Can You Keep Up?

When faced with a project there are many ways to get it done. Here we have two types of strategies to approaching projects: agile and waterfall. Agile is quick paced and is likely to have more short-term goals that “keeps the teams at a constant high pace and productivity” ( Agile projects are not necessarily all short term but the iterations within the project are completed in short periods of time.
The article goes on to explain one of the principles of agile project management, which is time boxing. It “establishes cadence and, after two or three iterations, the team learns how much output they can produce.” Time boxing is not as flexible as other project management techniques. There is a set time frame for each aspect of the project and “it doesn’t matter if you can’t do them to perfection. Completing the task is the goal” (
We can also use cadence in waterfall projects as well. Waterfall is a more traditional approach. Some may say that it’s not as effective as other approaches or to avoid this technique, and others find it is efficient. It follows a stricter schedule, and includes very important details; even the smallest detail is an important one.
Using cadence for waterfall projects can help move the team to being as high energy as the teams in the agile projects. The first point of cadence is keeping a weekly schedule with milestones being completed. The first week should be the week that everyone gathers his or her information. When they meet again at the end of the week the project manager adjusts the schedule to fit the conditions of the information. Which brings us to the second point of cadence: “is the next milestone still on track?” ( The PM adjusts the schedule at the meeting and they settle the next steps there so that the team knows what is happening. To me this seems kind of similar to crashing. The team and project manager adjust the schedule if need be on a weekly basis whereas crashing would most often occur as one point and would adjust each critical path to crash it down to the desired time frame.
The author of the article also provides some suggests as to planning milestones. One of which was timing between milestones should not be too far apart not too close together. I feel that with everything we learned in class, timing is the most flexible yet most critical part of managing the project. You can crash a project down from 14 weeks down to 10 weeks and if you don’t do it right you may be incurring more cost than you should be. If something doesn’t go as planned then you need to be sure you allowed yourself that extra time to adjust anything you need.

So now I turn it over to you:

How do you like to approach projects?
Do you have another strategy to approaching projects?

10 thoughts on “Can You Keep Up?

  1. Your post reminds me of something I have always believed about project management – that managing employees correctly is the key to success. It seems this agile approach assures employees always have a goal looming over their head. From prior experience, having goals that end soon keeps me moving pretty quick. Motivating people is not an easy task, and it seems this agile approach is popular because it does well at this.

  2. Personally, I like to approach projects in the agile manner. I like to get things done quickly and I feel as if I put parts of projects in short term goals I am quicker at completing them. I find this approach works best for me, occasionally I will work on projects in the waterfall manner when I have a lot of people working on the project with me.

  3. Interesting post! I think that success in a project is teamwork and approaching the project in a gentle way is effective. If a person approaches a project in a agile way, the team might feel pressured and stressed, therefore not proforming to the best of their ability.

  4. Generally speaking, I would have to say that I will mostly choose a agile approach for projects. When faced with the challenge of completing a project I like to complete different checkpoints along the way. I feel that it is a good thing if you are able to look back and say, for example, “I have completed X part of the project already.” This is a good indication of where you are at during a project and also keeps you motivated to keep going and finish all aspects of the project.

  5. Most often I like to go with an agile method. While sometimes this is way of doing things just isn’t feasible, I prefer to be able to make quick and effective decision that can best benefit a project. Sometimes I will use a waterfall approach but I try to ensure fluid communication between everyone on the project to increase reaction times.

  6. I usually use the agile approach for projects. Like you mentioned agile can be fast pace and I like the fast pace environment. I also like to set small goals that I know that can be achieved. I agree that by setting the goals will help keep everyone on track to finishing the project.

  7. Great post. I think that an appropriate approach to a project would be a combination of both styles. I mean, we should not have to “stress the little things,” but sometimes those little things combine to make a big thing. In this respect, I think that the agile approach is not really right. The rest is pretty good. However, in respect to the waterfall approach, it seems that the project manager takes on more of a task master position instead of a project manager when they arbitrarily crashes the project based on information. I think that the manager should approach a project by getting the members excited, and then flow through the project, crashing when needed.

  8. Good post! I often go with an agile approach to projects because I prefer to finish projects in a timely manner. I also prefer completing a list of goals, which is another reason why I take an agile approach. However, waterfall could be a good approach if there area number of people working on a project in order to keep everyone on the same page.

  9. Hi. Rockie. Your post is like a new knowledge to me because i never hear about these two terms–agile and waterfall. For my opinion, i will choose the waterfall way. Agile is like a modern way to manager every thing quickly, and it is likely to have more short-term goals. However, i feel like that it will effect the quality of the produce or severs. If every thing is in the rush, then the staffs will ignore the quality. The staffs will only focus on the speech. On the contrary, waterfall is traditional, and it is “cadenced”, which i think that is more “stable”. The project can be completed on time; meanwhile, the quality of it will be better. The staff can enjoy the cadence and no in rush.

  10. Interesting post! I have found agile to work well, especially when you have a deadline. Agile method involves everyone with more structure and meetings. It helps secure time investment from everyone in the project. Agile does become harder when you have to spread your attention to more that one project because all the meetings may become time consuming. Waterfall method is nice because there is a lot of time in the planning stage and project is planned out before the start but its downfall is that there is little room for flexibility. There is no better method they both have pros and cons.

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