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What are the Different Types of Agile Methodologies?

The term Agile refers to the methods and best practices for organizing projects, based on the values and principles documented in the Agile Manifesto. However, there’s no one right way to implement Agile. In fact, there are many different types of Agile methodologies that you can choose from when organizing your project. Here are the most common methodologies or Agile frameworks that you can choose from:

Kanban

Kanban is a simple, visual means of managing projects that emphasizes visibility. Originally designed as a scheduling method, Kanban helps teams execute just-in-time production by enabling everyone to see where work is in the project and what’s coming up next. Kanban projects are primarily managed through a Kanban Board. This board helps segment project tasks into three main columns: “To Do,” “Doing,” and “Done.”

Scrum

Scrum is similar to Kanban in many ways. For instance, Scrum typically uses a Scrum Board, which is similar to a Kanban Board, and also groups tasks into columns based on progress. Unlike Kanban, Scrum focuses on breaking a project down into sprints, and only planning and managing one sprint at a time. Scrum also has unique project roles, including a scrum master and Product Owner. 

Extreme Programming (XP)

Extreme Programming (XP) was designed for Agile software development projects. It focuses on continuous development and customer delivery and uses intervals or sprints similar to a scrum methodology. However, XP also has 12 supporting processes that are specific to the world of software development:

  1. Planning Game
  2. Small Releases
  3. Customer Acceptance Tests
  4. Simple Design
  5. Pair Programming
  6. Test-Driven Development
  7. Refactoring
  8. Continuous Integration
  9. Collective Code Ownership
  10. Coding Standards
  11. Metaphor
  12. Sustainable Pace

Feature-Driven Development (FDD)

Feature-driven development is another software specific Agile framework. This methodology involved creating software models every two weeks and requires a development and design plan for every software model feature. Therefore, it has more rigorous documentation requirements than XP, so it’s better for teams with advanced design and planning abilities. FDD breaks projects down into five basic activities:

  1. Develop an overall model
  2. Build a feature list
  3. Plan by feature
  4. Design by feature
  5. Build by feature

Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM)

The Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM) cropped up out of the need to provide a common industry framework for rapid software delivery. Part of DSDM is the mandate that rework is to be expected, and any development changes that occur must be reversible. Like Scrum, XP, and FDD, DSDM uses sprints. This framework is based on eight key principles:

  1. Focus on the business need
  2. Deliver on time
  3. Collaborate
  4. Never compromise quality
  5. Build incrementally from firm foundations
  6. Develop iteratively
  7. Communicate continuously and clearly
  8. Demonstrate control

Crystal

Crystal is actually a family of Agile methodologies, including Crystal Clear, Crystal Yellow, Crystal Orange, Crystal Red, and more. Each methodology has its own unique framework. Which one you choose is dependent on several project factors, such as your team size, your project priorities, and project criticality. The belief is that different projects require a slightly different set of policies, practices, and processes based on their unique characteristics. 

Lean

Lean development is actually a completely separate methodology, but it’s often grouped with Agile, as it shares many of the same values, such as the ability to easily adapt to change. The main principles of the Lean methodology include:

  1. Eliminating Waste
  2. Build Quality In
  3. Create Knowledge
  4. Defer Commitment
  5. Deliver Fast
  6. Respect People
  7. Optimize the Whole


Further Reading
blog post

Is Your Enterprise Struggling to Be Agile? 4 Tips to Get You There

blog post

Scrum vs. Kanban Board: Which One Is Better for Building a Project Plan?

blog post

Project Management Methodologies Review (Part 1)