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Predictive vs Agile frameworks

In this step, we explore the difference between an agile approach and a predictive approach to projects.

In this step, we will start off by looking at the differences between an agile approach and a predictive approach to projects.

Predictive frameworks

These frameworks have been around for some time. The formation of the Project Management Institute (PMI) in 1969 was a key milestone in establishing the predictive approach to project management.

Also known by the names traditional and waterfall, predictive project management works well when the nature of the project is well-understood.

Let’s consider the construction of a house as an example.

  • In this type of project, the detailed scope is typically captured at the beginning of the project. Using this scope along with a detailed timeline and a knowledge of the material and human resources needed to deliver the project, the project manager can determine a budget.
  • The customer is typically involved only at the beginning of the project—during discussions about the scope—and then again at the end upon delivery of the final product.
  • These projects are usually executed in phases, which may include requirement gathering and analysis, design, and then construction.

Agile framework

In contrast with the predictive framework, is the Agile framework. An agile approach is appropriate when there is no solid initial understanding of the total scope of the project.

  • When applying an Agile framework, only a high-level understanding of the scope is captured at the beginning of the project. Then, as the project progresses more details about the scope are specified, typically in preparation for the start of each iteration.
  • The customer is involved throughout the execution of the project and provides feedback along the way, which helps guide the evolution of the scope.

What are your thoughts?

Can you think of any examples where a predictive framework may be more suitable than an agile one and vice-versa?
Try to come up with at least one example for each and just why you think that it fits better into that framework.
Use the Comments section below and let us know your thoughts. Try to respond to at least one other post.

Once you are happy with your contribution, click the Mark as complete button to check the step off, then you can move to the next activity.

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