Imagine you are a Project Manager. You have 2 important projects to deliver.
Project A involves a lot of change and customer interaction
Project B has a strict timeline and exact requirements
Choosing the right approach is essential to project success.How do you choose the right approach?
Two popular project management tools are Agile and Waterfall. Let's try them out!
Project Management Approaches
To clarify the opportunities and obstacles of both Waterfall and Agile, let’s begin with a summary of each.
Is a traditional approach to project management.
Tasks and phases are completed in a linear, sequential manner, which means each stage of the project must be completed before the next begins.
There is very little room for unexpected changes.
Projects with multiple dependencies are a good candidate for Waterfall.
Advantages: well-organized, well-documented, firm deadlines
Disadvantages: not good for complex projects, no changes allowed
Is an iterative approach, which means the developmental process is broken into periods of time called iterations or sprints.
Agile is based on the assumption that changes occur as a project develops.
Advantages: speed, flexibility, customer feedback, value-focused
Disadvantages: lack of predictability
If I expect a lot of changes throughout a project, which project management approach should I choose?
One Size Does Not Fit All
Before you choose an approach, it is important to ask yourself some questions. For example:
What is the final goal of the project?
How complex is the project?
How involved does your customer want/need to be in the project?
Do your stakeholders prefer a particular methodology?
When to choose:
Short, simple projects
Scope is known
Clear and fixed requirements
No changes are anticipated
Stakeholder involvement is only required at set milestones
Project will be delivered to the client at the end of the project
Scope is unknown
Requirements are not clear
Likely to change
Stakeholder involvement required at every stage
Project will delivered to the client in iterations, prioritizing the most valuable features first.
Can You Help Maria?
Maria works for a large financial services company. The government recently introduced new rules regarding fraud and Maria's team has 3 months to make the changes.
Maria's team receives a lengthy document outlining requirements and timeline. They don't have any choice but to implement the changes.
What project Management approach should Maria's team take?
Can You Help Abdel?
Abdel works for a small software company, SuperX. SuperX is working with a new client who would like to create a new mobile application for their customers.
The client is not exactly sure what their customers need in terms of functionality, design, or experience. They know they need to create an app to stay competitive.
What project management approach should Abdel use?
Waterfall and Agile each have their strengths and weaknesses. The one you choose depends on the best fit for you and your project.
For your next project ask yourself, do I: