Scrum is wonderful as agility in the right context is wonderful. But to suggest that Scrum’s success rate is 39 percent versus 11 percent for waterfall is misleading. From a best practices perspective, Scrum projects should have these attributes: 1) can be organized in modules; 2) requirements frequently changes or inadequately specified; 3) dedicated team of professionals who can wear multiple hats and plays different roles; and 4) strong leadership (or empowered workforce) that can make rapid decisions. Attributes for waterfall projects are the opposite, but most importantly, waterfall projects are ideally applied to larger and more complex projects where upfront planning is paramount. By the very nature of size and complexity, waterfall projects are more difficult and thus exhibit lower success rate. There’s another reason. Waterfall projects are also called “big bang” projects in which project deliverable are realized at the same time while agile is delivered over time. Thus, failure in waterfall projects tend to be “total” while agile is “incremental”. Advocates of agile would argue that’s one of the attractiveness of agile, and I agree. But not all projects can be agile. In summary, both agile and waterfall methodologies have their advantages and disadvantages. When applied inTcorrectly, there can be significant issues downstream. For example, knowing what I know of software development, I cannot help but suspect that the rapid increase in security breaches today is related to the increasing use of agile in which software security is a patchwork instead of a solid platform. On the other hand, many of the waterfall projects in which the “tall stack of futility” cannot be more productively replaced by a small, dedicated team of multi-talented professionals. Often all that is needed is strong leadership at the helm that is willing to empower the team.
TeWu’s comment on the below article titled, ” How project management turned into a Scrum “
Lisa Pollack for FT.com writes: A Berlin company, founded in 2013, built an online service that allows new customers to open a bank account in under eight minutes. It sends transaction notifications, displays spending breakdowns, while also offering money transfers by text and oneclick blocking of a stolen card. The company, Number26, has signed up more than 30,000 customers after launching what it deems “Europe’s most modern bank account” in January. In April, it received €10m of funding from Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures.
These impressive milestones are unlikely to perturb big name banks as they size up their newest competitor, though. The truly frightening thing is that Number26 has only 45 employees. Competition like this from small, young companies, is prompting some wellestablished businesses — from banks such as ING to the tractor maker Deere & Co — to adopt socalled “Agile” methodologies for product development, most commonly the variant known as “Scrum”. Such approaches were previously limited to software developers such as those at Number26. The incumbents’ thinking is that becoming Agile should help them both respond to change and deliver products faster. Understanding this shift requires a dissection of the old ways as much as the new. Tottering topdown approach The performance gap between the newer Agile ways of working and more traditional styles of topdown, plandriven project management is huge.
The most commonly used old approach, “Waterfall”, has a success rate of just 11 per cent, according to The Standish Group , a researcher. A successful project is defined as one completed in a reasonable period, within budget and to the satisfaction of users. Waterfall involves a lengthy process of gathering and documenting all aspects of the new product. The documents are passed through assorted departments to be signed off. Jeff Sutherland, cocreator of Scrum, refers to such requirements as a “tall stack of futility”. They force people to “endorse a fantasy”, he says, as projects rarely proceed as envisaged, leading to cost overruns and often outright failure. SNIP, the article continues @ FT.com, click here to continue reading….