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Topics: Agile, Organizational Project Management, Using PMI Standards
Project Life Cycles
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Hello,

I am reading through the PMBOK 5th edition which I find very informative. In the project life cycle section in chapter 2 there are three defined cycles:

1. Predictive life cycle
2. Iterative and incremental life cycles
3. Adaptive life cycles

I fully understand the concept of the predictive life cycle which is what I would view as the traditional approach to Project Management but both the Adaptive life cycles and Iterative and incremental life cycles seem to be quite similar and lean more towards Agile than waterfall. What I am struggling to relate to is how different Adaptive life cycles and Iterative and incremental life cycles are when used in a business environment. Based on their definition in the PMBOK 5th Edition they seem to me to be just slightly different versions of Agile.

Does anyone have any real life examples of an iterative and incremental life cycle Vs an adaptive life cycle that they could share so that there is a very clear distinction in my mind between the two?

Thanks,
Jon
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Things to take into account: 1-agile is not software related only. 2-agile must not be tied to a life cycle. You can apply agile in predictive life cycles. As you mentioned (and as the PMBOK said) adaptative life cycles are iterative/incremental life cycles. The key element in the adaptative is that the iterations/increments are decided by the requirements you have on-hand. In interative/incremental life cycles the iterations/increments are defined in advance for other type of factors like time-to-market, project risk, cultural environment, type of product, etc.
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2 replies by Jonathan Doyle and Steven Zachary
Dec 28, 2015 3:35 PM
Jonathan Doyle
...
Thanks Sergio.
Which out of the two (Iterative and incremental life cycles, Adaptive life cycles) have you come across the most so far in your career?
I tend to come across more that are Adaptive but the overall main one is the Predictive life cycle.
When you mention that one can apply Agile to a Predictive life cycle are you referring here to a type of Waterfall (Predictive life cycle) hybrid using agile? 'Wagile'? where agile is used to deliver a product?
Dec 30, 2015 1:53 AM
Steven Zachary
...
Great description Sergio. To add to that, i'd say the names speak volumes., Adaptive is in a sense reactive and relies on feedback. Iterative is similar, in some senses, but looks to size up the work slightly differently.
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some links which i found

http://istqbexamcertification.com/what-is-...when-to-use-it/
http://istqbexamcertification.com/what-is-...when-to-use-it/

http://www.simplilearn.com/project-managem...olution-article
http://www.izenbridge.com/blog/project-man...ative-adaptive/
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1 reply by Jonathan Doyle
Dec 28, 2015 3:36 PM
Jonathan Doyle
...
Thanks, Bala. Those are useful links.
Network:127944



Jonathan,

Plan-Driven Projects have Predictive Life Cycles (Waterfall or Traditional): These require scope, schedule and cost to be determined in details early in the project before beginning the work.


Change-Driven Projects have Adaptive (Agile), Incremental or Iterative Life Cycles: They have varying levels of early planning. Iterative and Incremental Life Cycles involve early planning of high-level scope sufficient to allow for initial estimates while Adaptive involves fixed time and costs, and scope is broadly defined.

The difference between Incremental and Iterative is the following:

Incremental: Delivers a complete, usable portion of the product for each iteration.
Iterative: The complete concept is built in successive levels if details to create the end result.

You can find a detailed explanation for these in Rita Malcahy's Book. (PMP Exam Prep).
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2 replies by Jonathan Doyle and Steven Zachary
Dec 28, 2015 3:41 PM
Jonathan Doyle
...
Hi Rami, Thanks for your response, I will look for Rita's book on the internet for further reading.
Dec 30, 2015 1:54 AM
Steven Zachary
...
Excellent note Rami, it's a slight but very important difference.
Network:196



Dec 28, 2015 10:10 AM
Replying to Sergio Luis Conte
...
Things to take into account: 1-agile is not software related only. 2-agile must not be tied to a life cycle. You can apply agile in predictive life cycles. As you mentioned (and as the PMBOK said) adaptative life cycles are iterative/incremental life cycles. The key element in the adaptative is that the iterations/increments are decided by the requirements you have on-hand. In interative/incremental life cycles the iterations/increments are defined in advance for other type of factors like time-to-market, project risk, cultural environment, type of product, etc.
Thanks Sergio.
Which out of the two (Iterative and incremental life cycles, Adaptive life cycles) have you come across the most so far in your career?
I tend to come across more that are Adaptive but the overall main one is the Predictive life cycle.
When you mention that one can apply Agile to a Predictive life cycle are you referring here to a type of Waterfall (Predictive life cycle) hybrid using agile? 'Wagile'? where agile is used to deliver a product?
...
1 reply by Sergio Luis Conte
Dec 28, 2015 5:12 PM
Sergio Luis Conte
...
In my career (including right now) we have more than one project life cycle defined and we select to use one or another depending multiple selection criteria where one of the principal are the organization culture, type of product to create, and external environmental factors.
Network:196



Thanks, Bala. Those are useful links.
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1 reply by Bala S Duvvuri
Dec 29, 2015 8:58 PM
Bala S Duvvuri
...
You are welcome Jonathan and I wish you a very happy new year in advance.
Network:196



Dec 28, 2015 1:20 PM
Replying to Rami Kaibni
...
Jonathan,

Plan-Driven Projects have Predictive Life Cycles (Waterfall or Traditional): These require scope, schedule and cost to be determined in details early in the project before beginning the work.


Change-Driven Projects have Adaptive (Agile), Incremental or Iterative Life Cycles: They have varying levels of early planning. Iterative and Incremental Life Cycles involve early planning of high-level scope sufficient to allow for initial estimates while Adaptive involves fixed time and costs, and scope is broadly defined.

The difference between Incremental and Iterative is the following:

Incremental: Delivers a complete, usable portion of the product for each iteration.
Iterative: The complete concept is built in successive levels if details to create the end result.

You can find a detailed explanation for these in Rita Malcahy's Book. (PMP Exam Prep).
Hi Rami, Thanks for your response, I will look for Rita's book on the internet for further reading.
...
1 reply by Rami Kaibni
Dec 28, 2015 5:31 PM
Rami Kaibni
...
You're Welcome Jonathan.
Network:1911



Dec 28, 2015 3:35 PM
Replying to Jonathan Doyle
...
Thanks Sergio.
Which out of the two (Iterative and incremental life cycles, Adaptive life cycles) have you come across the most so far in your career?
I tend to come across more that are Adaptive but the overall main one is the Predictive life cycle.
When you mention that one can apply Agile to a Predictive life cycle are you referring here to a type of Waterfall (Predictive life cycle) hybrid using agile? 'Wagile'? where agile is used to deliver a product?
In my career (including right now) we have more than one project life cycle defined and we select to use one or another depending multiple selection criteria where one of the principal are the organization culture, type of product to create, and external environmental factors.
...
2 replies by Jonathan Doyle and Steven Zachary
Dec 29, 2015 8:07 AM
Jonathan Doyle
...
Thanks, Sergio.
Dec 30, 2015 12:47 PM
Steven Zachary
...
These are all very common circumstances that i've seen in my experiences as well. It's rare for a large organization to be a one methodology shop. I have seen concentration in much smaller firms which are taking advantage of their nimbleness.
Network:127944



Dec 28, 2015 3:41 PM
Replying to Jonathan Doyle
...
Hi Rami, Thanks for your response, I will look for Rita's book on the internet for further reading.
You're Welcome Jonathan.
Network:196



Dec 28, 2015 5:12 PM
Replying to Sergio Luis Conte
...
In my career (including right now) we have more than one project life cycle defined and we select to use one or another depending multiple selection criteria where one of the principal are the organization culture, type of product to create, and external environmental factors.
Thanks, Sergio.
...
1 reply by Sergio Luis Conte
Dec 29, 2015 11:07 AM
Sergio Luis Conte
...
Your welcome Jonathan. Just in case there is something else that you consider I can help you please let me know. It is an important topic most of the time people forget.
Network:1911



Dec 29, 2015 8:07 AM
Replying to Jonathan Doyle
...
Thanks, Sergio.
Your welcome Jonathan. Just in case there is something else that you consider I can help you please let me know. It is an important topic most of the time people forget.
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