Search This Blog

20 June 2013

Agile, Waterfall, and PMI Project Differences

I've been asking about the differences between Agile projects and traditional project management.  Many explanations err by answering the question only from a software or Information Systems perspective.  While Agile primarily appears in the software industry, the different approaches appear in many industries and product areas.

Since the Project Management Institute (PMI) offers both Project Management Professional (PMP)® and PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® certifications, it would seem that Agile contrasts against traditional project management. 

However, it would be more instructive to contrast the Agile approach against the "traditional waterfall approach" of Systems Engineering.  (Refer to the International Counsel on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) for details.)

Agile uses a highly iterative approach that works better when requirements are vague and must be defined over the course of the project.  It is more appropriate for, as an example, the next set of security updates to Windows or the next year's model of the Ford Mustang.

The waterfall approach assumes progressive or phased elaboration of a fixed set of requirements that can be defined, validated, and turned into a design architecture or solution, from top to bottom.

However, Agile methods can still be used for portions of the system, particularly peripheral functions of the software. It is more appropriate for, as an example, the core of MS Project 2015 or a new hybrid squirrel-electric vehicle.

Copyright 2013, Richard Wheeler -- Permission granted for non-profit or personal use with a link to this post.

IT Metrics and Productivity Institute (ITMPI) Premium membership gives members free access to 400 PDU-accredited webinar recordings and waives the PDU processing fees. The library is growing at about 100 webinars per year. Check it out:

No comments:

Post a Comment