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Allan Kelly has held just about every job in the software world, from sys admin to development manager. Today he provides training and coaching to teams in the use of Agile and Lean techniques. He is the author of "Changing Software Development: Learning to become Agile" (2008) and "Business Patterns for Software Developers" (2012) and a frequent conference speaker. Allan is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 85 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Scrum has 3 advantages over XP (but XP is better)

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For corporations Scrum offers three advantages over Extreme Programming:

1) It offers certification - corporates can hire people who are “certified” and have their own people certified.
2) Scrum traces its roots back to the Harvard Business Review - so it must be serious
3) Scrum does not contain the words “extreme” or “programming”. No need to dirty our hands with messy code, keep that stuff as far away as possible (the further the cheaper, right?)

On the other hand, XP has two advantages over Scrum:

1) It actively seeks to address the quality problems most software development teams suffer from and which cripple productivity
2) It excites the people who actually do the work - dispensing with “resistance to change” in one fell swoop

At Agile Cambridge last year I saw a really good presentation from people at GE Energy about their Agile adoption. Frankly I’m sceptical about the ability of any large organisation to adopt Agile but these guys had some real success to show.

Two things stuck in my mind. When summing up the presenter said:

“If I was doing the same thing again I would start with the XP technical practices not the Scrum process” and he went on “We have adopted Scrum, we are now advancing to XP.”

XP and Scrum date from about the same time (mid-90’s). Perhaps because XP become popular first and Scrum later succeeded it as the Agile-poster-child many people seem to think Scrum is superior, or at least a superset of XP. Actually, the reverse is true.

XP is a superset of Scrum, and, in my humble opinion, superior.
Published at DZone with permission of Allan Kelly, author and DZone MVB. (source)

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)



Mark Anthony replied on Fri, 2012/04/13 - 11:18am

Other than your useless five points above (the two for XP could also be said of Scrum), what are the other main differences between XP and Scrum?

You make some bold statements, but are't backing them up with examples. It makes it difficult to form an opinion when there is no tangible data to do so with.

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