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Scrum vs Traditional Project Management

Scrum vs Traditional Project Management

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August 14, 2022

Traditional project management focuses on detailed upfront planning, while Scrum focuses on rapid value delivery.

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

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

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

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

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