Scrum, Waterfall, Spiral, SDC, Chaos, Modelling, …

In a recent discussion about project development techniques (or more appropriately ‘styles’), it became evident that what worked for one team didn’t necessarily work for the next team.  We all came to this conclusion without any territorial resentment, just the purpose of trying to find out what’s best. When we began to discuss why one technique worked or didn’t work, we discovered that there were four major pieces that seem to determine whether a technique will ‘fit’.

The first piece is the team itself, the talent, the skill level and even the historical experience seemed to play a part. The second was the Project Manager. The leader may or may not have a prejudice against one technique or another or may not be open or any one of a hundred other influences. The third is the type of project of course. Many of the techniques work for small scale projects but tend to break down in large scale projects. That’s not to say that they won’t work, but they have to be handled differently in order to meet the needs of the project. The fourth piece is ultimately the client and owner. It could be an outside client or it could be the ‘boss man’. Your project management style MUST be able to provide the EXPECTED information at the EXPECTED pace. Otherwise, it will be viewed as a failure before you even complete it.

That last phrase can also be lent to everyone that plays a part in the project. A project works best when one person gives the other person the information they need, in the format best suited for them and at a speed best for their needs.

I know I’ve just opened about a dozen cans of worms in one post, but we’ll go into these things in more detail as we go along. Just remember, a project is a living thing who’s moving parts are everyone involved.


About JohnHowell

I am a professional software developer with over 20 years of experience. I currently specialize in Microsoft technologies such as VS, TFS, C#, VB.Net, WCF, WPF, WW, etc.
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