Big Bang or Bit by Bit - Two Approaches for Project Delivery

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There are two main ways to dish up innovation - the traditional, 'big bang' roast dinner also known as Waterfall, More recently, a 'bit by bit' tapas of tasting plates has become popular, also known as Iterative or Agile delivery. This is a short, sharp introduction to what's on the menu.

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Big Bang or Bit by Bit - Two Approaches for Project Delivery

  1. 1. Big Bang or Bit by Bit – Two approaches to project delivery P a g e | 1 Jenny Vandyke | Director and Principal Consultant m: 0412 602 362 | e: Jenny.Vandyke@zumbara.com.au www.zumbara.com.au The following is an excerpt from The Innovation Recipe: Key ingredients for world-class results in big business by Jenny Vandyke. Dishing up innovation - the traditional roast dinner, or a tapas of tasting plates In The Innovation Recipe we walk through the key people you need on your project team. Now, let's take a look at the key steps to successful implementation. I'm not trying to make you an overnight expert in risk management, requirements, or testing. However, no matter how many experts you've brought on board, it's important that you are familiar with the key ingredients, so you know what to look out for. Big bang or bit by bit Different projects use different project methodologies. There are two main options. The first is the traditional ‘Big Bang’ approach, known as Waterfall, where the project is completed in discrete phases, with one major, ‘Big Bang’ implementation at the end of the project. If you really want to get into the technical detail about Waterfall, two of the most common methodologies are: Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK, popular in Australia) and Projects In Controlled Environments (PRINCE2), popular in the United Kingdom).
  2. 2. Big Bang or Bit by Bit – Two approaches to project delivery P a g e | 2 Jenny Vandyke | Director and Principal Consultant m: 0412 602 362 | e: Jenny.Vandyke@zumbara.com.au www.zumbara.com.au In Waterfall projects, we gather all of our requirements upfront, compile them into one big document for approval, then hand the document to our tech experts to build a solution, all in one go. Once every requirement has been built, we test all in one go, then implement. Everything is written down, there are strong governance requirements, but it can also take a long time between idea and implementation. In more recent years, a new approach has emerged - Iterative Project Management. As the name suggests, Iterative projects are implemented ‘bit by bit’. Small changes will be implemented every few months. In Iterative Project Management, there is less focus on documentation and more focus on prototyping and discussion. Iterative approaches include Agile and Scrum. Rather than defining all your requirements in a theoretical document upfront, the project team builds an interactive, working prototype of the solution, demonstrates the prototype to stakeholders in a workshop, and stakeholders have the opportunity to say what they like and what they don't like. The team goes back to the drawing board, produces a new prototype to be presented again to stakeholders, and the cycle continues. The implementation approach is equally iterative, and we see this often with application development for smartphones and tablets. A new app will be published with basic functionality, and every few months a new version will be released with more features, bug fixes and so on. The first app did the job, but it keeps getting better and better over the months and years since it was first launched. Do one thing, execute it brilliantly, then grow, as we talked about in the What makes an idea innovative chapter. The idea with iterative is to get your solution out there more quickly - solve the core problem then build in the bells and whistles over time. Rather than discrete design, build, test, implement phases, taking months to complete, there are short, sharp development cycles. Due to the reliance on workshops and multiple iterations, the stakeholder engagement commitment is significantly higher on iterative projects. Each model has its advantages and disadvantages, including different risks and benefits. For complex changes, Waterfall tends to be best - you can't possibly get through 300
  3. 3. Big Bang or Bit by Bit – Two approaches to project delivery P a g e | 3 Jenny Vandyke | Director and Principal Consultant m: 0412 602 362 | e: Jenny.Vandyke@zumbara.com.au www.zumbara.com.au requirements in a single workshop. High risk and highly regulated industries (and risk averse organisations) are also better suited to Waterfall. You wouldn't want to implement half a payroll system, for example. The Innovation Recipe: Key ingredients for world-class results in big business by Jenny Vandyke. Published by Pachyderm, Melbourne Australia 2013. About the book More food for thought is available via our website

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