What is the difference between ITIL and Scrum?

ITIL and Scrum are two different frameworks used in the field of project management. While both aim to improve efficiency and effectiveness, they have distinct differences in their approach and focus.


ITIL is a set of best practices for IT service management. It provides a comprehensive framework for managing IT services, processes, and operations. ITIL focuses on aligning IT services with the needs of the business and improving overall service quality. It emphasizes a structured and process-oriented approach, with a strong emphasis on documentation, standardization, and continuous improvement. ITIL is often used in large organizations with complex IT infrastructures.


Scrum, on the other hand, is an agile project management framework primarily used for software development. It is based on iterative and incremental development principles, where projects are divided into small, manageable units called sprints. Scrum promotes collaboration, flexibility, and adaptability, allowing teams to respond quickly to changing requirements. It emphasizes self-organization, cross-functional teams, and regular feedback. Scrum is particularly suited for projects with rapidly changing requirements and a need for frequent delivery of working software.

Differences Between ITIL and Scrum

ITIL and Scrum are both methodologies that organizations use to manage work, but they differ significantly in their purpose, approach, and application. Here are some key differences between them:

  1. Purpose: ITIL focuses on IT service management, ensuring IT services align with business needs. Scrum, on the other hand, is a framework primarily used for managing and controlling software and product development using iterative and incremental practices.

  2. Approach: ITIL follows a more structured, process-oriented approach based on defined roles and responsibilities, while Scrum promotes a collaborative, self-organizing approach with cross-functional teams.

  3. Flexibility: Scrum is known for its flexibility as it welcomes changes anytime during the project for the sake of the product’s improvement. In contrast, ITIL, while adaptable, provides a set of predefined and consistent practices.

  4. Focus Area: ITIL covers a broad range of IT management areas including strategy, design, transition, operation, and continuous service improvement. Scrum, however, focuses on the product development lifecycle, primarily development and delivery.

  5. Delivery: Scrum operates in short sprints, typically two weeks long, with each sprint resulting in potentially shippable increments of the product. ITIL doesn’t prescribe such a timeframe and focuses on the continuous delivery of service to the end-users.

  6. Roles: In Scrum, there are three defined roles: Product Owner, Scrum Master, and Development Team. ITIL, on the other hand, has many roles depending upon the processes, such as service manager, change manager, incident manager, etc.

  7. Measurement of Success: In Scrum, success is often measured by the delivery of product increments that bring value to the customer. ITIL measures success through metrics like service uptime, compliance with service level agreements (SLAs), and overall service quality.