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One Or Many

The figure below models the increase in team stress level versus time for waterfall and time-boxed projects. As a project nears a delivery date, the stress levels increase dramatically as the team fixes turds, integrates individually developed features into the whole, and takes care of the boring but important stuff that nobody wanted to do earlier.

waterfall and scrum stress

One tradeoff between the two types of projects is maximum stress level vs. number of stressful events. The maximum level of experienced stress is much higher for waterfall than any one time-boxed sprint, but it only occurs once as opposed to monthly. Pick your poison:  a quick death by guillotine or a slow death by a thousand cuts.

Agilistas would have everyone believe that time-boxed projects impose a constant but very low level of  healthy stress on team members while waterfall quagmires impose heart-attack levels of stress on the team. They may be right, because…..

Einstein Make Shit Up

(In case you haven’t noticed, BD00 is feeling the need to use the Einstein pic above more and more in his posts. I wonder why that is.)

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