In any project, there are four primary development life cycles. A fifth, hybrid, is any combination of these four. These are for the phases of the projects which produce the product, service, or other results.
This chart breaks them down by the uses and attributes of the project activities and deliveries:
The critical difference is that agile projects produce deliverables over multiple iterations; detailed requirements are determined and approved before each iteration. The benefit of the approach is that clients often have early access to some project deliverables. The project team gets early feedback for improvement. Clients also receive the highest value deliverables first, so they may even realize a more rapid investment return.
It is very easy to refer to a method as “agile” incorrectly. A well-known organization I’m familiar with claims to have “agile” projects. But they write all the requirements upfront and then implement them iteratively, which assures scope and correctness and delivers the product at one time. This is not agile but iterative.
In our new book, Accidental Agile Project Manager, we show how agile life cycles can be used within the overall PROJECT Management Method to iterate to provide frequent, smaller deliveries with an opportunity to get valuable client feedback and new requirements until the client is satisfied with the result.
To celebrate the new book, we’ll be having more agile project management tips and best practices over the coming weeks. Watch for the launch date, coming soon!
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