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June 9, 2014
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Scrum vs. Traditional Project Management Approach in Delivering Value

Before we discuss the Scrum and Traditional approaches assessing and maintaining business

justification for a project, let’s understand some of the key differences between these two types of

methodologies.

The emphasis in traditional Project Management is to conduct detailed upfront planning for the

project with emphasis on fixing the scope, cost and schedule – and managing those parameters.

Traditional project management may at times lead to a situation where the objectives of the plan

have been achieved but yet the customer needs are not met. The Scrum framework is founded

on the belief that the knowledge workers of today can offer much more than just their technical

expertise, and that trying to fully map out and plan for an ever-changing environment is not

efficient. Therefore, Scrum encourages data-based, iterative decision making and focuses primarily

on delivering products that satisfy customer requirements.

Now, let’s discuss how Scrum approach is different from Traditional approaches to deliver value

through projects. Scrum aims to deliver the greatest amount of value in the shortest amount of

time. It promotes prioritization and time-boxing over fixing scope, cost and schedule of a project

through detailed planning. Another important feature of Scrum that enables frequent and high

delivery of value is self-organization. Self-organization allows the individuals who are doing the

actual work to estimate and take ownership of tasks.

Unlike in Traditional approach, in Scrum projects, extensive long-term planning is not done prior

to project execution. Planning is done in an iterative manner before each Sprint. This allows quick

and effective response to change, which results in lower costs and ultimately increased profitability

and Return on Investment (ROI). Moreover, value-driven delivery is a key benefit of the Scrum

framework and provides significantly better prioritization and quicker realization of business value.

Because of the iterative nature of Scrum development, there is always at least one release of the

product with minimum marketable features (MMF) available. Even if a project is terminated, there

are usually some benefits or value created prior to termination.

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