Project Management: Scrum or Waterfall?

Agile methodologies require a change in mindset from traditional methods. While Waterfall methods focus on scope and use it to determine the costs and schedule, Agile frameworks focus on value and use it to determine the quality concept of product or service developed.

One of the most known Agile methods is Scrum.

Scrum works in an iterative manner, in which projects are completed in such a way such that functionalities are released at the end of each iteration (called a Sprint in Scrum). Preferably, those with the highest business value are completed first. Cross-functional teams work in parallel across Sprints to deliver potentially shippable solutions at the end of each Sprint. The number of the work not done decreases steadily throughout the Scrum project. In traditional Waterfall techniques, the number of functionalities not done remains high until the end or very near the end of the project.

Because each Sprint results in an end-solution (which is a part of the overall project), there is a measurable objective that the team has to accomplish, and this ensures that the team is progressing accordingly, and the project will be completed on time. Traditional methods do not present such timely checks and, therefore, can result in situations in which the team drifts off schedule and ends up with a lot of work at the end.

While the Waterfall model is suitable for ordered and/or predictable environments, Scrum can be more successful in changing environments.
Christiane Tscharf

About SCRUM in Portuguese
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