Project methodologies represent guidelines followed by project management team in achievement of project activities (Cleland, 2013). Project team use project methodologies to outline project coverage in terms of scope, resources usage and time estimate project deliverables (Larson, 2011). Project managers find suitable plan to execute projects through project methodologies, in addition to obtain a suitable right framework they can use to organize and manage project tasks. Methodologies describe details and sequence followed in a project life cycle. This represents a set of appropriate processes that are consistent, flexible and efficient in project execution (Burke, 2013).
Types of project methodologies and processes
There are several methodologies that can be applied in projects (Hedman, 2013). Examples of such methodologies include: SDLC, waterfall, Agile, prince 2 and project management body of knowledge. Waterfall methodology is a procedural model that is designed with non-overlapping which does not allow successor activities to start before predecessors are accomplished (Lock, 2014). Agile methodology is a more participative methodology allowing stakeholders to take part in project activities and functions (risk management, communication, change management, team development, monitoring and evaluation). Projects in controlled environment (prince 2) are a model utilizing experiences from previous projects combining with knowledge gained from expertise, research and consultants (Heagney, 2016). The systems development life cycle (SDLC) used in information system development involves information gathering at each step of the life cycle (Hedman, 2013). Project management body of knowledge (PMBOK) represents a guideline of comprehensive methods of standards, procedures, tools, techniques and practices available for managers to use in project management (Kloppenborg, 2014).
Agile and waterfall methodologies
The waterfall model follows product life cycle which takes place in sequence from upwards to downwards like in a waterfall (Gido & Clements, 2014). Figure 1 shows illustration of a waterfall methodology.
The waterfall methodology is forward looking approach once execution has taken place at each waterfall no reversal to the previous can take place. The agile model is a more iterative approach to project activities. The methodology of Agile allows changes to take place at each stages of its implementation (Bourne, 2015). Figure 2 shows agile methodology.
The methodology allows continuous improvements in all steps involved. Both waterfall and agile are both similar because they apply an incremented sequence during execution. In addition the two methodologies allow information gathering through research during each step of development (Kendrick, 2013). The two methodologies can be different in approach. Agile methodology is different from waterfall because it is more flexible methodology because it allows change and customer requests at each stage of its implementation (Bryde, Broquetas & Volm , 2013). Waterfall model on record keeping focuses on record keeping compared to agile. The stressing on documentation makes waterfall lack influential impact to its customers compared to agile methodology (Phillips, 2013). In terms of predicting final product the waterfall methodology enables project customers to view final products compared to agile methodology.
Agile and waterfall methodologies relations to project life cycle
The two methods are related to project life cycle. The project life cycle represent sequential steps followed in executing a project from beginning to closure. The project life cycle involves five phases of initiation, planning, commissioning, implementation and closure. Both methods follow the project life cycle differently in application and approach (Kloppenborg, 2014). In waterfall model once planning as taken place at conceptualizing phase it cannot go back to previous stages to make any changes. It means that waterfall model is a rigid methodology in a project lifecycle that is dependent on initial requirement in implementation of project life cycle. Agile methodology applies a flexible approach in project life cycle execution because it allows changes to take place in previous stages of project life cycle (Hedman, 2013). The customers of a project are engaged at each stage of project life cycle in agile methodology and changes can be reversed at any stages of project life cycle (Lock, 2014). The two methodologies can be applied in different project life cycle based on business needs or functions.
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