Agile and Waterfall project management practices

In general, depending on our specific needs, we can use various methods known in practice for successful project management, and why not hybrid interactions where possible.

To date, the so-called Waterfall and Agile are considered to be the most widespread project management methodologies. Reference: “Agile vs Waterfall Project management and software development with Scrum

Waterfall is considered a sustainable methodology for project management for years, consisting of static phases (requirements analysis, design, testing, implementation, and maintenance), which are performed in a certain order.

It is consistent and is used in many industries, most often in software development. Reference: “Agile vs Waterfall project management“,

Waterfall allows increased control during each phase but can be very inflexible if the scope of the project changes once it has started. It offers a more formal planning stage, which can increase the chances of covering all the requirements of the project from the beginning, reducing the loss of some key information and requirements in the initial stages. Reference: “Agile vs Waterfall Project Management”,

The characteristic here is that one phase of the project cannot start until the previous one is completed, typically the model has between 2 and 7 phases.

This model is suitable for projects that have clear requirements from the beginning, no structural changes are foreseen during the course, there is a clear start and end date of implementation.

The Agile model consists of short performance cycles called “sprints”. It was originally developed for projects that require considerable flexibility and speed. Agile may be best suited for projects that require less control and real-time communication in the attitudes of a self-motivated team. Reference: “Agile vs Waterfall Methodology – What are the differences“,

As a project management methodology, agile is very interactive, allowing for quick adjustments during project implementation.

Agile teams anticipate and proactively scan for changing requirements. The “minimum viable product” (MVP) is tested by the customer who provides feedback. Reference:

This leads to changed requirements. The development is necessarily iterative, instead of a linear sequence. The teams are multifunctional, with regular interaction with customers.

Common models are Kanban, Lean Six Sigma.

Kanban focuses on continuous collaboration and creates an environment of continuous learning and improvement. This method uses visual boards and maps to help teams see tasks that have been completed, and those that have not been completed.

All activities are based on the ability to visualize the tasks for the day, carefully balance the work performed, and manage the backlog. Reference: Agile vs Waterfall management methodology,

Lean Six Sigma

Lean Six Sigma, created by Toyota, Lean was designed to focus on reducing resource loss while maximizing results. Although Lean got its start in the manufacturing industry, today it is used in various industries, as its focus is not specific to the sector. Reference: “A Management Educational Library“,

The Lean and Six Sigma hybrid focus on the consumer to improve business efficiency and effectiveness. Lean Six Sigma strives to improve processes, eliminate unnecessary redundancies and reduce defects.

The Waterfall method

With the Waterfall method, we have precisely described the stages along which our project is moving. For each stage, there is a clearly defined team with a specific task. Reference: Waterfall and Incremental model in project management,

After completing one stage, we move on to the next, without returning to ready at some point.

With this method, it must be clear in advance what the result the client wants, there is no possibility to change the project during the implementation. Reference: Agile, Scrum and Waterfall project management,

Very suitable methodology for small projects in which the goal is clear and no change in the work process is expected.

There is faster execution due to the clear stages.

It is not suitable for large projects in which the client does not have a clear and accurate idea of ​​the final product. Reference: Agile, Scrum and Waterfall project management,

The tests are performed with a ready-made project, which can lead to unwanted problems detected at a late stage and difficult to eliminate.

In this methodology, more people are needed to complete the project, because everyone is responsible for a specific stage of the project.

Reference: Agile Project Management includes different subjects and many Agile and Scrum practices as well, but we will discuss here several major topics…

The Agile method

The Agile method, on the other hand, is flexible, focused entirely on the customer’s wishes.

In this model, the client takes a direct relationship to each stage of project implementation. Reference: Comparison of Agile, Scrum and Waterfall project management,

Here we can work on several stages of the project at the same time, and at the request of the client, we can go back to the stages and change already completed steps.

A suitable method for larger projects in which the client can change the assignment during the work. Reference: “MuzoNet, Management and Business“,

The teams responsible for the implementation of the different stages may overlap. They self-organize and self-regulate.

This method is inappropriate when the client does not have a clear idea of ​​the final product and this can lead to the failure of the whole project. Reference: Waterfall or Agile? What methodology to choose for your project?,

Our organization could work with both models, depending on what project we have in front of us. For us, the best model is Waterfall because we will have clearly defined deadlines and responsibilities at each stage of the project.

If we have a larger project related to construction, for example, the Agile model would be better, because the customer’s requirements are constantly changing.

1 reply on “Agile and Waterfall project management practices”

The methodology “Waterfall” is expressed in the way the project activities. It is the earliest methodology developed for project management. As with a waterfall, each activity is consistent and a new activity cannot be started before the old one is over.

It is most often used in the development of a product or software in which the change and scope of tasks are not critical. The advantages of this model are that it has a well-structured approach to work and the implementation of the project on schedule is easier.

However, the biggest drawback of this methodology is that there is a lack of flexibility in regulating the scope of a project and any change is time-consuming and expensive. The Agile methodology, which is another extremely popular methodology, allows for the simultaneous and joint work of all teams involved in a project.

The constant cooperation of the contractor and the contracting authority enables the teams to self-manage. The risk is reduced as the work is approved and regulated at certain intervals. Last but not least, flexibility increases significantly thanks to the joint work of the teams.

One disadvantage of the Agile methodology is that the processes must be regularly and strictly monitored to ensure quality and timely implementation of the project.

If you ask for my personal opinion, I think that the Agile methodology is more appropriate for our times, which are filled with frequent and significant changes, but I will leave it to you to build your individual opinion with the information I have provided.

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