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Agile vs. Scrum, which one is better for you

Any project manager or IT leader takes note of the learning they have gained throughout their career, and take advantage of it to get the most out of their work teams, with the aim of optimizing the resources available for the development of digital projects in time and under the defined requirements.

What is not always mastered is the fact that the work methodology applied for the development of a digital project may be different from that required for another. In other words, it depends on the work team involved, the nature of the project itself and even the preferences of the team requesting the project (internal or external client).

Nowadays there are two methodologies very well positioned thanks to the excellent results they yield every time they are applied: Scrum and Agile. Both have very well defined characteristics that help achieve goals and that can make the difference between a successful process and one full of obstacles. The delivered result can be the same, no doubt, but it is also important that the process itself flows correctly to avoid saturating the team involved.

So you can choose which methodology is ideal for the development of a digital project, we present you its main characteristics:

Scrum

It is a framework used mainly by teams that manage complex projects, in which each member knows perfectly their functions and due times, which helps the work flow quickly to achieve a delivery in a short period of time to launch the platform and start generating sales.

Its structure is based on three pillars:

  1. Transparency: Each one involved in the project has visibility on the objectives and progress of the project, thereby achieving the synergy of each of the areas, under a general vision.
  1. Inspection: Progress is systematically reviewed to identify potential problems. It is not an evaluation of the work performance, but a way to identify possible failures in order to be able to react in time and allow the work to continue flowing in a practically automated way.
  1. Adaptation: Being a flexible methodology, the team has the ability to adapt to changes in project requirements. This is ideal for developments whose objectives are subject to variation. In other words, developments where there are other areas involved and whose work is still in process.

As always happens in digital matters, this methodology is not applicable to all teams and all developments. What factors must be considered then for its implementation?

Pros

  • It is easy to learn: the functions, stages, tools and objectives are clear from the start.
  • Delivery can be made in a short period.
  • The process is dynamic, as it allows optimization during development.
  • It reduces the risk of unforeseen events and speeds up reviews, since the client has frequent visibility on the progress.

Cons

  • Its implementation can be complicated, especially if it implies a change of organizational culture, which must go from top management to clients.
  • The formation of a multidisciplinary team can be a complex task as it requires a very specific collaborator profile.
  • Being speed one of the main virtues of Scrum, teams can tend to look for the shortest way to achieve the goal of a sprint, which can sacrifice quality.

If after this you still doubt whether Scrum is the right methodology, read on, because we are talking about Agile, a methodology whose advantages may sound similar, but offers a different dynamic for development, which provides other benefits.

Agile

The cornerstone of Agile is to avoid the rigidity of waterfall methods that plan each step of the process so that, when something unforeseen arises, reacting takes longer and involves completely restructuring the workflow from that point on. In simple terms, Agile seeks to maintain the ability to evaluate each stage in order to make the best decision at each step, without compromising project objectives and timelines.

More than a methodology, Agile is more of a philosophy, since it involves requirements that must be inculcated in work teams to get the most out of their work:

  • The priority is customer satisfaction, so constant communication is a must.
  • Changes are not an inconvenience, but an opportunity to add value to the project.
  • Results are delivered periodically, in short periods.
  • The work must be done in a joint and coordinated manner.
  • Trust in the team involved is essential, so as keeping them motivated and giving them access to the resources needed.
  • The ideal method to communicate is daily in short meetings.
  • Success is measured according to the functionality and satisfaction that the final product gives.
  • Each stage of the process must be realistic, both in terms of time, resources and demands.
  • Technical excellence must be constant throughout the process.
  • Less is more. The simpler it is kept, the better the development.
  • The organization of the teams is the golden rule to achieve the best results.
  • It is important to consider times and spaces for reflection and analysis to evaluate and seek improvements.

What are the main factors to evaluate to decide on Agile?

Pros

  • It keeps the work process agile, so it easily adapts to sudden changes.
  • It encourages dialogue between the team involved, which helps to have a more integrated development.
  • Establishing milestones and deliveries in short times helps keep the project dynamic.
  • Streamline review meetings by making them regular.

Cons

  • It demands a lot of involvement from the client.
  • It depends on specific control tools.
  • It prioritizes the result over the process, so the final documentation may be scarce.
  • Reluctance on the part of the teams to adapt to this work dynamic.

At Icalia we maintain a flexible work dynamic, relying on the experience of our collaborators and evaluating each project individually to offer the most suitable method to achieve the objectives. Come to us, tell us about the project you want to develop and discover the most convenient way to carry it out. We will walk together towards your goals.

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