Comparing Two Methodologies Scrum and Rational Unified Process

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September 2011
Features and attributes of SCRUM Methodology

According to DeGrace (1990), SCRUM as a project management methodology is among the famous techniques. It is viewed as an Agile technique with iterative project approach on activities. As a new methodological approach, it has more advantages compared to the old classic methodologies. As earlier mentioned, the methodology is iterating, where the production is accomplished in small cycles (iterations). Each of the produced products could be complete, ready to be merged with the other completed components. During the development of these functional components, the incremental process has to take place during iteration; new features or functionalities are added. It is vital to note that, the methodology adopts its own procedural steps and terminology to be used throughout the development, aimed at maintaining teamwork.

The Scrum process. (DeGrace 1990)
Scrum methodology is regarded as one of the best technique among agile methodologies. It is most suitable for development of complicated projects, which are characterized with rapidly changing environment (requirements and other factors). The features of this methodology, all of which are important, make this technique successful. One of the features is that, the process is iterative, which means that products are realized at the end of each sprint/ iteration, or a cycle; this means that a revised version of a sprint would be incremental. This feature is important since it helps in achievement of small project components, which would be completed within a short period (mostly ranging from one week to one month). Each component or a unit is allocated to a team, which has to come up with the required product before the next step is approved for iteration (Per and Bruce 2006). Another vital feature is the presence of phases in the development process. These phases are, pre-game, game, and post game. The pre-game phase involves the planning of activities to be involved and the system architecture to be adopted for the entire project. After the pre-game, the development team can now enter the game phase, in which team members create units in each development sprint. Finally, the units can enter the post game phase if it is complete to be integrated with the other units, if not, it iterates to meet the phase requirements (DeGrace 1990).

Since the Scrum methodology has the scrum team, product owner, Scrum Master, and the developers, they must all keep in touch with the events surrounding the project. This means that the project owner has to understand all the project/product constraints and dispatch the required finances, while the Scrum Master has to be informed of the financial status by the scrum owner for him to continue steering the process (Per and Bruce 2006). If both the owner and the scrum Master satisfy the environment, then the developers can continue with the process of development. This situation introduces another feature where the scrum process is interactive with the external factors such as competitive pressure, time, or budget. The process has to interact and adapt to these factors until the post game phase.

The last feature of this methodology is the requirement to review the process frequently to accommodate the emerging project needs. This would occur if the scrum team changes the budget, time lines, or development challenges arise (Per and Bruce 2006).

Disadvantages of Scrum

Scrum methodology is a deviation from the traditional project management; this presents numerous challenges such as failure to tell the project stage since there is no artifacts. In addition, the absence of artifacts presents more challenges than advantages; it is not possible to predict the budget to be used, it is hard to tell how far the project is from finishing, and it is not easy to perform maintenance on the system since there...
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