Agile vs. Scrum vs. Waterfall
When it comes to project management methodologies, it may seem like there are countless options that are always changing and advancing. The most common project management methods used in business and enterprise are Agile and Waterfall along with the implementation method of Scrum. There are differences and benefits between Agile, Scrum and Waterfall depending on your organization’s goals and the project at hand. Another common tool in project management is Kanban boards, which are most often used in Lean Six Sigma, a process improvement methodology.
Agile vs. Waterfall
Agile is a project management methodology that focuses on adaptability and regular team and stakeholder communication throughout the life of a project. The iterative nature of Agile project management allows for greater adaptability during development. It is best used for projects where change is anticipated or expected throughout the lifespan. For example, in the IT world, developing a user interface application would require a lot of testing and regular feedback and improvements to meet the end user’s needs. Using an Agile approach allows development teams to incorporate beta testing to ensure the delivery of a more effective end product.
Waterfall is a project management methodology that relies on linear planning to differentiate tasks and eliminate variables. In waterfall, one phase of a project cannot be started until the previous has been fully completed. Unlike Agile, in which you can return to various points throughout a sprint or feedback cycle. Waterfall is effective in that it eliminates the need for change, whereas Agile incorporates change throughout development.
Before a Waterfall project begins, all assets, documents, requirements, tasks and expectations are collected and assigned to specific team members. Then, each phase of the project is completed in a linear and dependent fashion. For example, in a construction project where there are strict contracts and standards, a more linear approach may be required. Construction on a new building can’t begin until the architectural plans are complete, zoning and permit regulations are met and materials are acquired
Agile vs. Scrum
At Goodwin, we offer courses and professional skill tracks in Agile Scrum, as it is the project management methodology that is growing at a greater pace, leaving the more rigid rules of Waterfall behind. So what’s the difference between Agile and Scrum?
Scrum is a framework within Agile project management that utilizes short development “sprints” that are powered by iterative feedback from stakeholders and internal teams throughout the many phases of project development and delivery. Projects are broken out into smaller phases or milestones and once feedback is delivered and implemented, Agile teams can then move onto the next phase of development to reduce the need for redevelopment at the final phase of delivery.
Scrum is simply how Agile gets done. Agile Scrum focuses on conducting sprints, extracting feedback and clarifying tasks for each member of a team. Regular communication and collaboration across teams is a hallmark of Agile Scrum.
READY TO EXPLORE AGILE SCRUM TRAINING?
Drexel’s Goodwin College of Professional Studies offers professional pathways and courses to get up to speed about Agile Scrum. You can take two-day courses, ranging from beginner to advanced levels here on campus. Or, you can explore a professional skill track in Agile project management that includes on-campus courses and online essential skill training through The Skills Hub.
If your company is using waterfall and exploring adopting Agile, consider about Agile project management with Scrum training for your employees. Talk to us about getting a complimentary training skills gap analysis and our multiple employee discount.
In the meantime, please take a look at our Benefits of Agile Scrum page for more information on the topic.