Agile Methodology – Hierarchy of frameworks and recent trends (2023)

The adoption of Agile methodologies has spread far beyond software development since the Agile manifesto was created in 2001. As a result, today Agile is embraced by thousands of engineering, manufacturing, and service companies. The development has also led to rapid branching of methodologies coming from Agile theory. A fresh project manager might even find it hard to handle all the abbreviations before he can get on track in an Agile company.

If you ever found yourself confused by the number of popular Agile methodologies and their hierarchy, then this post is exactly for you. Let’s start from a cheat sheet with all the magic names in one place.

Agile Methodology – Hierarchy of frameworks and recent trends (1)

What is Agile methodology?

At the center of it all lies the theory, representing the 4 core values and 12 principles of Agile defined in the manifesto. However, the Agile theory in itself does not provide any specific rules, it simply reflects what the project management teams should strive for. In other words, that is Agile standards like continuous improvements, speed delivery, customer satisfaction, consistency, collaboration, simplicity, and others. Therefore, we separated Agile in the picture, so that we would not start to associate it with just one methodology.

List of Agile methodologies

From the overall Agile rules, stem the various ways of application. And those are what we describe as various Agile frameworks or methodologies. Teams choose to use one of these approaches based on their team process and needs. In fact, teams often switch from one approach to another until they find one that is closest to their style of working and goals.

It is important to note, that all of these approaches are considered to be Agile, but not one of them represents Agile explicitly. We have divided them into the first and second-generation approaches depending on if they were created from scratch or derived as a mix of other Agile applications.

First-generation Agile approaches

To begin with, the first generation of Agile methodologies definition was developed straight after the Agile manifesto or adapted to fit its requirements. They list closest to agile in the cheat sheet.

Agile Modeling

Agile Modelingis a practice-based framework for effective modeling anddocumentationof software-based systems.


Adaptive software development (ASD) is an Agile methodology that embodies the principle that continuous adaptation of the process to the work at hand is the normal state of affairs. It replaces the traditionalwaterfallcycle with a repeating series ofspeculating,collaborateandlearncycles. Read more on Agile vs Waterfall.


Agile Unified Process (AUP) applies Agile techniques includingtest-driven development(TDD),Agile modeling(AM), Agile change management, anddatabase refactoringto improve productivity.

Crystal Clear

Crystal Clear Methodis a lightweight, flexible methodology from Alistair Cockburn in 2004. It is designed for small teams of 6-8 people to develop non-critical business applications.

(Video) An Overview of Agile Development


Dynamic systems development method (DSDM)fixes cost, quality, and time at the outset. It uses theMoSCoW prioritizationof scope intomusts,shoulds,coulds,andwill not haves. By that, it adjusts the project deliverables to meet the statedtime constraint.


Feature-driven development (FDD)is anAgile methodology that, as its name suggests, organizes software development around making progress on features. However, features in the FDD context are not necessarily product features in the commonly understood sense. They are rather more similar to user stories in Scrum.


Lean software developmentis a translation oflean manufacturingprinciples and practices to thesoftware developmentdomain. Adapted from theToyota Production System, it is emerging with the support of a pro-lean subculture within theAgilecommunity.


Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)promotes alignment, collaboration, and delivery across large numbers of Agile teams. It leverages three primary bodies of knowledge:Agile software development,lean product development,andsystems thinking.


Scrumis the most popular agile project delivery framework for developing, delivering, and sustaining complex products. Its main idea is breaking work into goals that can be completed within sprints. Daily scrums and sprint retrospectives create space for continuous improvement. The Scrum Team consists of aProduct Owner, theDevelopment Team,and aScrum Master. Scrum Teams are self-organizing and cross-functional.

Agile Methodology – Hierarchy of frameworks and recent trends (2)


Extreme programming (XP)is asoftware development methodologythat intends to improve software quality and responsiveness to changing customer requirements. As a type ofAgile software development, it advocates frequent “releases” in short development cycles.

We consider this list to be the first generation methodologies. They were not influenced by or based on other Agile types. The second generation of methodologies is the exact opposite.

The second-generation Agile methodologies list


InKanban,we visualize work items to give participants a view of progress and process, from start to finish. For that Kanban practitioners usually use aKanban board(like Teamhood). There they pull work as capacity permits (work in progress limits exist to ensure a swift workflow). Find more abouttaskmanagement in this Kanban sheet.

(Video) Hierarchy Agile Terminology in Scrum | Achaidemy.Online

Agile Methodology – Hierarchy of frameworks and recent trends (4)

Hybrid Agile approach Scrumban

Scrumbanis a hybrid methodology made of Scrum and Kanban applications. The main features of Scrumban are on-demand planning, prioritization, pull principle, and the usage of a board to structure workflow.

Agile Methodology – Hierarchy of frameworks and recent trends (5)


Large Scaled Scrum(LeSS)is an Agile methodology for scaling Scrum to multiple teams who work together on a single product.The LeSS framework seeks to apply the principles and ideals of Scrum in a large-scale enterprise context swiftly.

DAD Agile methodology framework

Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD)is a people-first, learning-oriented hybrid project management approach to IT solution delivery. It has a risk-value delivery lifecycle, is goal-driven, enterprise aware, and scalable. It supports a robust set of roles, several delivery lifecycles, and provides choices, not prescriptions.


Nexus is an Agile project framework that extends Scrum to guide multiple Scrum Teams on how they work together to deliver working software in every Sprint. It shows how teams share work, manage and minimize dependencies.

Enterprise Scrum

Enterprise scrumis a highly configurable, customer-centric management Agile methodology for achieving true business agility. As well as the organizational ability to adapt quickly and effectively to all forms of change, deliver maximum value and greatest customer satisfaction.

Agile development methodology IXP

Industrial Extreme Programming (IXP)has derived from Extreme Programming and follows the majority of its practices. It adds some new ones as well, such as readiness assessment, viability assessment, project chartering, storytelling, and others. IXPs key values are Communication, Simplicity, Learning, Quality, and Enjoyment.

These second-generation methods come from meshing other Agile methodologyor by trying to improve a single already existing method out there.

One more interesting thing about these different Agile methodologies is that practitioners often use them outside of the traditional Agile industry of software development and more often than not adopt them to serve larger teams and even full corporations.

(Video) Work Items Hierarchy in Agile Projects - Epics, Features, Stories & Tasks - Examples & Best Practice

Trends of different Agile methodologies

According to the 2019 State of Agile report, Scrum is by far the most popular Agile methodology among teams. Scrum has got the major preference because it divides complicated tasks into user stories. It also ensures that the end product suits customer needs via frequent iterations and continuous feedback.

However, this method also has its weaknesses. To make up for the shortcomings in Scrum, a large number of companies are also using different types of Agile methodologies (likeKanban), or a hybrid methodology (like ScrumBan)to reach success.

Agile Methodology – Hierarchy of frameworks and recent trends (6)

Scrum Master Trends reportfrom the year 2019 shows that 81% of the respondents claimed to use Kanban in addition to Scrum.

Agile Methodology – Hierarchy of frameworks and recent trends (7)

In conclusion, the Agile methodologies continue to evolve, while being adopted in different industries and business cultures. The latest developments of mobility, digitalization, and remote workplace accelerate this adoption trend.

Vidas Vasiliauskas


2019 - Present Co-founder and CEO @ Teamhood.
2015-2019 Head of software engineering department at Danske Bank.
2017-2018 Partner Associate Professor at Vilnius University. Lecturer of Software Architecture course
2011 - 2015 Managed numerous smaller IT teams at Prewise.
Co-founder of RaveIT, Eylean, No Brakes Games

Certified Agile product owner and practitioner. Managed large scale enterprise projects as well as launch of small startup products.
MSc of Software Engineering at Vilnius University.

Hobbies: Racing, MTB cycling, Windsurfing

(Video) Spotify Engineering Culture (by Henrik Kniberg)


What are the latest trends in Agile? ›

What are the Latest Trends in Agile?
  1. DevOps is a Higher Organizational Priority in 2023. ...
  2. Upskilling and Cross-skilling Will Be On the Rise. ...
  3. Value Stream Management Has Come to the Fore. ...
  4. Scaled Agile And Scrum Methodologies Continue to Dominate. ...
  5. Designed Thinking and Business Agility. ...
  6. AI and Machine Learning Support Agile.
May 17, 2023

What is the hierarchy in Agile? ›

The Agile Hierarchy preset allows you to visualize any project (or multiple projects) in a traditional Agile hierarchy (Epics > Stories/Tasks > Sub-tasks). The Agile Hierarchy preset works for both Company-managed and Team-managed projects, and it allows you to combine both types of projects into a single structure.

Which Agile framework is the most widely used nowadays? ›

Scrum is, undoubtedly, the most used of the many frameworks underpinning Agile methodology. Scrum is characterised by cycles or stages of development, known as sprints, and by the maximisation of development time for a software product towards a goal, the Product Goal.

What are the 5 stages of agile development? ›

As an example, the full Agile software development lifecycle includes the concept, inception, construction, release, production, and retirement phases.

What are the Agile methodologies for 2023? ›

Continuous Learning and Improvement:

Agile development is founded on the principles of continuous learning and improvement. In 2023, we can expect to see a continued emphasis on these principles, with agile teams focusing on continuous learning and experimentation to identify and implement process improvements.

What are the four levels of agile? ›

The four levels of the scaled agile framework are team level, program level, portfolio level and also include the large solution level.

What are the 5 types of hierarchy levels? ›

Five Types of Hierarchies
  • Traditional Hierarchy: It is the most common structure, often popularly known as the "top-down" management style. ...
  • Flatter Organizations: They are based on fewer layers than the traditional hierarchical companies. ...
  • Flat Organizations: ...
  • Flatarchies: ...
  • Holocratic Organizations:
Sep 22, 2020

What are the 5 pillars of agile organization? ›

The five trademarks of agile organizations
  • North Star embodied across the organization. Mind-set shift. ...
  • Network of empowered teams. Mind-set shift. ...
  • Rapid decision and learning cycles. Mind-set shift. ...
  • Dynamic people model that ignites passion. Mind-set shift. ...
  • Next-generation enabling technology. Mind-set shift.
Jan 22, 2018

What are the top 5 agile techniques? ›

5 Important Types Of Agile Methodology
  • 1) Kanban. Originating from the Japanese language, the translation of the word 'Kanban' is “visual board or signboard” and is connected to the concept of “just in time”! ...
  • 2) Scrum. ...
  • 3) Extreme Programming (XP) ...
  • 4) Crystal. ...
  • 5) Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM)

Which Agile methodology is used most? ›

Scrum is the most popular agile development methodology. Teams work in time-boxed sprints of two to four weeks and each person has a clearly delineated role, such as scrum master or product owner.

How many frameworks are there in Agile methodology? ›

As of the current day, there are more than fifty different Agile frameworks. Let us discuss a few major ones today. In case you're new to Agile then you must learn that Agile is a type of project management philosophy that is incremental & iterative based on its approach.

What are the 6 phase in agile? ›

The Agile software development life cycle is the structured series of stages that a product goes through as it moves from beginning to end. It contains six phases: concept, inception, iteration, release, maintenance, and retirement.

What are the 6 phases of Agile methodology? ›

6 Stages of the Agile Development Life Cycle
  • Scope out and prioritize projects.
  • Diagram requirements for the initial sprint.
  • Construction/iteration.
  • Release the iteration into production.
  • Production and ongoing support for the software release.
  • Retirement.

What is replacing Agile methodology? ›

While Agile was a natural replacement for the Waterfall model and other Scrum practices, DevOps is not a replacement. But, it is a direct successor to Agile. Similar to how time, practices get better; over time, Agile has also grown its challenges, and DevOps has turned out to be the more optimized practice.

What is next level of Agile? ›

Next Level Agility is about the ability of entire organizations to quickly adapt to market changes. In this webinar, David Hawks discussed principles and practices that will be the future of all organizations who want to accelerate and improve their agility.

What is the last phase of Agile? ›

In the last stage of agile software development, the team focuses on ongoing maintenance to address any problems and keep a high level of functionality and performance. Many things are going to happen once users start engaging with the product – the team might have to deal with some bugs or performance issues.

What are the 3 pillars of scrum? ›

Understand Scrum

If you carefully scrutinize scrum, you will find again and again the three pillars of empirical process control: transparency, inspection, and adaptation.

What are the 12 levels of the hierarchy? ›

Organization of Living Things

Biologists recognize 12 levels of organization in the living world. From the simplest to the most complex, these levels include atoms, molecules, organelles, cells, tissues, organs, organ systems, organisms, populations, communities, ecosystems, and finally biospheres.

What are the 4 main types of organizational structures? ›

The four types of organizational structures are functional, multi-divisional, flat, and matrix structures. Others include circular, team-based, and network structures.

What are the major levels of hierarchy? ›

The 3 Different Levels of Management
  • Administrative, Managerial, or Top Level of Management.
  • Executive or Middle Level of Management.
  • Supervisory, Operative, or Lower Level of Management.
Feb 12, 2020

What are the 3 C's of agile leadership? ›

In this talk we'll introduce DevOps and discuss the three C's of DevOps: Character, Collaboration, and Community.

What are the two frameworks in agile? ›

Agile frameworks typically fall into two categories: Frameworks designed for teams, and frameworks designed to help organizations practice Agile at scale, across many teams.

What are the 4 pillars of agile transformation? ›

What are the 4 pillars of Agile?
  • 1: Individuals and interactions over processes and tools.
  • 2: Working software over comprehensive documentation.
  • 3: Customer collaboration over contract negotiation.
  • 4: Responding to change over following a plan.

What is Scrum life cycle? ›

Scrum lifecycle is a number of consecutive steps and iterative stages that should be performed during the realization of any Scrum project. The iterative approach is the main principle of the m lifecycle. The work on a Scrum project is subdivided into segments called Sprints.

How do Scrum and agile differ? ›

The primary difference between Agile and Scrum is that Agile is a project management philosophy that employs a fundamental set of values or principles, whereas Scrum is a precise Agile methodology utilized to facilitate a project.

Which Agile methodology has 7 principles? ›

Lean software development is a concept that helps build the right product in the right way. It is based on seven key principles: eliminating waste, amplifying learning, deciding late, delivering fast, empowering the team, building quality in, and optimizing the whole.

When should you use waterfall over Agile? ›

Waterfall is best for projects with concrete timelines and well-defined deliverables. If your major project constraints are well understood and documented, Waterfall is likely the best approach. The Agile methodology was created for projects where the significant constraints are not well understood.

Is Agile a framework or methodology? ›

The publication of the Agile Manifesto in 2001 marks the birth of agile as a methodology. Since then, many agile frameworks have emerged such as scrum, kanban, lean, and Extreme Programming (XP). Each embodies the core principles of frequent iteration, continuous learning, and high quality in its own way.

Is Kanban part of Agile? ›

Kanban is an Agile management method built on a philosophy of continuous improvement, where work items are “pulled” from a product backlog into a steady flow of work.

What framework is similar to Scrum? ›

The Kanban framework is similar to Scrum in many ways. Kanban also uses a board to help view and keep track of progress, segmenting tasks into three primary columns: “To Do,” “Doing,” and “Done.” However, unlike Scrum, the Kanban board tracks all product work without separating it into sprints.

What is Kanban vs Scrum? ›

Summary: Kanban is a project management framework that relies on visual tasks to manage workflows, while scrum is a project management framework that helps teams structure and manage their work through a set of values, principles, and practices.

What is SDLC in Agile? ›

Definition. Agile SDLC methodology is based on collaborative decision making between requirements and solutions teams, and a cyclical, iterative progression of producing working software. Work is done in regularly iterated cycles, known as sprints, that usually last two to four weeks.

What is the future of agile? ›

Overall Summary. It is difficult to predict the future of Agile but we can definitely see some trends evolving: There has been a lot of experience applying Agile to small, simple single-team development projects; there has been far less experience in scaling Agile to larger and more complex enterprise-level solutions.

What is next level of agile? ›

Next Level Agility is about the ability of entire organizations to quickly adapt to market changes. In this webinar, David Hawks discussed principles and practices that will be the future of all organizations who want to accelerate and improve their agility.

What are the 3 C's in agile? ›

The three Cs stand for Card, Conversation and Confirmation and in this article, I'm going to discuss each of the elements, explaining why, and how to ensure you're doing it right. I'll also scatter in a few tips from my experiences with agile teams.

What are the three main Agile frameworks? ›

What are examples of Agile frameworks? Scrum is the most common Agile framework. Others include the Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM), Crystal, and Feature-Driven Development (FDD).

What are the three levels of agile? ›

There are three levels of Scaled Agile Framework: Portfolio, Program, and Team.

What is the SDLC life cycle in agile? ›

What is agile SDLC? Agile SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle) is a methodology that emphasizes flexibility and iteration in software development. It involves a collaborative effort between cross-functional teams who work together to deliver high-quality software solutions that meet customer requirements.

What is SDLC in agile? ›

Definition. Agile SDLC methodology is based on collaborative decision making between requirements and solutions teams, and a cyclical, iterative progression of producing working software. Work is done in regularly iterated cycles, known as sprints, that usually last two to four weeks.

What has replaced Agile? ›

While Agile was a natural replacement for the Waterfall model and other Scrum practices, DevOps is not a replacement. But, it is a direct successor to Agile.

Is Agile just for it projects? ›

While the Agile methodology was initially designed for software development, it has evolved to encompass many types of projects.

Does Netflix use Agile? ›

Netflix may not be the first company to come to mind when thinking about Agile, but its operation process is a model Agile success. Emerging from the days of video rentals and cable came a new way to digest as many movies and television shows as we want, when we want — Netflix.

What is agile highest priority? ›

The Key Values and Principles of the Agile Manifesto

Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.

What is the next level for Scrum Master? ›

What is the next level for Scrum master? If a Scrum master chooses to move into another role, they have several options for the next phase of their career. Some go on to become a mentor or Agile coach, others become product owners, and some move to an executive career track.


1. Epic and User Stories in Agile | Epic to User Stories | Epic stories | User Stories | KnowledgeHut
(KnowledgeHut upGrad)
2. iCertify Presents Overview on Agile Methodologies
(Icertify Training)
3. 7 LITTLE Known STEPS to a Successful AGILE Implementation (Most People MISS #5)
(Your Agile Coach)
4. Popular Agile Scaling Frameworks
(On Becoming Agile)
5. Configuring issue hierarchy above epics in Advanced Roadmaps
6. Requirements Breakdown in Agile
(Balwant Singh)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Lidia Grady

Last Updated: 11/02/2023

Views: 6567

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (45 voted)

Reviews: 84% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Lidia Grady

Birthday: 1992-01-22

Address: Suite 493 356 Dale Fall, New Wanda, RI 52485

Phone: +29914464387516

Job: Customer Engineer

Hobby: Cryptography, Writing, Dowsing, Stand-up comedy, Calligraphy, Web surfing, Ghost hunting

Introduction: My name is Lidia Grady, I am a thankful, fine, glamorous, lucky, lively, pleasant, shiny person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.