Introduction To Scrum and Agile Methodologies


If you are a novice to programming, you may imagine the software development process as a start-to-finish task. The client gives the developers the instructions for the end product, and they simply create it. Once it is ready, the client receives it and pays for the service. It is the idea behind most product developments. However, when it comes to software, the whole process is more efficient. How can any process be more efficient than the above, you might ask? It is, therefore, worth elaborating a little bit more about what software development looks like. Today, I will present the best methodology to ever grace the Earth. It may be a subjective opinion, but you are free to form your own judgment based on the below facts. None of what follows is a lie!

What Are Agile Methodologies?

Let's start with the basics. Agile methodologies are approaches to the management of software development. There are several of them, but their main characteristic is the existence of general project assumptions, which get gradually adjusted during the stages of development. These adjustments come from the client, who reassesses their requirements based on the effects of the work.  

Scrum vs Agile - What Is the Difference? 

While speaking of Agile, you may have come across the term Scrum. What is the Scrum definition? It is one of the frameworks (the ways of conduct, tools) that can be used in Agile methodology. So, Agile is a movement, the general idea, and Scrum is one of the methods of fulfilling the Agile objectives. Many treat Agile and Scrum as different approaches. However, the Scrum vs Agile concept should not exist. Scrum derives from Agile, and both have a common aim, which is fast and high-quality product development.

What is Scrum?

Knowing the Scrum definition, we can now focus on the Scrum meaning. Scrum divides the project into small parts. These are the phases during which the team develops certain functions. These stages are called Sprints and last roughly four weeks. The changes introduced during Sprints should be valuable improvements visible to the software users. There are other interesting aspects of the approach, such as:

  • the Product Owner's role consisting of collecting the initial requirements needed to start the sprint and controlling the adherence
  • Sprint planning - selecting the goal of every phase and the tasks with the highest priority to work on first
  • conducting short daily meetings (Daily Scrums) where the team discusses the work performed the previous day and the work to be performed on the day of a meeting
  • The Sprint review planned after each sprint sums up the work, concludes, and sets the ground for improvements.

How was Scrum created?

Scrum meaning was introduced in 1986 by Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka in a Harvard Business Review article. They emphasized two characteristics of Scrum (flexibility and speed) and compared the overlapping phases of product development to playing rugby. They stressed the importance of teamwork and striving to achieve better results. However, it was only after some time that the implementation of the Scrum meaning in software development happened. Ken Schwaber and Mike Beedle described the Scrum methodology in 'Agile Software Development with Scrum' in 2001. Schwaber also founded the Scrum Alliance (2002), (2009), and published The Scrum Guide, which defines the Scrum framework. The document is updated if necessary, according to the purpose of Scrum - strive to achieve better results. 

What is Agile?

Agile, as mentioned in the introduction, is a set of methods based on the adjustment to ever-evolving client requirements. It is used to quickly develop the highest quality product. A crucial part of the Agile methodology is the structure of the teams who work on the project. Usually, there is a lack of any organizational hierarchy. The team is cross-functional and self-managed. The members can decide how the set goals will be achieved. Communication between the members is vital to the project's success.  

How did Agile start?

Agile was proposed as a change from the waterfall methodology. The development of Internet applications was the moment when the developers started to search for a more efficient methodology introducing iterative and collaborative processes. All that was due to the increased workload and the varied background of many small teams that worked on demanding projects. The best part of Agile is that it came naturally. In other words, no one sat down one day and said: 'The waterfall approach is no good for creating software anymore. From now on, the developers will work according to the following...'. Far from that! Agile developed as a result of the developer's work. The very people who created software were the start of the new way of conduct, just because it allowed them to work better. That is pretty much the essence of Agile development - use the methods that help you achieve a better outcome in the fastest possible time. Does it mean there are no rules in Agile? Not at all. The rules are there. They are just not strictly imposed but come naturally instead. This set of rules is called the Agile Manifesto.

What does the Agile Manifesto state?

In 2001 a group of developers, who had been following a new approach for a while, came up with the Agile Manifesto. The set of principles documented their shared beliefs and experience of how a modern software development process should look. The Agile Manifesto was signed by Ken Schwaber, Kent Beck, Martin Fowler, Ron Jeffries, and Jeff Sutherland. It exists to this day on the official website of the Agile approach

Agile believes in the importance of collaboration, self-organization, and the ability to adjust to constant change. It is opposed to an overcomplicated documentation process, rigid management, and strict rules. People work with the main purpose in mind - the fast creation of a high-quality product.

Why are Agile methodologies better than the previous approach?

A simple answer, which is also in correspondence with the first rule of the Agile Manifesto, is that the Agile approach is simply faster and gives better results. Thanks to Agile, the developers prioritize what should be prioritized - the final product. They care less about how they develop it as long as the requirements are fulfilled. They know that the documentation and rules should help people at work. However, too much of the above will shift focus from the essence of that work. Also, splitting the work into manageable parts (Sprints) enables developers to complete it faster. They present the Sprint result to the client, and receive the new requirements. It is contrary to a long, scrumptious plan of all project stages that may even turn out to be fruitless as the project unfolds. 

Finally, thanks to a more relaxed and goal-oriented approach, the developers are happier and better motivated. Who would not be happy if they could work and achieve success, without unnecessary fuss? 

I cannot help but associate Agile with desire paths. In urban planning, people create desire paths because these are shortcuts or easier routes than the paved routes provided. I believe this is a perfect metaphor for why people use Agile in software development instead of the waterfall approach.

Agile in everyday life - Sailing Byte as the experts in the approach

Today's world is all about changes, fast adjustments, and improvements. It would be counterproductive to stay stuck in the waterfall approach. This is why, as soon as Agile Manifesto was published, it was well received by many software development companies all over the world. According to, 86% of international software developers use Agile. Multiple well-known enterprises, such as Apple, Google, IBM, Cisco, Microsoft, and Spacex, utilize Scrum meaning and Agile approaches within their structures. Who else uses it? Sailing Byte, of course! If you want your product to be created within the shortest time possible and to the highest standards, Agile is the way to go. Book a call today to discuss the Agile and Scrum meaning in the development process of your software.




Łukasz Pawłowski

CEO of Sailing Byte

I am running Sailing Byte - a Software House that focuses on Laravel and React, but doesn't constrain to it; we have also done projects using C#, Unity, Flutter, SwiftUI and other. My role is to organize and deliver software using Agile methods - by providing experience and technical knowledge and proper set of tools to cooperate with our clients.

During our journey I have met all kind of great people, who also took part in our success - both our clients and business partners who are part of our success and who also helped us to elevate Sailing Byte as polish software house, that is providing quality development not only in eastern Europe, but also UK and USA.

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