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Combine Agile and Waterfall

Although you will find likely as many distinctive Project Management approaches as you’ll find Project Managers, there are two well-know production cycle methodologies that have been the topic of significantly discussion in PM circles – agile and waterfall methodologies. As I evolve in my own region of expertise, I am constantly reinventing small aspects of what I contemplate very best practice. Most lately, to address the incredibly complex requirements of a significant client initiative, I challenged myself to come up with a “super” Project Management process that would not only boost the way in which we deliver, but what we deliver at the end of the engagement. I determined there was a strategy to combine the most effective functions of waterfall development disciplines with agile principles for superior results.

Simplistically, the waterfall approach infers structure, control, progression and finite project cycles. This approach works if you have access to limited resources and when specific hours are assigned to granular stages of a project phase. Agile is various in that extra leeway is given for teams to iterate by way of a single deliverable several times until a level of satisfaction is achieved. It’s tough to implement this approach when you are working with shared resources, or when time to market and budget can not be shifted. It is important to comprehend my descriptions of the two approaches are very simplified and highlight key differences – for this article, it’s important that I make the distinction clear. I encourage all readers to conduct their own analysis into every approach far more thoroughly.

Both approaches boast substantial and different positive aspects, and are usually seen as being mutually exclusive of 1 one more. It can be argued, however, that particular elements of both paths can be merged into a single process to accomplish greater outcomes. With this in mind, I have proposed a slightly refined process to my internal team, where iterations could be accommodated, but are scheduled inside a defined process and time period. To be able to deliver on this approach, the efforts of several departmental leads (like Data Design, Interface Design and Technical Development) should occur concurrently to ensure that the team can produce deliverables as a single entity. By performing this, every person’s feedback is representative of the iterations which generally occur as a deliverable is transitioned from department to department. The net result is really a a lot more controlled cycle where iterations can still be accommodated.

I believe that the good quality of an end deliverable will be superior when the expertise of each and every lead could be amalgamated into a single output. This style of collaboration will also result in a greater understanding of practice areas amongst the larger team – this will create long-term synergies that spur people to contemplate varying points of view, even when they function isolation.

This approach may possibly appear like a really small deviation from regular operating procedure, but asking distinct subject matter experts to come together and produce one element together represents a big shift in previous thinking. This approach moves conventional agencies away from a manufacturing-based production cycle, and propels them forward into a much more advanced collective and collaborative environment. As on-line initiatives take on much more sophistication in usability, interface design and technical functionality, there will probably be a stronger mandate for this style of production.


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