter timescales
- Businesspeople and developers should work together daily
- Projects should be built around motivated individuals; they should be given a supportive environment and be trusted to get the job done
- Face-to-face conversations are the most efficient and effective way to deliver information
- Working software is the primary indicator of progress
- Sustainable development is essential for sponsors, developers, and users
- Developers should show continuous attention to technical excellence and good design
- Simplicity is essential
- Self-organizing teams create the best outcomes
- Teams should regularly reflect on how they can be more effective, then make adjustments accordingly
What Is Scrum Development?
Scrum is a development framework that makes it easier for teams to work together. It encourages learning through experiences, self-organization, and reflection on a team’s wins and losses so they can continuously improve.
The Scrum framework is based on the ideas of continuous learning and regular adjustment as various aspects of a project or environment evolve and fluctuate.
The Scrum framework is built around the understanding that teams do not know everything right from the start, and it doesn’t expect them to. It helps teams naturally adapt to conditions and user requirements, helping them to rearrange priorities as needed and continuously learn and make improvements.
There are three key artifacts (tools that solve specific problems) that are essential to the Scrum framework:
- Product Backlog: A primary list of all the work that needs to get done
- Sprint Backlog: A list of items, user stories, and bug fixes that will be implemented during a specific sprint cycle
- Increment/Sprint Goal: The usable end product from a specific sprint
Scrum breaks projects down into short sprints. These are time-boxed periods during which a team is expected to complete a specific amount of work. They help teams to deliver better apps (and other finished products) more efficiently and with less stress.
Scrum Vs Agile Development
It’s easy to assume that Scrum and Agile are synonymous, especially since they both are centered around continuous improvement and reflection. That’s definitely not the case, though.
Scrum is a framework designed to help teams get things done. Agile describes a mindset and a philosophy.
Another way to think of it is that Scrum is an example of an Agile methodology. It’s one way to implement the Agile philosophy into one’s business or development projects.
Scrum and Agile are also unique because Scrum breaks projects down into short sprints and small deliverables. When using the Agile approach, everything gets delivered together at the end of the project.
Agile also involves collaboration from members from a variety of cross-functional teams. Scrum, on the other hand, gives team members specific roles, including Scrum Master (the person who ensures the Scrum framework is being followed) and Product Owner (the person who’s accountable for maximizing the product’s value).
Pros and Cons of Agile Development
Like all development processes, Agile development comes with a variety of pros as well as some potential cons. Outlined below are some of the most important ones to keep in mind:
When teams abide by the Agile development philosophy, teams become better at adapting to changes in requirements quickly. They’re more flexible and able to roll with the punches, which allows them to better serve their clients and remain productive.
The Agile philosophy also prioritizes communication and collaboration. This, in turn, allows for a more supportive work environment for everyone involved.
Agile also prioritizes continuous improvement and growth. This also helps teams to remain productive and ensure they’re always moving in the right direction (toward better quality finished products and more efficient turnaround times).
One of the main downsides to Agile development is the fact that it can be a bit chaotic when it comes to the planning side of things. If the project manager isn’t on top of things or doesn’t do a good job of communicating with other team members, it can be easy for things to fall through the cracks and for teams to have trouble keeping up with changing requirements.
For the Agile philosophy to be effective, there’s a need for skilled team members with great communication skills. Otherwise, it’ll be difficult for everyone to implement the Agile approach and see great results.
Pros and Cons of Scrum Development
Scrum development also has positives and negatives associated with it. The following are some of the most important ones (in each category) to remember:
One of the most noteworthy benefits of the Scrum framework is the fact that, when implemented correctly, it allows teams to complete their projects of a much higher quality.
One reason for this is that Scrum teams test their products at the end of each sprint. This allows them to identify and address potential problems far before the final delivery date, so clients don’t have to worry about late deliveries or receiving bug-laden products.
The second biggest advantage of the Scrum framework is the fact that it allows teams to get projects done in the most efficient way possible.
This has to do, in part, with the fact that Scrum teams plan and budget before they begin any type of project. This eliminates unforeseen expenses as well as time-related issues that can lead to late deliveries.
A potential con of Scrum development is the fact that many teams struggle to adopt this methodology at first. It is different from traditional working methods, and it can take a while for everyone to get comfortable using it.
Scrum also works best, in most cases, with small teams (the average team is 4-6 people). When larger teams try to use the Scrum framework, it can be harder to keep up with what everyone else is working on, and it’s easier for things to get overlooked during sprints.
Popular Agile and Scrum Development Tools
There are lots of tools that development teams can use to stay organized and on track during the development process. The following are some of the most popular options:
JIRA is one of the most popular tools for Agile development teams. It was built originally for issue and bug tracking, but it’s now used for various aspects of the software product development process.
JIRA features a long list of capabilities, which makes it a default choice for many. At the same time, though, its user interface is somewhat outdated compared to other platforms. This can hinder progress for some development teams.
monday.com is a Work Operating System (or Work OS). It is used by a variety of teams, including app development teams, to plan and monitor progress for various projects. It features a simple, intuitive interface, is highly customizable, and can be used to easily shape workflows and make adjustments based on shifting needs.
Zepel is a project management software built specifically for product development teams. Many Scrum teams use this platform to help them plan app features, track progress, and identify issues.
Zepel is a popular tool because it is easy for teams to adopt and start using. It doesn’t require teams to jump through a lot of hoops before they can start collaborating and working on their next project.
Orangescrum is an Agile project and task management software. It comes in both an open-source and a cloud version and provides a wide range of Agile tools, as well as tools for time, invoice, and resource management.
Orangescrum makes it easy for development teams to centralize projects and tasks while also managing all of the resources needed to carry out projects effectively. It also offers robust collaboration features, including file sharing, to help teams work together closely.
Trello is another popular tool among Agile teams. It uses the Kanban framework, which features multiple boards and cards that represent each task that must be checked off the team’s to-do list.
Trello makes it easy for teams to keep up with various members’ progress and allows for maximum transparency when working on different development projects. For small teams that need a simple, streamlined option, Trello is a great choice.
Sprintly is an agile project management software that makes it easy for team members to see what everyone is working on and what they’ve finished. It’s a great option for startups and agencies to collaborate and get a full view of what the team is doing.
Sprintly integrates with platforms like Github and Zapier, which provides teams with access to additional features and capabilities. It also provides detailed reports for maximum transparency and straightforward check-ins.
Agile vs Scrum Development: Which Is Better for Your App?
Now that your questions regarding Agile and Scrum development have been answered, do you have a clearer idea of which type of development will work better for your app?
At Alpha Bravo Development, we regularly use both types of development. We have years of experience using both approaches and can easily adapt to each client’s needs and goals.
Contact us today to learn more about our process to get a quote for your next project.