Popular project management approaches

The Waterfall is a traditional methodology in which tasks and phases are completed in a linear, sequential manner, and each stage of the project must be completed before the next begins. The project manager is responsible for prioritizing and assigning tasks to team members. In Waterfall, the criteria used to measure quality is clearly defined at the beginning of the project.

Agile involves short phases of collaborative, iterative work with frequent testing and regularly implemented improvements. Some stages and tasks happen at the same time as others. In Agile projects, teams share responsibility for managing their own work. Scrum and Kanban are examples of Agile frameworks, which are specific development approaches based on the Agile philosophy.

Scrum is an Agile framework that focuses on developing, delivering, and sustaining complex projects and products through collaboration, accountability, and an iterative process. Work is completed by small, cross-functional teams led by a Scrum Master and is divided into short Sprints with a setlist of deliverables.

Kanban is both an Agile approach and a tool that provides visual feedback about the status of the work in progress through the use of Kanban boards or charts. With Kanban, project managers use sticky notes or note cards on a physical or digital Kanban board to represent the team’s tasks with categories like “To do,” “In progress,” and “Done.”

Lean uses the 5S quality tool to eliminate eight waste areas, save money, improve quality, and streamline processes. Lean’s principles state that you can do more with less by addressing dysfunctions that create waste. Lean implements a Kanban scheduling system to manage production.

Six Sigma involves reducing variations by ensuring that quality processes are followed every time. The Six Sigma method follows a process-improvement approach called DMAIC, defining, measuring, analyzing, improving, and controlling.

Lean Six Sigma is a combination of Lean, and Six Sigma approaches. It is often used in projects that aim to save money, improve quality, and move through processes quickly. Lean Six Sigma is also ideal for solving complex or high-risk problems. The 5S quality tool, the DMAIC process, and the use of Kanban boards are all components of this approach.
Despite their differences, these project management methodologies require communication and collaboration among various teams and aim to deliver projects on time and within budget.

Scrum

What is Scrum?

Scrum is an agile way to manage a project, usually software development. Agile software development with Scrum is often perceived as a methodology; but rather than viewing Scrum as methodology, think of it as a framework for managing a process. 

A framework is a basic structure composed of a set of practices, techniques, tools or concepts used to solve a problem or guide a specific activity. This framework helps teams work together. Scrum encourages teams to learn through experiences, self-organize while working on a problem, and reflect on their wins and losses to continuously improve.

While the Scrum I’m talking about is most frequently used by software development teams, its principles and lessons can be applied to all kinds of teamwork. Often thought of as an agile project management framework, Scrum describes a set of meetings, tools, and roles that work in concert to help teams structure and manage their work.

What Are the Scrum Principles?

There is no better way to get to know something or someone than to understand its principles, do you agree? Therefore, we bring each of the principles of Scrum so that you fully understand the concept of this framework.

According to the SBOK ™ Guide (Scrum Body of Knowledge), Scrum has six principles: Control of empirical processes, Self-organization, Collaboration, Value-based prioritization, Time-boxing, and Iterative development

By incorporating Scrum’s values, a team takes on shared responsibility for success and avoids the traps. Unless each Scrum Team member sticks to these values, a team won’t have the foundation it needs to be successful. And whether or not your team follows the Scrum framework, these are solid values for any group.

Scrum events

The Scrum framework is marked by five Events. These are the Sprint, Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review, and Sprint Retrospective.

  • A Sprint is a specified period during which a Scrum team produces a product.
  • Sprint Planning is a meeting where the work to be done during a Sprint is mapped out. During this meeting, the entire team clearly defines deliverables for the Sprint. It assigns the work necessary to achieve that goal.
  • The Daily Scrum is a 15-minute daily meeting where the team has a chance to get on the same page and put together a strategy for the next 24 hours. Work from the previous day is analyzed, while updates are shared for work taking place that day.
  • The Sprint Review takes place after a Sprint ends. During Review, the Product Owner explains what planned work either was or was not completed during the Sprint. The team then presents completed work and talks through what went well and how problems were solved.
  • The Sprint Retrospective also takes place after a Sprint. Retros provide a dedicated forum for the team to analyze their process during the previous Sprint and make adaptations as needed. At Skillcrush, we typically start with some kind of icebreaker game (it’s more fun than it sounds) to get the feedback going and allow ourselves to honestly communicate with our teammates.

Scrum artifacts

Artifacts are just dynamic records that provide project details, including the Product Backlog, Sprint Backlog, and Product Increments.