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Agile vs Scrum in Web Development

Agile vs Scrum in Web Development

Last updated: 2021-01-29

In addition to learning how to develop neat and functional codes, ambitious Web developers need to know how to function as part of a professional Web development team. In this article, we’re going to introduce two most popular project management methods in the Web development approaches, Agile and Scrum, and highlight the difference between them.

In addition to learning how to develop neat and functional codes, ambitious Web developers need to know how to function as part of a professional Web development team.

In this article, we're going to introduce two most popular project management methods in the Web development approaches, Agile and Scrum, and highlight the difference between them.

What Is Agile Web Development?

Officially born in 2001, Agile is a collection of software development methodologies aimed at improving productivity through an iterative method, but it's now expanding to other fields such as marketing.

Agile offers a systematic and iterative approach for project management in Web development (and other software developments areas). In short, Agile is all about the control and presence of the customer (not necessarily the physical presence). The customer should be ready to allocate some time to review the outcomes of the sprint and suggest a new improvement.

Agile allows iterative project development dividing it into small tasks with a time limit. One of the benefits of Agile methods is the ability to adapt to changes requested by the customer. A sprint is usually measured in weeks.

The most important principles of the Agile project management approach can be summarised as:

1. Talking to people is more important than having the right set of tools (Teamwork and communication).

2. It's better to have a fully-functional product rather than a full-fledged one (Gradual development).

3. Changing the product according to the customer's expectations is more important than having a comprehensive product development plan (Iterative planning).

Elements of Agile Development 

Be Scrum, XP or Kanban, Agile methods breaks the workflow of the project into the manageable pieces typically called elements or component. An Agile method usually consists of the following components:

1. User Story: User story provides the definition of the work request. It should contain enough information so that the development team can estimate the amount of time needed to finish the task.

2. Sprints: Sprints are short-iterations, usually between one to three weeks to complete, assigned to tasks determined in the Sprint Planning Meeting.

3. Stand-up meetings: Daily meeting that usually kept under 10 minutes helping everyone in the team stay informed and on track. To keep the meeting short and on point, participants are usually asked to stay standing while the meeting goes on.

4. Agile Board:  A public board that help team members track the project. It could be a physical board with sticky notes, a simple Kanban board or a section in the software management app.

5. Backlog: Simply put it, Backlog is the input gate of your project. All requests in the project first become user story in the backlog. Then during the Sprint Planning Sessions, the Project Manager decides on pulling stories out of Backlog (Moving stories to a Sprint). Managing Backlog is one of the most important roles of the Project Manager in an Agile Environment.

Is Scrum the same as Agile?

The short answer is Yes and No. While Scrum follows the same principle defined in Agile methodologies, the way for implementing a common agile principle differs from one method to another.

Despite more recent methods, Scrum initially was not developed for managing developing desktop and Web Program but it's now commonly categorised under agile methods. Now it's extensively used in software development as well as almost every business.

Scram Master and Product Owner (PO) are responsible for supervising (not controlling) the Scrum Team. The Scrum Master is a kind of coach that helps the development team delivering high-quality products. He is not allowed to give a task directly to the team member but through the Product Owner whose job is to reflect the client's visions and requirements.

Similar to other Agile methodologies, tasks are divided into 2-4 weeks sprints accompanied by Scrum Meeting. At the end of a team must release a ready to market website/app.

The sprint ends up with a Scrum Meeting called retrospective in which the team members, the Scrum Master and the PO talk about the outcome of the sprint and how the next sprint can be more successful.

What Are Key Differences Between Agile and Scrum?

Scrum can be considered as a subset of the Agile set of methodologies. 

Agile focuses on the continuous iteration of development and testing but Scrum is mainly aimed at delivering the business value in the shortest time.

Agile method released the product for review on a regular basis while Scrum delivers the software for feedback after each sprint.

Unlike in Agile, in Scrum leadership don't play a vital role. Scrum encourages team members to be self-organising and cross-functional.

Agile recommends face-to-face interactions between the members of various cross-functional teams while in Scrum team members collaboration is based on short stand-up meetings.

Agile supports simple design and implementation whereas in Scrum design and execution could be innovative and experimental.

Agile Vs. Scrum in Web Development

When it comes to Web Development, Agile and Scrum project management in the terms of:

Keeping up with changes:  

The adage Change is only constant couldn't be more accurate than in Web Development. This means the web development team should be able to adapt to changes in the project as fast as possible.

Rather than viewing changes as an undesirable event, the members of the agile team consider change as an inevitable part of the learning process. The difference is that agile welcomes changes in the product only at a certain time of product release, but in Scrum, customer wishes could be considered at the beginning of the next sprint.

Therefore, thanks to its flexibility and quickly react to the changes, Scrum fits better into the Web Development process.

The size of the Web development team:

Usually, it's said that Agile is more suited for small teams with professional development members. In contrast, in Scrum, the team could be of any size but it's recommended that to achieve better results, each Scrum team should not have more than 10 members.

The Role of leadership:

While Agile puts more emphasis on the rule of leadership in the product development process, Scrum promotes a self-organizing cross-sectional team. In the terms of web development, it means that every team member should be able to participate in every stage of Web App development, from UI design to front end and back end programming and even testing. 

The best example of this approach is increasing demand for full-stack developers which represent the full package of the Web development. 

Method of interaction between team members:

Agile requires that team members collaborate face to face during the product development process. In Scrum, the interaction between the Web development team is accomplished through the Daily Stand-up Meetings.

Product release frequency:

Agile puts more value on the frequent delivery of the website to end-user to get their feedback, however, Scrum focuses on releasing the build to the client after each sprint and implementing improvements in the next sprint.

The Bottom Line

The agile offers a rigid methodology for web development with the core value of continuous delivery of the valuable product for the customer. It's better suited for a small but expert web development team. On the other hand, Scrum suggests a more flexible approach for managing Web projects following the Empirical Process Control process as the central philosophy.

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