Having been part of project teams and managing projects or project modules in consulting, I immediately started to contrast the principles and ideas of scrum with the traditional project management approach I had seen so many times in consulting.
The fundamental differences between the waterfall as a traditional project management approach and the scrum method lie in their top down vs. bottom up approaches to fundamental project management.
While the waterfall method tries to fit work to the project schedule, e.g., by allocating more resources to overcome roadblocks to catch up with the schedule, the scrum method adapts the project schedule to contingencies and tries to not overwhelm resources in case of obstacles.
The following table compares some of the most important features of project management under both the waterfall and the scrum principles and broken down by (1) project setup and (2) project management & reporting.
(1) Project setup
(2) Project management & reporting
Based on this comparison, scrum brings many advantages over traditional project management.
However, scrum also introduce challenges for project managers. For example, breaking projects with many interdependencies out into individual tasks might be challenging without a detailed understanding of the technical and organizational infrastructure.
And now it’s on you: Where does your organization fall within this comparison - are you ready for scrum? Have you found challenges with either project management method or have you found better ways to do it?