Agile vs Waterfall. Which Methodology Should You Use for Your Project?

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I have been in project management for quite some time. I don’t want to give exact numbers, but I’ve been around ever since the days when iPhones were just a distant gleam in Steve Jobs’ eye and Facebook was The Facebook …).
Methodology is a key focus for project managers, especially digital project managers. How can we make everything around them more important?
This article will discuss the core methods used in Digital Project Management, what you should choose, and whether there are other options.
These are the topics I will be addressing in my summary:
What are these “project management methods”?
Which methodology should I use for my project?
“I want to go Agile, but it’s too difficult to implement”
“Does a method guarantee project success?”
1. What are these “project management methods”?
What is a methodology, other than being a boring word? It is a framework that describes the process involved in your project and your management of them. It usually includes core tasks such as initiating, planning and executing, monitoring, closing, and closing the project.
There are many project management methods to choose from. There are linear, more traditional methods, such as the Waterfall. There’s also the Agile framework with many branches, such as Scrum, Kanban, and Lean. There is Critical Chain Management and the exciting Benefits Realization Management. Extreme Programming, Prince2, and the Adaptive Project Framework are just a few of the many options.
I will be focusing on the two major hitters in digital project management. Waterfall is the DPM world’s baddie. Agile, on the other side, is the’silver bullet’ and’magic recipe’. Agile is the best, right?
Agile is the best, right? Not necessarily. Both methodologies have their advantages, and each has a better fit for certain projects. Let’s take a closer look at each.
Agile vs Waterfall – The Principles
Waterfall: The Core Principles
Gathering upfront requirements:
Clients and developers agree on what should be delivered early in the development process. This can make designing and planning easier. The full scope of the work is already known before the start, so progress is easier to measure. Good technical documentation is part the deliverables. It is easier for new programmers during maintenance to get up-to-speed.
Work is completed in phases:
Each phase usually begins where the previous one ended. Different members of the development team can participate in or continue work during the process. While coding is ongoing, testers may prepare test scripts using requirements documentation.
This approach is structured, so it’s easier to track progress and plan for the future with clearly defined milestones.
End-of-development testing occurs
Testing is easier to plan and execute because it can be done using the scenarios that are defined in the functional specification at the end.
Clients and stakeholders don’t have to be involved heavily:
A customer presence is not required after the requirements phase, except for reviews, approvals and status meetings.
Waterfall Project Management Tools
Scrum’s core principles
A group of developers came together in 2001 to create the Agile Manifesto. It describes the four values they believed underpinned their approach to development. These 200 words changed the face software development.