“But isn’t that just doing mini-waterfalls?”, asked a recent attendee at one of our Agile Essentials courses.
Scrum requires the team do all the same type of activity they used to do in a Waterfall environment — analysis, design, build and testing their product. I showed the person the faster feedback cycles and the anti-patterns of waterfalling Sprints, but it still wasn’t enough for her.
What I needed was a side-by-side comparison that illustrated how each of these two methods handled different aspects of project management and delivery.
|Schedule driven||Value driven|
|Plan creates the cost, schedule, estimates||Valued features drive estimates|
|Development is phase based and sequential||Development is iterative and incremental|
|Focus is predictive||Focus is adaptive|
|Demonstrate progress by reporting on activity and stage gateways||Demonstrate progress by delivering valued features every two weeks|
|Product quality at the end after extensive test/fix activities||Quality is built in with upfront standards|
|Batches are large (frequently 100%)||Optimises smaller, economically sensible, batch sizes for speed of delivery of valued features|
|Critical learning applies on one major analyse-design-build-test loop||Leverages multiple concurrent learning loops|
|Process is tolerant of late learning||Work is organised for fast feedback|
|Handovers between analyse-design-build-test phases with knowledge stored in documents||Cross-functional team with knowledge of the product invested in the whole team through shared experiences|
For me, the main difference in comparing the two methods is:
- Scrum is value driven, where the plan is formed around the question “what is the most valuable item we can deliver today”
- Waterfall produces a plan from which costs, schedule and estimates are created
If I wanted to deliver value to clients and stakeholders, Scrum is the method I would choose.