Organizations develop their business strategies along with their project management. Some companies accelerate strategic development by employing the predictive project management approach, trying to overlook and deliver the desired result. Other organizations prefer keeping their strategies adaptive to changes by using incremental project delivery. Each business should decide for itself which approach to employ. In this article I talk about how the types of business strategy are developed by predictive and adaptive project management.
The philosophy of Lean project management teaches us to operate more efficiently by eliminating any defects and waste in products, services, inventory, processing, transportation etc. This philosophy becomes central for Agile software development and Six Sigma process improvement. The principles of Lean thinking and Kaizen management are indispensable for successful Six Sigma implementation. When combined with the DMAIC cycle, Lean-Kaizen contributes to easier identification and quicker resolution of project quality issues. In order to succeed at the largest scale, software development teams combine Agile incremental delivery with Lean-thinking project management.
While Scrum, XP, DSDM, Lean Software Development and other Agile methodologies have caught on in the software development industry, many organizations see achieving agility in project management as problematic, to a certain extent. For those organizations, the traditional project management approach appears to be most effective in managing long-range business plans and creating enterprise-level forecasts. However, at the team level the traditional approach fails as it doesn’t allow the development team to react to rapidly changing circumstances in the project environment and to align with client requirements. In contrast, Agile-driven projects are enabled to effective and efficiently manage changes through iterative product development.
The question ‘What is better – Agile or Waterfall?’ remains open, even regardless that both approaches are well defined and their best practices are explored and proven for given business environments. Because different companies have different values, every organization needs to decide on either a traditional, step-by-step project management approach or an iterative-based, highly-adaptive method for planning and managing the business objectives. But is there another option, except for considering Agile vs Waterfall approach? Apparently, there is. Custom project management (PM) provides a framework that combines traditional PM methods with adaptive, iteration-driven practices. Today many businesses begin to customize the way they plan and do their business projects to tailor their PM approach to their business needs.
Success of agile project management greatly depends on the approach to requirements specification which includes several best practices. The agile approach promotes a highly iterative, collaborative environment in which the team, project manager and senior stakeholders enjoy flexibility in addressing any inherent risks associated with managing requirements. An interesting feature of this approach is that a change to project requirements can be turned into a competitive advantage later on, as compared to the traditional approach which doesn’t ensure adaptability to the changing environment. In this article, I write about 5 best practices for managing requirements in agile projects.