Is Sprint a mini Waterfall?
Is Agile Sprint a mini Waterfall?
The Answer is “NO”
Agile methodology is an approach to project management and is based on “time-boxed” iterative and incremental development, where requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing, cross-functional teams.
When following Agile Scrum framework, iteration which is called “Sprint”, involves a cross-functional team working through a full software development cycle, including planning, requirements analysis, design, coding, unit testing, and acceptance testing; and then a working product is demonstrated to stakeholders.
A sprint is the basic unit of development in Scrum. The sprint is a “time-boxed” effort, i.e. it is restricted to a specific duration. The duration is fixed in advance for each sprint and is normally between one to four weeks.
Within any Sprint, Design, Development & Testing stage of one User Story can run in parallel with different stages of other User Stories. i.e. Design, Development & Testing activities are a continuous process, not the sequential process as it is in the case of a Waterfall project.
An Agile Iterative Model:
A Traditional Waterfall Model:
In Waterfall model, project moves to next stage once a particular stage is completed. i.e. project cannot move to development until design is completed, likewise project cannot move to testing stage until all the development works have been completed.
In the Waterfall world, if the project is behind schedule, the project timelines are usually extended. In the Agile, the Sprint duration does not change, its “time-boxed”, even if all the committed scope could not be completed during the duration of the Sprint. If, at the end of planned Sprint duration, there are in-scope items that are not complete, they are put back into the product backlog, re-prioritized for next or any future Sprint.
In a Waterfall project, the cadence cannot be defined up front. A Sprint, in contrast, always works on a well-defined cadence.
Author: Mohammad Sami, Agile Coach
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