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Elyssa Pallai

VP Marketing

Digital marketer and translator, Elyssa spends her time putting NPD and engineering concepts into plain english and working on new and meaningful ways to connect with Playbook's amazing clients.

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The Sweet Spot Between Agile and Waterfall Project Management

Elyssa Pallai- 01/12/16 06:00 PM

What is the Sweet Spot Between Agile and Waterfall

There is no doubt project management methods have evolved and the traditional Phase Gate or Waterfall approach has gotten a lot of bashing lately.That’s not to say there aren’t benefits to Waterfall...

For example, one benefit of Waterfall is the delivery of a linear plan where management and team members can see a specific deliverable at the end. Plus, Waterfall creates a baseline in terms of timing of delivery and resource utilization that management can easily sign-off on as well.

If having an easy to understand linear plan in place is Waterfall’s greatest benefit, its linear nature and therefore its limited ability to deal with change and circular learning cycles is its main drawback. Change in any form - scope, requirements, team, you name it – occurs a lot in today’s R&D environments and has a direct impact on any project manager’s ability to deliver on time, and within budget.

On the other hand, Agile embraces this circular learning cycle with iteration at its core.However, without a plan, Agile can be perceived as hard to manage and/or control by team members and management. There are other drawbacks to Agile for Hardware development projects in particular that we've written about at length.

So how do you get to the sweet spot - a hybrid methodology that supports change but also enables short and long term planning?

As a recent customer noted, Playbook is the sweet spot between Agile and Waterfall. At the simplest level, Playbook enables short term flexibility within the context of an overall plan. And not for just one product, but all of the projects that are currently active. This gives everyone on the team the context to make daily decisions about what to work on, and ensures that everyone has clear and correct priorities every day!

This is just one of the benefits of Playbook. Watch the product demonstration video to find out more.

Watch the Demo