Are you new to the world of Project management? If yes, then be ready to experience a number of unfamiliar terms and processes which could be quite challenging. Frankly speaking, challenges should be welcomed after all Project managers fulfill many roles and responsibilities as part of the day-to-day functions of their job.

Before we go further, let’s define project management.  In simple terms, Project management can be defined as the art and discipline of managing a project and all its components from start to finish.

Project managers have great responsibility for creating an effective project plan for the project they oversee, from identifying and managing risks to ensuring that projects stay within their various constraints.

Before going further, there is a need for you to choose the right project methodology to guide you through to the completion of the project. Different methodologies to choose from and each is suited for different types of projects. Two of the most common are AGILE and SCRUMGiven the similarities that exist between the two, it is easy to confuse them for one another but they are very distinct concepts.



In simple terms, Agile Project Management is a project philosophy or framework that takes an iterative approach toward the completion of a project.

The Project Management Institute (PMI) says the goal of the Agile approach is to create early, measurable ROI through defined, iterative delivery of product features. The iterative nature of the Agile approach implies continuous involvement with the client to ensure the expectations are aligned and to allow the project manager to adapt to changes throughout the process.

For instance, if you are following an agile philosophy in managing your projects, you will want to have regular interactions with the client and/or end-users; you are committed to a more open understanding of scope that may evolve based on feedback from end-users and you’ll take an iterative approach to deliver the scope of work” Griffin Says, an associate teaching professor for the Masters in Project Management.

There are different project management methodologies used to implement the Agile philosophy some of the most common include Kanban, Extreme Programming (XP), and Scrum.



Scrum project management is one of the most popular Agile methodologies used by project managers, whereas Agile is a philosophy or orientation.

Scrum is a specific methodology for how one manages a project. It provides a process for how to identify the work, who will do the work, how it will be done and when it will be completed.

In Scrum project management, the project team, led by the project manager, consists of a product owner, Scrum master, and other cross-functional team members. The product owner is responsible for maximizing the value of the product, while the Scrum master is accountable for ensuring that the project team follows the scrum methodology.

The Scrum methodology is characterized by short phases or “sprints” when project work occurs. During sprint planning, the project team identifies a small part of the scope to be completed during the upcoming sprint, which is usually a two to four weeks period of time.

At the end of the sprint, this work should be ready to be delivered to the client. Finally, the sprint ends with a sprint review and retrospective- or rather lessons learned. This cycle is repeated throughout the project lifecycle until the entirety of the scope has been delivered.

This looks a lot like traditional project management, one key difference however is how one creates “shippable” portions of the project along the way rather than delivering everything at the very end. Doing so allows the client to realize the value of the project throughout the process rather than waiting until the project is closed to see results.



So far, it is easy to see why Agile and Scrum can be often confused as they both rely on an iterative process, frequent client interaction, and collaborative decision-making. The key difference between Agile and Scrum is that while Agile is a project management philosophy that utilizes a core set of values or principles, Scrum is a specific Agile methodology that is used to facilitate a project.

Other differences include:

·         Agile is a philosophy whereas Scrum is a type of Agile methodology.

·         Scrum is broken down into shorter sprints and smaller deliverables, while in Agile everything is delivered at the end of the project.

·         Agile involves members from various cross-functional teams, while a Scrum project team includes specific roles, such as the Scrum Master and Product Owner.

Worthy of note is to remember that although Scrum is an Agile approach, Agile does not always mean Scrum- there are many different methodologies that take an Agile approach to project management.



With a clear knowledge of both and how they work together, you can begin to think about applying these approaches to your own projects. Given the differences between the two, this shouldn’t be a question of whether you should take an Agile or Scrum approach.

Instead, if you decide that an Agile approach is right for a particular project, the question is: Which Agile methodology should you use? The answer could be Scrum or it could be one of the other various Agile methodologies that exist.

To decide if Agile is right for your project, you will need to look at the specific requirements and constraints involved. Agile was originally created within the context of software development projects and is particularly effective in this arena. However, the guiding principles of the Agile philosophy are widely used across many different types of projects.

If an Agile approach is right for your project, you will then need to determine whether or not Scrum is the best Agile methodology for your specific needs and goals.

Scrum is typically best suited to projects which do not have clear requirements, are likely to experience change, and/or require frequent testing.

In conclusion, it’s important to remember that the key to a successful project isn’t just about choosing the right methodology but executing that methodology in a skillful manner. For project managers to be successful in their roles they also need to know how to communicate effectively, lead a team, apply critical thinking and problem-solving skills and be adaptable to the organizational dynamics and complexities around them.




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