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INFT3100 Project Management For Designing Process Assignment

Questions: 

1. Define what a methodology is and the role it serves in project management.

2. Familiarise yourselves with the various methodologies in the list below. Choose two methodologies from this list to compare and contrast, analysing the similarities and differences between them both. 

3. Finally, identify how your chosen methodologies and processes relate to the project life cycle 

Answers:

Introduction

A project-management life cycle can be broadly divided into four phases. These are initiation, planning, execution and closure (Burke, 2013). Every project has to go through these phases for a successful completion. Project methodology is however, based on the five phases of the project-management- defining a project, planning a project, launching a project, managing the project and its successful closure (Kerzner, 2013). Each phase of the project-methodology works with specific aspects of the managing as well as developing a project. Examples of some of the project methodologies are project management body of Knowledge (PMBOK), PRINCE2, SDLC, Waterfall and Agile. The definition of methodologies of project-management, the similarities and the dissimilarities between any two chosen methodology and their relation with the project life cycle are elaborated in the following paragraph.

Methodology and its role in project management

Definition

Methodology is defined as a combination of systemic methods used for developing a particular task or project. Methodology generally applies to a wide range of principals that are to be followed in relation to specific tasks of a project, for its successful completion. The methodology of project management has five phases, which are define phase, planning phase, laun


ching phase, managing phase and closing phase.  It can further be defined as the system of interrelated tasks, processes and activities that is related to a project from beginning to end.  Methodology is important in project management as it marks the decision-making points related to the project. It also gives a clear picture of a project’s objective and the course of action (Schwalbe, 2015).

Role

The roles of methodology in project management are as follows –

  • Providing a common platform or language for communication and planning the commencement of the project (Nicholas & Steyn, 2017).
  • Encouraging required communication and planning before starting the project
  • Helps in managing a project in a systematic way
  • Deals with project-tracking and standard reporting of any flaws in the project planning and execution
  • Helps in achieving desired outcomes and set objectives

Various methodology in project-management

Certain methodologies that are considered in executing and managing a project are, Project-Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), PRINCE2, SDLC model, Waterfall model, and agile product development methodology.

These methodologies provide a set of standard guidelines for planning, implementing and managing a project.  

SDLC

System development life cycle (SDLC) is a conceptual methodology model that gives an idea of the stages involved in a project development, starting from feasibility study till the successful completion of the project (Mishra & Dubey, 2013). The phases of SDLC methodology are project definition, user requirement definition, System requirements definition, Analysis and design, prototype building, implementing and sustaining the project. There are many  different models of SDLC such as waterfall model, spiral model, agile model, big bang model and V shaped model (Mishra & Dubey, 2013).

Waterfall Model

Waterfall methodology is a sequential and non-iterative planning and designing process, particularly used in development of software. It is one of the primary approaches to the SDLC. Waterfall model mainly work with the process  of development in a linear and sequential way. Like a waterfall, all the phases in a waterfall-model are linked one after another with no turning back. Once a particular phase is over, it moves to the next-phase. The phases of a waterfall-model are requirement-analysis, system-design, implementation, system testing, implementation and maintenance (Model, 2015). 

Agile

Agile is a fusion of iterative and incremental process of planning a SDLC. In agile methodology, every task is broken into small incremental parts called build. Each part is built on basis of the previous part and each build is thoroughly tested before release. Agile methodology is undertaken by time critical projects (Thiemich & Puhlmann, 2013).

Waterfall VS Agile model

Waterfall as well as Agile model defines a set of standard or guidelines for designing and developing a project or Software. Although the aim of both the methodology is same, two processes hold sticking differences. Waterfall methodology follows a sequential design process while agile methodology mainly deals with incremental approach in product development. Thus, in waterfall model, developers cannot modify a phase once it is completed since it follows a sequential approach. While in agile methodology, the whole process is divided into certain modules in which work is done on weekly or monthly sprints. Adding a feature or changing the course of design is therefore easier in agile methodology than in waterfall model (Balaji & Murugaiyan, 2012). Moreover, in agile methodology, testing the modules is done in the development stage itself and hence it becomes easier to detect and fix the bugs than in Waterfall methodology. However, this results in over budget of the project at times. Waterfall methodology is used when the requirements of project is clear while the agile methodology is used when the requirements of the project is not that clear.

The similarities and the dissimilarities of the agile and waterfall model is elaborated below-

Similarities

The similarities between agile and waterfall model are as follows-

  • The principal or the aim of both the methodology is similar. The entire work is organized before the commencement of the project. The requirements of the project, are listed and the feasibility-studies are done before the commencement of the project.
  • Every minute details of the project are stored with extensive documentation.
  • Both the methodology work with similar programmatic blocks such as scope, cost, schedule and performance

Follows technical building blocks such as analyzing, designing, building, testing and maintenance

Dissimilarities

The differences between Agile and waterfall model are as follows-

  • Immediate user feedback can be obtained in agile as it has certain release plans. This is not possible in case of waterfall model. Immediate user feedback increases the scope of improvement in a project.
  • Agile provide high quality and fast delivery of the product unlike waterfall model, which has slow delivery process. Test driven methodology followed in agile helps in releasing the product quicker.
  • Waterfall model is more disciplined by design. Each point has a clear start and end. The team members are forced to end a task within the given time to start the next task or phase.
  • In Agile, emphasis is given on extreme programming of the software to develop a high quality product. This is not the case in waterfall model.
  • In waterfall model, the sequence of project development is categorized into different phases, while in Agile, the project is divided into sprints (Sharma, Sarkar & Gupta, 2012).
  • Waterfall model follows a structured path of project development and hence it is very rigid. Agile project development is however a flexible methodology.
  • In waterfall model, the project or software development is completed as a single project with many phases. However, agile methodology is a collection of many projects with iterations of different phases, which focuses on improving the quality and process of the product and product development (Cimolini & Cannell, 2012).
  • Unlike Agile model, there is no scope of changing the requirement specifications for implementing a project after setting off with the project. Agile model offers flexibility to allow changes even after setting off with the project (Amlani, 2012).
  • Designing, developing and testing is done only once in the waterfall model. In agile methodology, an iterative development approach is followed, which requires designing, developing and testing the project multiple times before releasing the final product.
  • Waterfall model generally does not require customer participation. Agile methodology however, focuses on the customers’ satisfaction and includes them during the testing phases.  
  • Waterfall model strictly deals with completion of the project; agile however deals with the customers’ satisfaction regarding a particular project.
  • Waterfall model is ideal for projects that have a clear set of requirements with no possibility of change. Agile methodology deals with changing requirements and evolution of the product in development.

Methodologies in relation to the project life cycle

Lifecycle of the project includes phases such as Initiation, planning, execution and closure. Both waterfall and agile methodology follows the stages of the project life cycle. These methodologies include the initiation phase where the feasibility-study of the project is carried out.  Next comes the planning phase which requires listing down the requirement analysis of the project in development. Requirements are listed before the starting of the project in both waterfall and agile methodology.  Then the project is implemented according to the requirement specifications in both waterfall and agile methodologies. Next follows the management of the project. Waterfall and agile methodologies follows different course of project management. The whole project is divided into number of phases. In agile methodology, each phase, particularly called sprint is tested before each release. Agile includes many releases of the project before the  actual release in order to obtain users’ feedback. In waterfall model, however the testing procedure is generally done only once after the completion of the project. Project management also includes maintenance of the software or the product made. Both the methodology involves product maintenance process (Wells, 2012). However, agile methodology involve the improvement of the product while in development phase which is absent in waterfall methodology.  

Conclusion

Thus from the above discussion it can be concluded that, a project has to undergo various phases in order to achieve successful completion. These phases are governed by certain methodologies that determine the successful completion of the project. Methodology is nothing but a standard set of rules that are followed for development of a project or software. There are various methodologies, which are followed in project development and management. Waterfall and Agile are two such methodologies.  The similarity between these two methodologies is that, they work with similar programmatic blocks. However, these two methods differ in many ways. The major difference it that agile provides flexibility in designing and development of a project while waterfall follows a strict path. Waterfall model is non-iterative in nature unlike agile methodology, which is one of the primary drawbacks of the iterative model. These two methodologies fulfill all the criteria required for successful project development and follow the project development life cycle. 

References

Amlani, R.D., (2012). Advantages and limitations of different SDLC models. International Journal of Computer Applications & Information Technology, 1(3), pp.6-11.

Balaji, S. & Murugaiyan, M.S., (2012). Waterfall vs. V-Model vs. Agile: A comparative study on SDLC. International Journal of Information Technology and Business Management, 2(1), pp.26-30.

Burke, R., (2013). Project management: planning and control techniques. New Jersey, USA.

Cimolini, P. & Cannell, K., (2012). Agile Software Development. In Agile Oracle Application Express (pp. 1-13). Apress.

Kerzner, H., (2013). Project management: a systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling. John Wiley & Sons.

Mishra, A. & Dubey, D., (2013). A comparative study of different software development life cycle models in different scenarios. International Journal of Advance research in computer science and management studies.

Model, W., (2015). Waterfall model. Luettavissa: https://www. waterfall-model. com/. Luettu, 3.

Nicholas, J.M. & Steyn, H., (2017). Project management for engineering, business and technology. Taylor & Francis.

Schwalbe, K., (2015). Information technology project management. Cengage Learning.

Sharma, S., Sarkar, D. & Gupta, D., (2012). Agile processes and methodologies: A conceptual study. International journal on computer science and Engineering, 4(5), p.892.

Thiemich, C. & Puhlmann, F., (2013). An agile BPM project methodology. In Business Process Management (pp. 291-306). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

Wells, H., (2012). How effective are project management methodologies? An explorative evaluation of their benefits in practice. Project Management Journal, 43(6), pp.43-58.

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