Depending on the project, accurate and consistent management styles do matter, especially when it comes to finishing a project successfully. Two project management styles that are used regularly are Waterfall and Agile. These two project management styles are quite distinct. Deciding which style to use can be difficult.
What are the main differences between these two management styles?
The Waterfall method is a very linear way of working through a project. Typically, one part of a project is completed and then you move onto the next step. This is not to say that multiple steps can not run simultaneously, but the general path is linear.
The Agile method on the other hand is much more fluid in the way it completes steps along the way of a larger project. Parts of a project do not need to be completed in a linear pattern. Further, multiple versions of the same project can be completed and tested, ensuring that the best option is used in the end. Although there might be steps that need to be completed in some sort of sequence, these steps, or “sprints,” are tested and reviewed throughout the process, allowing for quality assurance, and to minimize issues as they arise.
Choosing which project management method is best is dependent on the nature of the project. For example, since the Agile method is based on being able to review progress in small regular time frames, companies running software development often choose the Agile method, allowing for code to be tested regularly. Whereas construction projects typically use the Waterfall method as it steers the project from one logical step to the next, as the concrete subcontractor can not pour concrete until the plumbers lay their pipe in the ground, and the roofer can’t finish his work until the framing is complete.
The bottom line for deciding which project management method to use is to do the necessary research to figure out what method best fits the planned project. This might include courses to fully understand each method. Once deciding which method to use, it is vital that the appropriate stakeholders are trained to understand the method fully, ensuring that everyone is on the same page during a project.