How to Use Agile/Scrum in Software Development

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Defining Agile/Scrum

Mar 6, 2021, 11:11 AM

Atlassian defines agile as:

"An iterative approach to project management and software development that helps teams deliver value to their customers faster and with fewer headaches. Instead of betting everything on a "big bang" launch, an agile team delivers work in small, but consumable, increments.”

Agile is an overarching project management philosophy—an umbrella term for a wide range of methodologies used to get work done. The agile umbrella can be filed under an even larger umbrella: continuous improvement.

Scrum is an agile methodology—that’s why we refer to agile/scrum—and it’s the one we use at Far Reach. It’s one of the most widely adopted software development methodologies in use today. 

The Agile Alliance defines scrum as: 

“A process framework used to manage product development and other knowledge work. Scrum is empirical in that it provides a means for teams to establish a hypothesis of how they think something works, try it out, reflect on the experience, and make the appropriate adjustments.”

Agile/scrum is the framework we use to move work throughout the development process. It’s also how we work on how we work, continuously improving our workflows in small iterations. 

Agile Manifesto

In 2001, a group of representatives from the various agile frameworks got together to nerd out on software development. From that weekend at a ski resort in Utah emerged the Agile Manifesto, which documents the values and principles of agile software development.

We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it.

Through this work we have come to value:

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools

  • Working software over comprehensive documentation

  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation

  • Responding to change over following a plan

That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more.

As you can see, there’s nothing prescriptive or definitive in how work gets done. Agile focuses on driving value and adapting to get a little better each time.