Scrum vs Traditional PM

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 data-based, iterative decision making in which the primary focus is on delivering products that satisfy customer 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.

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

ParametersScrumTraditional Project Management
Emphasis is onPeopleProcesses
DocumentationMinimal – only as requiredComprehensive
Process styleIterativeLinear
Upfront planningLowHigh
Prioritization of RequirementsBased on business value and regularly updatedFixed in the Project Plan
Quality assuranceCustomer centricProcess centric
OrganizationSelf-organizedManaged
Management styleDecentralizedCentralized
ChangeUpdates to Productized Product BacklogFormal Change Management System
LeadershipCollaborative, Servant LeadershipCommand and control
Performance measurementBusiness valuePlan conformity
Return on InvestmentEarly/throughout project lifeEnd of project life
Customer involvementHigh throughout the projectVaries depending on the project lifecycle