Apr 8th, 2024

Types of Agile Frameworks - The 2024 Guide


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Agile frameworks provide a structured approach to project management that emphasizes flexibility, iteration, and collaboration. These frameworks are designed to help teams adapt to changing requirements and deliver value quickly and efficiently. 

Agile frameworks can be broadly categorized into two main types:

  1. Team-Level Frameworks: These frameworks are designed for small, co-located teams and focus on how to best manage and execute work within a single team. Some popular examples of team-level frameworks include Scrum, Kanban, Scrumban, Extreme Programming (XP).

  2. Scaled Agile Frameworks: As organizations grow and adopt Agile practices across multiple teams, the need arises to manage dependencies and coordinate work effectively. Scaled Agile Frameworks address this challenge by providing guidance on how to scale Agile principles and practices to larger enterprises. Examples of scaled Agile frameworks include Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), Disciplined Agile (DA), and Large Scale Scrum (LeSS).

In this blog, we will discuss the different types of agile frameworks available, with a focus on which frameworks can be the best to align with your organizational  needs.

Team-Level Frameworks:

1. Scrum

Scrum is a popular agile project management framework used for collaborative and iterative development. Imagine it like a rugby team working together in short bursts (sprints) to achieve a common goal, constantly adapting and learning through feedback. 

Here's a breakdown of its key features:

Core Values:

    • Commitment: Scrum team members are committed to achieving the goals of the team as a whole. This means being dedicated to the project and holding themselves and each other accountable for completing tasks.
    • Focus: Everyone on the Scrum team stays focused on the work for the current sprint and the goals they are aiming to achieve during that time. Distractions and outside work are minimized to maximize the efficiency of the sprint.

    • Openness: There is complete transparency within the Scrum team and with stakeholders. Information about the project, progress, and any challenges are openly shared.

    • Respect: Scrum team members respect each other's skills, experience, and ideas. They value diverse perspectives and work together to find solutions.

    • Courage: Scrum teams have the courage to address difficult problems, raise concerns, and make changes when necessary. They are not afraid to speak up and challenge the status quo.

Key Components:

  • Sprints: Time-boxed periods (usually 2-4 weeks) where a specific set of work is completed.

  • Product Backlog: A prioritized list of all features and requirements for the project.

  • Sprint Backlog: A subset of the product backlog chosen for the current sprint.

  • Scrum Roles:

    • Product Owner: Represents the stakeholders and prioritizes the backlog.
    • Scrum Master: Facilitates the process and removes impediments for the team.
    • Development Team: Self-organizing team responsible for delivering the work in each sprint.
  • Scrum Events: Regular meetings with specific purposes:

    • Sprint Planning: Defines the goals and tasks for the upcoming sprint.

    • Daily Scrum: Short (15-minute) meeting to discuss progress and identify roadblocks.

    • Sprint Review: Demonstrates and gets feedback on the completed work.

    • Sprint Retrospective: Reflects on the sprint and identifies areas for improvement.

Benefits of Scrum Framework

  • 1Increased flexibility and adaptability.
  • 2Faster delivery of working software.
  • 3Improved collaboration and communication.
  • 4Enhanced product quality and value.
  • 5Greater team morale and motivation.

Limitations of Scrum

  • 1Requires a disciplined and committed team.
  • 2Not suitable for all types of projects.
  • 3Can be complex to learn and implement.

Who Uses Scrum?

Scrum is widely used in software development, but its principles can be applied to various industries and projects.

2. Kanban

The Kanban Agile framework is a popular method for managing projects and workflows, known for its flexibility and visual approach. Here's a breakdown of its key features:

Core principles:

  • Continuous flow: Work progresses smoothly through defined stages, avoiding bottlenecks and context switching.

  • Pull-based system: Tasks are pulled from a backlog when team capacity allows, preventing overburdening.

  • Visualizing work: A Kanban board displays tasks as cards moving through stages, offering transparency and progress tracking.

  • Work-in-progress (WIP) limits: These limits restrict the number of tasks in each stage, promoting focus and efficiency.

  • Continuous improvement: The team regularly reflects and adapts the process based on data and feedback.

Key elements:

  • Kanban board: A physical or digital board with columns representing stages (e.g., To Do, In Progress, Done) and cards representing tasks.

  • Cards: Represent individual tasks with details like description, assigned person, and due date.

  • WIP limits: Defined maximum number of tasks allowed in each stage.

Benefits of Kanban

  • 1Increased focus and clarity
  • 2Improved team collaboration and communication
  • 3Faster delivery of results
  • 4Adaptability to changing priorities
  • 5Continuous process improvement

Limitations of Kanban

  • 1May require significant cultural change in organizations accustomed to traditional project management.
  • 2Less suitable for large, complex projects with strict deadlines.
  • 3Requires discipline to maintain WIP limits and resist multitasking.
  • 4Can be challenging to track dependencies between tasks visually.

Who Uses Kanban?

Kanban is widely used in software development, marketing, IT operations, and other creative and knowledge-based fields.

Kanban is a great choice for teams seeking a visual, flexible, and iterative approach to project management. It's particularly useful for ongoing projects with changing priorities and unpredictable workloads.

3. Scrumban

Scrumban blends the best of Scrum and Kanban, offering a flexible and adaptive approach to Agile project management. Here's a breakdown:

Core Values:

  • Transparency: Visualize workflow and progress.

  • Adaptability: Respond quickly to changing priorities and needs.

  • Continuous Improvement: Learn and iterate based on feedback.

  • Teamwork: Collaborative environment focused on shared goals.

  • Value delivery: Deliver functional increments regularly.

Key Components:

  • Kanban Board: Visualizes work in progress, with columns like "To Do," "In Progress," and "Done."

  • WIP Limits: Control the amount of active work to avoid overburdening the team.

  • Sprints (Optional): Fixed-length timeframes for focused work (can be adapted from Scrum).

  • Stand-up Meetings: Daily briefings for team transparency and coordination.

  • Retrospectives: Regular evaluations to improve processes and practices.

Benefits of Scrumban

  • 1Flexibility: Adapts to changing priorities and work volumes.
  • 2Efficiency: Prioritizes work flow and avoids bottlenecks.
  • 3Predictability: Sprints (if used) offer consistent delivery rhythm.
  • 4Motivation: Team ownership and clear progress foster engagement
  • 5Continuous Improvement: Regular reflection leads to process optimization.

Limitations of Scrumban

  • 1Requires Discipline: Kanban's freedom demands disciplined WIP limits.
  • 2Transition Challenges: Shifting from traditional methods can be difficult.
  • 3Large-Scale Complexity: Managing multiple teams and dependencies can be tricky.
  • 4Lacks Scrum's Framework: May miss the structure and accountability of Scrum.

Who Uses Scrumban

  • Software development teams

  • Marketing and design teams

  • Operations and support teams

  • Any team seeking a flexible and adaptive approach to project management

Ultimately, Scrumban offers a powerful Agile framework for teams seeking the best of both worlds. Its flexibility makes it a great choice for diverse projects and team structures.

4. XP Agile

Core Values:

  • Communication: Fostering open and continuous communication between developers, customers, and stakeholders.

  • Feedback: Regularly gathering and incorporating feedback throughout the development cycle.

  • Simplicity: Focusing on simple, elegant solutions that avoid unnecessary complexity.

  • Courage: Adapting to change and trying new things, even if they seem risky.

  • Respect: Valuing the people involved in the project and their diverse perspectives.

Key Components:

  • Small releases: Frequent releases of working software in short cycles.

  • Iterative development: Planning, developing, and testing in short iterations.

  • Test-driven development (TDD): Writing tests before code to ensure functionality and quality.

  • Pair programming: Two developers working together on one machine, enhancing code quality and knowledge sharing.

  • Continuous integration: Integrating code changes frequently to maintain a stable working version.

  • Collective ownership: Shared responsibility for the code and project outcomes.

Benefits of XP Agile

  • 1High-quality software: Frequent testing and feedback lead to fewer bugs and a more robust product.
  • 2Increased flexibility: Adapting to changing requirements effectively.
  • 3Improved team morale: Collaborative environment and ownership boost satisfaction.
  • 4Faster time to market: Regular releases allow early feedback and market validation.

Limitations of XP Agile

  • 1Steeper learning curve: Requires a change in mindset and practices compared to traditional methods.
  • 2Not suitable for all projects: May be overwhelming for very large or complex projects.
  • 3Relies heavily on skilled developers: Requires a team with strong coding and communication skills.

Who Uses XP Agile?

  • Small to medium-sized software development teams in various industries.

  • Teams working on projects with evolving requirements and high uncertainty.

  • Organizations valuing collaboration, quality, and responsiveness.


  • XP is considered one of the most specific and prescriptive agile frameworks compared to others.

  • Many teams adopt individual practices from XP within other agile frameworks.

  • Consider researching success stories and challenges faced by teams using XP before adopting it.

Scaled Agile Frameworks

Scaling Agile across large teams and organizations can be tricky. Here are some frameworks to help you conquer that mountain:

1. Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)

The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) is a popular framework designed to help large organizations implement agile practices at scale. It's more than just a set of rules; it's a comprehensive system that includes roles, responsibilities, workflows, and values to guide the entire organization towards business agility.

Here are some key points about SAFe

Core Values:

  • Transparency: Open communication and visibility across all levels

  • Alignment: Goals and initiatives align from team to portfolio

  • Continuous learning and improvement: Embrace feedback and adapt approaches

  • Customer centricity: Focus on delivering value to customers

Key Components:

  • ARTs (Agile Release Trains): Cross-functional teams delivering increments of value

  • Epics and Features: Large features broken down into smaller work items

  • PI Planning (Program Increment Planning): Collaborative event for aligning ARTs

  • Inspect and Adapt (I&A): Regular review and improvement cycles

  • Portfolio Lean Management: Aligning strategy with investment and execution.

Benefits of Scaled Agile Framework

  • 1Faster time to market: Deliver products and services quicker.
  • 2Improved quality: Build higher-quality solutions.
  • 3Increased customer satisfaction: Meet customer needs more effectively.
  • 4Enhanced employee engagement: Empower teams and improve morale.

Limitations of Scaled Agile Framework

  • 1Complexity: Can be challenging to implement and maintain, especially for large organizations
  • 2Prescriptiveness: May feel rigid for some teams accustomed to greater autonomy
  • 3Cost: Training and certification can be expensive
  • 4Focus on large teams and projects: Less suitable for smaller, stand-alone initiatives

Who Uses Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)

  • Large enterprises, especially in software development, finance, and healthcare

  • Organizations with complex systems and dependencies

  • Companies seeking an established, structured approach to scaling agility

Additional Notes:

  • SAFe offers different configurations (Essential, Large Solution, Portfolio, Full) to cater to varying needs.

  • SAFe is not the only scaled agile framework; others include LeSS, DAD, and Spotify Model.

  • Consider your specific context and needs when choosing a framework.

2. Large-Scale Scrum (LeSS)

While not technically "Less Agile," LeSS focuses on maintaining agility by scaling Scrum for larger projects and multiple teams. Here's a breakdown:

Core Values:

  • Empiricism: Learn through transparency and inspection-adaptation.

  • Self-organization: Teams empower themselves to deliver value.

  • Transparency: Open communication and information sharing are key.

  • Collaboration: Teams work together for a shared product vision.

  • Focus on the whole: Individual team goals serve the overall product objective.

Key Components:

  • Multiple Scrum teams: LeSS maintains single-team Scrum principles on a larger scale.

  • Single Product Backlog and Owner: One prioritized list and owner ensure product coherence.

  • Shared Sprint Cycle: All teams work toward a common Sprint goal and deliver one increment.

  • LeSS Huge for Massive Projects: Extends LeSS principles to thousands of people.

Benefits of LeSS

  • 1Improved Scalability: Manages complex projects with large teams while staying agile.
  • 2Enhanced Focus: Teams prioritize overall product value over individual goals.
  • 3Increased Transparency: Shared backlog and Sprint promote visibility and collaboration.
  • 4Faster Feedback Loop: Frequent delivery cycles enable rapid learning and adaptation

Limitations of LeSS

  • 1Learning Curve: Requires training and cultural shift for larger organizations.
  • 2Strong Product Ownership: Effective Product Owner crucial for backlog prioritization.
  • 3Dependency Management: Coordination across teams needs careful planning.
  • 4Not for Everything: May not be suitable for all project types or sizes.

Who Uses LeSS Framework?

  • Large product development organizations: Spotify, HBO, HP, ING, etc.

  • Complex projects with multiple teams: Enterprise software, government initiatives, etc.

  • Organizations seeking to scale agility: Companies transitioning from traditional methods.

Remember: LeSS is not "Less Agile" but rather an approach to maintain agility in large-scale environments. Consider your project requirements and team dynamics before choosing a framework.

3. Disciplined Agile (DA)

Disciplined Agile (DA) is often called an "agile framework," but it's more accurate to think of it as a process decision toolkit. Unlike frameworks that prescribe specific practices, DA empowers teams and organizations to choose the best way of working (WoW) for their unique context.

Core Values:

  • People-first: DA emphasizes fostering a positive and collaborative work environment.

  • Learning-oriented: Continuous improvement and adaptation are key principles.

  • Context-sensitive: DA recognizes that "one-size-fits-all" doesn't work in agile practices.

Key Components:

  • Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD): A hybrid agile approach for IT solution delivery, combining elements from Scrum, Kanban, XP, and more.

  • Disciplined DevOps (DADOps): Integrates DevOps practices with DA principles.

  • Disciplined Agile IT (DAIT): Guides IT organizations to adopt DA across the enterprise.

  • Goal-driven lifecycle: Aligns work with specific goals and outcomes.

  • Risk-value assessment: Helps balance value delivery with risk management.

  • Decision framework: Offers guidance on choosing appropriate practices.

  • Continual learning: Emphasizes ongoing improvement and feedback loops.

Benefits of Disciplined Agile

  • 1Increased agility: Adapts to changing needs and priorities.
  • 2Improved decision-making: Provides sound, context-specific guidance.
  • 3Enhanced collaboration: Fosters teamwork and communication.
  • 4Faster value delivery: Streamlines processes and eliminates waste.
  • 5Reduced risk: Proactive approach to risk management.

Limitations of Disciplined Agile

  • 1Complexity: The decision framework can be overwhelming for beginners.
  • 2Requires training: Effective implementation requires understanding the toolkit.
  • 3Not prescriptive: May be challenging for those seeking "cookbook" solutions.

Who Uses Disciplined Agile Framework?

DA is a highly adaptable toolkit used by a diverse range of organizations:

  • IT teams: Delivering software applications and solutions.

  • Enterprise businesses: Transforming their agility across all departments.

  • Government agencies: Modernizing their IT infrastructure and processes.

  • Startups: Scaling quickly and efficiently.

Overall, Disciplined Agile offers a unique approach to achieving business agility by empowering teams to choose the right practices for their context, fostering continuous learning, and prioritizing collaboration.

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Final Thoughts

The best framework is the one that fits your team and project like a well-worn hiking boot. Experiment, explore, and adapt to find your perfect Agile path. Bonus tip: combine frameworks! Don't be afraid to mix and match elements from different approaches to create a unique system that works for you.

"Agile isn't a one-size-fits-all approach. It's a toolbox filled with frameworks like Scrum, Kanban, and XP. Choose the right tool for the job, and you'll unlock the power of agility."


Choosing the right framework depends on your specific project and team context. Here's a general breakdown:

  • Scrum: Great for projects with clear goals and deadlines, and well-suited for software development. Requires dedicated roles and ceremonies.

  • Kanban: Flexible and visual, ideal for ongoing projects with evolving requirements. No set rituals, focus on continuous flow.

  • Lean: Emphasis on minimizing waste and maximizing value delivery. Good for projects focusing on efficiency and continuous improvement.

Start by exploring core Agile principles and then research each framework. Consider your project size, team dynamics, and desired level of structure to make an informed decision.

Absolutely not! Agile principles can be applied to various projects, including marketing, design, construction, and even personal goals. The key is finding a framework that aligns with your specific needs, regardless of the industry.


Start by educating your team on Agile principles and the benefits of the chosen framework. Begin with a small pilot project to test the waters and gain practical experience. Encourage collaboration, transparency, and open communication throughout the transition. Remember, agility is a mindset shift, not just a new toolset.


Common challenges include overcoming resistance to change, managing evolving requirements, and ensuring effective communication within the team. Additionally, adapting established workflows and performance metrics to an Agile environment can require adjustment.



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