The Scrum methodology of agile software development marks a dramatic departure from waterfall management. In fact, Scrum and other agile processes were inspired by its shortcomings. The Scrum methodology emphasizes communication and collaboration, functioning software, and the flexibility to adapt to emerging business realities — all attributes that suffer in the rigidly ordered waterfall paradigm.
There is an interesting article on the Scrum Alliance Website entitled “Negotiating Scrum Through a Waterfall”. Phil Southward, CSM, CSP details the considerations development teams must face in a transition. Is it all or nothing, or can these two development methods coexist? Does it depend upon the project or how willing the organization is willing to embrace new methodologies? http://www.scrumalliance.org/articles/189-negotiating-scrum-through-a-waterfall
Phil’s intent in writing this article is not to pit the two methodologies against each other. Although his preference leans toward agile, he realizes that going full agile is sometimes not possible, particularly in the beginning of the transition. Rather his intent is to explore how Scrum can fit into a waterfall environment when the organization is unable, or unwilling to implement Scrum completely.
If you are interested in this discussion and want to explore the differences of Scrum and Waterfall in more detail – check out this great whitepaper “ Introduction to Agile Software Development” written by Victor Szalvay, CollabNet CTO and CST. It’s an excellent primer for those new to Scrum and agile. Szalvay discusses agile’s origins, its basic concepts, and how it has revolutionized the way software is developed.
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