It doesn’t always have to be Scrum

When a company considers adopting an Agile approach to software development, more often than not they settle for Scrum almost immediately. This probably due to its popularity and online presence – especially considering the most recognised Agile bodies tend to sit on the Scrum side of the fence. Whilst Scrum is an absolutely fantastic framework, it certainly isn’t the only Agile approach that you can take – neither should it be the only one you consider.

Like anything else related to software development, there really isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to how you structure your projects, despite what some people might tell you. One of the best things about an Agile approach is that it offers you guidelines rather than hard rules, so it can be far more flexible than a Waterfall methodology. There’s only so much flex that any given approach can offer, however, which is why Scrum isn’t the only option.

In addition to Scrum, you might want to consider one of many different Agile approaches, including the following:

  • XP
  • DSDM Atern
  • Kanban
  • Lean
  • Lean Startup

When considering formal Agile training, the options are surprisingly somewhat limited. Certified Scrum Master (CSM) is probably the most common certificate you’ll find amongst Agile practitioners – or people who want to be Agile – but again, its scope is limited to Scrum; not to mention to one specific role.

If you’re considering an Agile approach to software development, I’d recommend finding out which methodology suits your needs before you dive straight into the next CSM training course.

Training courses such as BCS Foundation Agile cover a much wider area, as their syllabus demands learning objectives around many different approaches, including those listed above. It’s a great way to find out what is available and what you think will work for you. It’s also a training course that carries a BCS certificate upon successful completion.

When the dust settles, Scrum still might be right for you. But given the complexities involved in changing your approach to software development, it’s better to know what options are available to you before picking Scrum blindly based on its name and reputation alone.