The manufacturer’s opinion on the paradigm of project management is polarized.

For years, no act of choosing blighted the landscape. Professionals traditionally leaned towards the waterfall model—a strict sequential approach to project management that doesn’t allow for unexpected changes or revisions. Then, it happened: the agile methodology took a stance against such restrictions and, justifiably or not, the manufacturer’s trademark approach to project management attracted a chorus of disapproval.

Author Teodora Gaici | Copperberg

Industry players didn’t get idled. In spite of its limitations, many professionals still prefer the linear-sequential model. Others avail themselves of the opportunity to shift towards an iterative practice—or, to be more precise, the agile method of managing projects.

Is it time to dismantle traditional fixed-scope projects and drive service innovation through agile planning?

It depends on who you ask.

Out of 100,000 individuals, 85.4% are actively using the agile methodology to keep their projects running smoothly; and that’s probably not a surprise. The traditional linear-phased approach surely has its shortcomings—it vehemently discourages changes in deliverables and gives rise to dependencies. Since each task is completed in an orderly sequence, several team members will remain inactive for an extended period of time—and this presumably has a knock-on effect on the project’s budget.

This, however, doesn’t mean that the widely-practiced agile methodology is the go-to framework that readily fits every scenario. If the agile adoption is ill-posed and an organization is resistant to change, many projects will get botched; and the results can be catastrophic. PMI states that “9.9% of every dollar is wasted due to poor project performance—that’s $99 million for every $1 billion invested.”

It is not too late to stem the tide and avoid the peril of inadequate project management. There are just a few choices to be made. A manufacturer may plow ahead through each imminent obstacle by implementing the agile methodology. When the circumstances warrant it, industry players can turn, on a dime, towards a familiar route—the tried-and-tested waterfall model. The question is, when should you prefer one over the other?

Under the Waterfall of Project Management Success

Nearly 50 years ago, the waterfall framework began setting the standard for project planning. Its origins lie in the manufacturing industry, “where changes after implementation are,” as experts proclaim, “prohibitively costly.”

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