How About Iterative Waterfall?

Vincent is a Senior Project Management Consultant and e-Learning Developer.

Project managers who lose sight of the big picture eventually lose control of their projects. The key is developing a strategy to manage your project that is iterative and accounts for competing demands, from risk to priorities to durations. Here’s an example of how to build Agile benefits into your non-Agile processes.

In previous articles we’ve seen how a hybrid agile approach can be used to improve a waterfall-type process, and we’ve also seen that a strategy, or big picture view, is important when putting together a schedule. Now we will look at how to create a strategy to tie these ideas together. This article is also derived from my book: Schedule Centered Planning: An Incremental Approach for Plan Driven Projects.

In the article “Deadlines or Delusions,” I pointed out the need for a strategy or game plan to drive schedule development. In my experience, most project managers take an informal, ad hoc approach to a creating a game plan, some don’t bother, and only a few create a formal strategy. Big picture, strategic thinking is essential for project success. Without it you risk getting bogged down in the details, missing early-problem indicators and not making the most effective project decisions. It’s easy to go from one crisis to the next, becoming a firefighter rather than a project manager. You want to be in control of your …

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