Waterfall project management and Agile product management approaches

Waterfall and Agile are popular terms today. Although many people consider these two concepts to be project management, this is not exactly the case.

I will try to briefly explain the main aspects of some of the main project management methodologies.
All three below are examples of good practices in project management, and each of them has “pros and cons”.

Waterfall project management

Waterfall is a linear approach to product development. In this methodology, there is no overlap in the phases of work and there is no opportunity to offer something finished to the client before the entire project is ready. Reference: “Agile methodologies and Waterfall project management“, https://projectmanagers.business.blog/2023/01/14/agile-methodologies-and-waterfall-project-management/

The sequence in Waterfall is Plan, Design, Develop, Test, and Deliver a finished product.

For Waterfall, all requirements must be documented, planned, discussed, and approved before work begins, because each stage ends before the next can begin. Reference: “Comparison between Waterfall and Agile project management”, https://scrumtime.org/comparison-between-waterfall-and-agile-project-management/

The positives in this process can be easier resource design and planning, as everything is agreed upon before the development life cycle begins. The sequential development of the different stages allows for a better and more careful understanding and development of the subsequent components. For example – once the design is complete, the programming part should be much more understandable and develop fewer bugs.

The disadvantage could be in the insufficiently clear and effective requirements, as detailed specifications and details can rarely be visualized by the client, even after a wireframe is submitted.
Another possible drawback could be customer dissatisfaction after the product is completed since only based on documented requirements it is too likely that there will be a discrepancy between the finished product and its vision.

Scrum framework

Scrum is a structure in which cross-functional, interchangeable teams develop products or projects using an iterative and incremental approach.

Scrum has three pillars – Transparency, Inspection, and Adaptation.
The purpose of Scrum is to ensure the achievement of goals and the creation of value. The vehicle for delivering value is the clearly defined product that is developed by Teams.
Scrum teams are empowered, and self-managing with three specific and clearly defined roles – Product Owner, Scrum Master, and Development Team. They work together in iterative timeframes called sprints.
The team looks at the requirements, looks at the available technology, and assesses their skills and capabilities. It then collectively determines how to build the functionality, and can change its approach daily if it encounters difficulties. The team considers what needs to be done and chooses the best way to do it.
The time frames in Scrum are the Product Planning Meeting, the Sprint, the Sprint Planning Meeting, the Sprint Review, the Sprint Retrospective, and the Daily Meeting.
This process is responsible for the performance of Scrum.

In conclusion, I can say that both Scrum and Agile rely on people, relationships, and collaboration.

What is Agile Product Management?

A definition of Agile in the context of product development and project management is that Agile is a way of thinking following the principles of the Agile Manifesto.

We find better ways to develop software
through constant practice and helping others.
In the process of work, we began to value:

People and relationships are more than processes and tools
Working software more than comprehensive documentation
Cooperation with the client more than the formalization of the contract
Responding to change more than following the plan

We understand that the things on the right are important,
but we value things on the left more.


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About the author

I am motivated to study project management and I want to enter this field as it is new and interesting for me. I am ambitious about the responsibility and challenge of project development, team selection, and correct distribution of tasks to achieve maximum quality in the required time.

The qualities and skills that I think will be useful to me are quick decision-making in stressful situations, good communication with people, open thinking “thinking out of the box”, teamwork, and the transmission of short and clear information.

I think my perfectionism can get in the way, but I think it’s right to strive for everything to be done well and as it should be.

My plan for situations where it appears as an obstacle is to review the situation, look at the other side and look for another way to solve the problem.

1 comment

  1. Waterfall is a way of project management or a methodology. The phases in this methodology follow one another, with each previous one having to be fully completed before the next can begin. Also, each phase is a blocker for the next one – its completion determines when and if the next one will start. Example phases: Analysis, design, development, and test. This methodology to date is considered “outdated” and not effective enough for the modern world. Or at least for most industries, especially the IT sector.
    In search of better practices, the concept of Agile emerged in Europe and the USA. This is a methodology that originated in Japan. The main idea here is that the phases of the project interact with each other and can move in parallel. The client receives the desired product in small portions and can test the first finished parts of their requirements much sooner than is possible if the project follows the Waterfall methodology. The implementation of changes from the original plan should be much faster and more adaptive.
    With Waterfall, better documentation is achieved, and the time spent in multiple meetings is limited within the first phase. With Agile, a result is achieved faster, and customers usually feel more secure because they see a finished product soon, but employees spend a lot of time in meetings, not all of which are fruitful and motivating.
    I hear more and more that some larger companies in the field of IT technologies allow themselves to impress their clients with concepts like Hybrid Agile methodology, that is, a methodology that takes the best of both practices and applies them where and when it is needed.

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