There are a lot of discussions in project management groups if you should use waterfall or agile methods. In theory, it’s either or, but in reality, it’s a little more blended.
The easiest way is to give a real world example from a project, but as a consultant, I’m not allowed to share detailed client material.
I will instead use the project Seven Deadly Sins of IT, as an example of waterfall vs. agile approach to project management.
We have been publishing Architecture Corner on Youtube for two years, as a hobby project aside from our normal day-to-day work as consultants. Last November, Greger Wikstrand and I discussed how to make the season 5 even better and how to get a bigger audience than today. We came up with the idea of short stories with a common theme and decided for Sevens Sins.
Filmmaking is a waterfall style process, but the question was how we could to be more agile in our approach compared to usual ways of working in the business.
The steps are Development (e.g. idea creation), Pre-production, Production, Post-production and Distribution. Each phase very dependent of the previous phase, i.e. a classic waterfall method.
We are doing seven short films, each as a small waterfall, so in theory; there are no dependencies between them. The issue, due to production scheduling, is that we have to shot some scenes at the same location and time, thus introducing a critical path for the whole production.
Greger and I are the product owners for Architecture Corner, so everything needs to be approved by either, or both of us. As a hobby project, the budget is very low, so we need to be more flexible in time and functionality.
More than twenty-five persons in different locations are involved in the project, but nobody is allocated full time. This means that we don’t have a dedicated agile team in one place and the situation is more like a traditional AM project where everybody has many different tasks.
So from the start is the project it very waterfall-ish. The question is if it can evolve into a more agile project or not.