The following article is part of the self-preparation for the modern BVOP® Scrum Master Certification program.
Scrum is popular, but that doesn't mean it should always be used. It has advantages.
The Waterfall method is the traditional project management approach. The Waterfall is a linear and consistent procedure. This means that in this approach, you are processing one phase after another in a linear fashion and do not have any overlap in the phases.
- You cannot do the design before you have done the planning.
- You can't get started before you've done the design.
- You can't test anything before the project is ready.
- And so on.
Scrum for rapidly changing requirements
In the real modern world, many products and organizations have to cope with rapidly changing requirements, customers, users, needs.
In Waterfall, where everything is consistent, teams need to have all the requirements at the beginning of the project, and everything is documented, every step is planned, discussed, and approved by multiple stakeholders.
Each change in the project changes the documentation, budgets, and deadlines. BVOP states that this can cause stress for many teams and participants.
When following the Waterfall methodology, it is usually challenging to offer any product to the client or organization before the end of the project.
After a certain amount of time has elapsed after the project's launch, it may not meet the needs of the market.
A possible problematic situation would be if project stakeholders no longer even need what they used to a long time ago.
Waterfall project management is, in fact, excellent and stable. Tasks must be completed one after the other, and detailed planning and design are required before work on the actual project begins.
The Waterfall is very suitable for businesses such as heavy industry and construction, where the direction and scope of the project remain relatively unchanged.
Waterfall, on the other hand, may not be suitable for projects where the product needs constant adaptation to changing requirements and circumstances.
For example, if a product to be developed is a mobile application for artists or a new innovative virtual reality, Waterfall may not be the right method of operation.
One important topic in all Agile practices and Scrum is the value theme, which BVOP strongly emphasizes and generalizes to the overall Business Value idea.
For many products, value is not just a timely completion of a project, adherence to basic rules, or fit into a specific budget.
For some products, business value can be a highly usable user interface. For other products, business value will be quick work; for others, it will be readable text.
Iteration and Increment
Iterations in Scrum
Scrum is organized in cycles.
It is "iterative". It means repetitive. In Scrum, work is organized at intervals called Sprints.
Inspection and adaptation also occur iteratively within each Sprint. Scrum events (Daily Scrum, Sprint Planning, Sprint Review, and Sprint Retrospective) also take place at each iteration (repetition).
Scrum is incremental
During the iteration (also known as Sprint, or the time interval in which the team works), the team works collaboratively to create a "Potentially Shippable Product Increment".
This "increment" is a working version of the product being developed that can be made available to end-users. These increments (better versions) must be fully completed. There should be no hidden, unknown work that still needs to be done.
Inspection is performed on the “incremental” product, and any adjustments made aim to create a better and more valuable version.
What is Increment?
The simplest explanation is that increment is the current version of the product you are developing. This current version contains all the previous work put into the product, plus the one in the current sprint.
If your project just started and you are in the first sprint, your increment is only the completed work for the current (first) period.
If you are already in the second sprint, then your increment is simply the outcome of the previous sprint, plus the tasks you completed during the current sprint.