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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.
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).
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?
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