Creative Industry Related Information for Graphic Designers & Web Designers!
Graphic Design Business - Start a Freelance Design Business Today!

Agile vs. Traditional – Which Project Management Model Fits Your Start-up’s Needs

Posted: August 1st, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Business | No Comments »

Managing projects in your startup is a major component in running your new company successfully. Yet, there are many project management styles. How do you know which one to choose? The answer is to understand the differences between the waterfall and agile methods to select the right one.

The Waterfall Method

Image via Flickr by menegue

The traditional method of project management, also known as the waterfall method, has its origins in software engineering. In this system a project is broken down into stages, and the project only moves to the next stage upon completion of the previous stage.

Typically the stages focus on planning, design, development, testing, production, and deployment. This method evolved out of production processes in which it would be too costly to re-do a stage once the project had moved on to the next stage.

Pros and Cons

The waterfall method forces you and your team to plan projects with great detail, which means you’ll discover a lot of issues before you ever start building and testing, and can modify the project’s design accordingly. You also end up with a lot of documentation in the waterfall method, which is especially valuable in the hectic beginnings of a startup company.

A major con of the waterfall method is the lack of testing through the process. Whether you’re designing software or working on a new marketing campaign for your startup, testing happens near the end of the waterfall of stages. If you’e missed any huge bugs, you basically have to start over. Similarly, if any stage wasn’t completed well you can’t go back and fix it in the waterfall method.

The Agile Method

The agile method was a response to the waterfall method’s inflexibility in certain areas of planning and development. Instead of creating a detailed plan and tackling each stage at once, the agile method starts with a simpler ideas and runs it through iterations called sprints. Each of these sprints is run from planning to testing, and then progress is evaluated at the end before moving to the next sprint.

Pros and Cons

The agile method is probably more comfortable for most startups because it allows transparency, constant testing and evaluating. Everyone knows exactly where the project is and how it’s faring, and it opens up considerable communication amongst your employees.

However, the agile method may not provide enough direction in a startup with limited resources. Since the ideas don’t start off with the severe planning that happens in the waterfall method, you may feel that the team is worrying too much about ideas and not about results, or that a project is stuck in sprints that aren’t working out all its issues.

Where Do You Fall?

When both methods have such clear pros and cons it can be hard to figure out which will work best for your startup. If you aren’t sure what will work, look into hiring a consulting firm like Routa Consulting; they’ll give you insight into the processes and into what your company needs to grow. Making these decisions early and developing workable techniques for managing projects at your startup is invaluable for its success.

Comments are closed.