Global Accreditation Body for Scrum and Agile Certifications

Scrum vs. Traditional Project Management

Traditional project management emphasizes on conducting detailed upfront planning for the project with emphasis on fixing the scope, cost and schedule - and managing those parameters. Whereas, Scrum encourages data-based, iterative decision making in which the primary focus is on delivering products that satisfy customer requirements.

To deliver the greatest amount of value in the shortest amount of time, Scrum promotes prioritization and Time-boxing over fixing the scope, cost and schedule of a project. An important feature of Scrum is self-organization, which allows the individuals who are actually doing the work to estimate and take ownership of tasks.

Following table summarizes many of the differences between Scrum and traditional project management:

Parameters Scrum Traditional Project Management
Parameter: Emphasis is on Scrum: People Processes
Parameter: Documentation Scrum: Minimal - only as required Comprehensive
Parameter: Process style Scrum: Iterative Linear
Parameter: Upfront planning Scrum: Low High
Parameter: Prioritization of Requirements Scrum: Based on business value and regularly updated Fixed in the Project Plan
Parameter: Quality assurance Scrum: Customer centric Process centric
Parameter: Organization Scrum: Self-organized Managed
Parameter: Management style Scrum: Decentralized Centralized
Parameter: Change Scrum: Updates to Productized Product Backlog Formal Change Management System
Parameter: Leadership Scrum: Collaborative, Servant Leadership Command and control
Parameter: Performance measurement Scrum: Business value Plan conformity
Parameter: Return on Investment Scrum: Early/throughout project life End of project life
Parameter: Customer involvement Scrum: High throughout the project Varies depending on the project lifecycle