Most of the time, if I am opening a new conversation with a client about agile, the first thing I get back is 'Do you mean Scrum?' or something along those lines. In recent years the terms have become almost completely analogous with one another amongst the uninitiated. This is really bad because, while Scrum is definitely Agile, Agile is not always Scrum.
The Agile Manifesto
For me, anything that is based off of the Agile Manifesto, or 'The Manifesto for Agile Software Development' to give it it's proper name, is Agile. In fact, the manifesto was drafted in 2001, quite some time after Scrum had been put together by co-creators Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland.
The creators of Scrum were key members in the formation of the manifesto and the 12 guiding principles behind it, but so were thought leaders from many other camps, all of which can be regarded as Agile, and all of which are deserving of consideration in terms of evaluating the best solution to fit with your business.
You can read more about the manifesto here.
There are many Agile frameworks, other than Scrum, around today. They include, but are not limited to the following...
- Adaptive Software Development (ASD)
- Agile Unified Process (AUP)
- Crystal Methodologies
- Disciplined Agile Delivery
- Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM)
- Extreme Programming (XP)
- SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework)
Some of these are more original, others are hybrid frameworks, such as Scrumban. SAFe is only arguably Agile - the link above is to a very good and balanced review of the framework by Manifesto contributor Ron Jeffries.
Being the best we can be
In order to be the best that we can be it is important not to get too dogmatically attached to a particular approach or framework. Each of these approaches has something that it can teach the other or something that is just what your next client may need to pull everything together. One size does not fit all.