Agile VS Traditional Methodology In Project Management

Main characteristics of the two most popular methodologies in project management, namely Waterfall and Agile, and in which projects they are most effective.

Why You Need Methodology in Project Management

Development in the IT industry is a complex business process, involving the rules of the game of optimization, planning, and calculation. No universal methodologies would fit any project, so “the one” is carefully chosen beforehand, sometimes extended or mixed. After all, the main task of any project manager is to drive the project to success.

Development implies a step-by-step approach to the goal, and intermediate objectives to assess the results and monitor the processes properly. Any methodology in project management implies a precise system that defines the order of execution, evaluation, and control of tasks. Project managers have to communicate with different parties: customers, project workers, company employees, etc.

There are many project management methods, and they all prove to be effective, depending on the project they are picked for. The choice depends on the project direction, budget, timing, team composition, etc. The most common methodologies are Agile and Traditional. 

When a company does not specialize in development, it can turn to third-party project management services, which will select the most effective method of management after a thorough analysis of objectives and opportunities.

The Traditional Model and Projects It Is Effective On

The customer always forms the requirements for the product. Resources for the implementation are allocated by the sponsor, which can be the customer or a third party. Next, the development team and project manager work on the project. This can be either an in-house team or an outsourced one. Finally, they work on creating the final product.

Based on the customer’s requirements, a goal is formed, and then the team begins to draw up the content and scope of work. The traditional methodology, also called Waterfall, implies that there is a top-level work plan. It is recommended to break down this plan into phases so there is specificity for each task. Thus, a hierarchical work structure is created, making it easy to determine the project resources. 

The key points of Waterfall:

  • Drawing up a hierarchical framework,
  • Decomposition of tasks,
  • Creating a project plan,
  • Planning deadlines, 
  • Executing objectives.

This methodology cannot always plan long-range phases with a clear definition of resources. It means that the time and resources for subsequent phases are determined when the team gets to them when they are in the works.

Project managers use the traditional methodology in project management when they need to develop a complex and large project with strictly defined functionality. This is often the case in science, medicine, space, or aviation development. However, the methodology is unsuitable for developing business and gaming applications. 

The Agile Model and Projects It Is Effective On

Agile has been around for quite a long time. The practice of Agile emerged as a reaction to some problems related to teamwork and customer interaction, excessive adherence to documentation or the plan. 

Hence, the Agile Manifesto was formed, which describes the four core values of management:

  1. People and interactions are more important than processes and tools.
  2. A working product is more important than flawless documentation.
  3. Collaboration with the customer is more important than contracts.
  4. Reacting to change is more important than following a plan.

It’s a stretch to call Agile a methodology. Instead, it is a concept that combines approaches, engineering practices, and project management practices. The most common frameworks in the IT industry are Scrum, Kanban, Extreme Programming, Crystal, Feature-Driven Development, and Dynamic Systems Development Methodology. 

When it comes to software development, Agile is the method that allows you to break down the process into stages so that you can regularly engage with your stakeholders and continually improve at each stage. 

All development is divided into short cycles. Each cycle includes a phase:

  • Planning
  • Requirements Analysis
  • Design
  • Development
  • Testing
  • Documentation.

The characteristic features of Agile are:

  • An independent organization of work.
  • Differentiation of various risks.
  • Stable interaction of employees among each other and clients.
  • Quick introduction of the necessary changes.

Agile Vs. Waterfall

In order to understand which is more suitable for the project, it is better to indicate the difference between these techniques.

Waterfall is a structured hierarchical model, and there is no flexibility. Instead, agile divides the entire process into short cycles.

Waterfall reduces financial risk. Agile provides for responsiveness and improvement in the development process itself.

The Agile model follows an iterative development mode, different phases such as planning, development, and prototyping can appear more than once throughout the development process.

As a result, the degree of team coordination will be better with an Agile approach.