There’s been a lot of tension in our office between agile and waterfall development styles. We’re an agile shop and that works for most all of the updates and new releases, but the larger overhaul projects tend to eclipse the agile iteration cycles. With a larger waterfall approach we can take any time needed to design, develop and build major revisions or additions. Although I’ve previously worked with both project management styles before, I’ve most experience with waterfall, especially with large applications and redesign efforts. I can see both advantages and disadvantages in both management styles for our software development needs; the tension comes from how to effectively and efficiently manage between the tactical and the strategic goals.
Our solution is that we embrace both forms of project management. We’ve integrated kanban as a means to achieve a balance between the two. Immediate projects will be ongoing, requiring quick iterations and daily contact with the teams. Longer term initiatives will take the time needed to achieve the individual milestones which have been laid out over a 6-month schedule. Once the milestones are reached and are ready to launch, they’ll be rolled into the next agile iteration.
It’s only been a week or so since we’ve implemented this, but I think it should work well in our shop. It may be sounding too good to be true, but, then again, it may be exactly what we need to take care of all business, big and small.