Best of Both (Agile-Waterfall) Models
There is an ever-present debate about ‘What is the right Project Management approach in the field of ever evolving Information Technology, Agile or Waterfall?’ There are strong arguments from both sides of the spectrum, substantiating, why they feel their approach is better than the other. Both of these are usable, mature methodologies that have been followed in software development projects for a long time. Their suitability varies from project to project based on the challenges and requirements it faces. Let’s look at some of the advantages and limitations/ of each of these models and how they impact your implementation.
Additional Sprints --> Additional Costs & Timelines
Need for the whole team to be located in the same physical space.
Continuous customer involvement not always possible.
Waterfall Model - Advantages
✓ Early Scope & deliverables agreement between customers & developers
✓ Easy measurement of progress due to full scope visibility
✓ Development of multiple components paralleled for future integration
✓ Mandatory client involvement only for reviews, approvals, post requirements phase
✓ Improved software design due to availability of requirements & deliverables upfront
Realize business value only at the end of lifecycle.
No visibility till software is delivered for acceptance testing at the end of the cycle. Less flexible to requirements change.
Unable to handle unexpected risks.
Master Data Management projects have their own set of challenges, calling for a suitable Project Management Approach. At InfoTrellis, we have built an effective methodology for Project Management, through years of experience in managing MDM projects, referred to as “InfoTrellis Smart MDM™Methodology”. It is an amalgamation of some of the best principles from Waterfall, Agile and Rational Unified Process.
Smart MDM™ is an iterative model that is designed to link business value and strategy into tactical, quick, and logically sequenced deliverables. It consists of the following phases:
One of the key features in Smart MDM™ methodology is the preparatory process involved during the project initiation. This involves Discovery & Assessment, Business & Use-case definition, Program Roadmap Design, Source Data Quality analysis and culminates with Scope & Approach definition.
This is a non-iterative, waterfall like approach that establishes the program strategy, current state analysis, and identification of right set of tools or software required to meet the project objectives.
After each iteration a project team can deliver logically sequenced quality deliverables at a faster pace through Smart MDM™methodology.
Smart MDM™ methodology enables the business users to experience the progress & benefits at regular intervals paving way to visualize the solution and suggest modifications. This frequent delivery improves the confidence of the users, similar to an Agile model.
Smart MDM™methodology, being an iterative approach, has the flexibility to incorporate requirement or business use-case changes to an extent. It facilitates modifications based on the feedback received from the users similar to refactoring in Agile.
Though Smart MDM™methodology does not require constant involvement from the customer, it encourages collaboration between the business users and the implementation team. Post the requirement phase, business users or SME’s from the customer team are required to review, approve project artifacts, akin to Waterfall model.
One key feature of Smart MDM™methodology is the preparation and maintenance of functional and technical documentation (like in Waterfall), though it has inherited an iterative model from agile.
Smart MDM™methodology, unlike agile, enables its teams to be location-agnostic and could be comprised of resources working in an onsite-offshore model.
Smart MDM™methodology, with its iterative approach, and delivery at regular intervals, makes it easier to handle risks and issues that come up during the course of the project lifecycle. Mitigation and correction measures can be incorporated into the project plan with ease, unlike the waterfall model.
In summary, for a complex and challenging implementation like that of Master Data Management, it is beneficial to approach the development and delivery through a model that is a blend of successful traditional models, and InfoTrellis Smart MDM methodology offers exactly that and has been proven successful in many implementations.