Why is Scrum useful?

Why is Scrum useful?
Waterfall got its name from fixed dimensions of scope, resources and time creating a waterfall of dependencies.


What is type of Management is Scrum and why is it better than classical Project Management? To clear that up with an image, lets look at exhibit A:

Waterfall vs Scrum

So, as we can see, in Classical Project Management, the scope is fixed and the costs and deadline do vary.

Comparison of Classic vs Modern Project


Dimension Negotiable
Scope Fixed
Time Fixed
Resources Fixed


Dimension Negotiable Artifact
Scope Variable Product and Sprint Backlogs
Time Fixed Sprints
Resources Fixed Sprints

Is that something you are willing to put up with, then Waterfall is the way to go for your project. However, you may still want to continue reading to find out what the benefits of empiricism vs belief is. Predictability of classical project management does not mean that these prediction based upon pure belief are turning out to be true, quite the contrary, in 99.9% of all cases the arising of oracle-like predictions are turning out to be false.

This is for a various of reasons. First it is academically proven that IBM's Function Point Analysis does not work 1, second, if every dimension of the Project Management triangle is fixed, the project can not be adapted to changing customer requirements, whereas Scrum can. Third, and this follows from the last point I made, FPA is not empirical since not all requirements of the project can be known before it has even started.

So, we will be way better of, if we stay with fixed costs and a fixed deadline, but introduce a variable scope as in Scrum. Furthermore, Scrum tries to fill the Project Management Gap by introducing the Product Vision, Product Goal and Release Planning, something most classical Projects do not address, so Scrum do let go of the Project Manager role, however that role is fullfilled by the Scrum Team and all accountabilities in a shared and self-organised fashion. This has the benefit that the responsibility and ownership of project outcome in Scrum is now partially shifted to the Development Team and therefore they have some skin in the game and are interested in success.

Now let's start our deep dive into the Scrum framework.

Agile Values

You probably heard of these before but I want to explain a bit on them and how to understand these Agile values.

People over processes

Create an environment where people can collaborate and communicate. Tools and processes are prone to slow adoption to fast and rapidly changing requirements

Software over documentation

Streamline documentation. Working software is the best indicator for success.

Customer collaboration over contract negotiation

Not only at te beginning or end of the project, but this results in only fullfiling contractual requirements, and not meeting expectations resulting in failure of the project.

Responding to change over following a plan

A planned waterfall project can't adapt to new or changing requirements, especially at later stages, missing opportunity of reacting to customer feedback resulting in a less successful product.

12 Agile Principles

(1) Highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software or product features
(2) Welcome changing requirements, even late in development, to harness change for customer competitive advantage.

tbc (to be continued)..