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 frequent, iterative decision making in which the primary focus is on delivering products faster on a consistent cadence that satisfies customer’s changing 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.

ParametersScrumTraditional
Emphasis is onPeopleProcesses
DocumentationMinimal - only as requiredComprehensive
Process StyleIterativeLinear
Upfront PlanningLowHigh
Prioritization of RequirementsBased on business value and regularly updatedFixed in the upfront Project Plan
Quality AssuranceCustomer-centricProcess-centric
OrganizationSelf-organizedManaged
Management StyleDecentralizedCentralized
ChangeUpdates to Prioritized Product BacklogChange Management System
LeadershipCollaborative, Servant LeadershipCommand and Control
Performance MeasurementBusiness value deliveredPlan conformity
Return on InvestmentEarly/throughout project lifeEnd of project life
Customer InvolvementHigh throughout the projectVaries depending on the project lifecycle

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