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Comparing Agile and Waterfall Models in Project Management- A Case Study on Building an E-commerce Website

Comparing Agile and Waterfall Models in Project Management- A Case Study on Building an E-commerce Website

The waterfall model is defined as a sequential model where the output of every phase acts as the input for the subsequent phase, allowing the process to flow downstream. Its main restriction is that it does not allow users the flexibility to rework or review or change the outcome of the preceding step. The Agile model is, on the other hand, defined as a software development approach that focuses on iterative development. Unlike the waterfall model, the Agile model gives users the flexibility to check for errors in any phase of the development stage. There are various differences between the two models which influence the decision to use them in building an e-commerce website. One of the differences is that the Agile model delivers results early and, in most cases, continuously, while the Waterfall model delivers results only at the end of the project (Lal, 2018). This makes the Agile model ideal for software and Information Technology projects, while the Waterfall model is ideal for long-term projects such as manufacturing and construction. The second difference is that the Agile model allows users to easily make changes thought the project, while in the Waterfall model, change needs to be controlled and managed to ensure that it does not have a negative impact on the project. The agile model also allows users to make changes based on the changes in technologies or market, while in the Waterfall model, the final product is fixed regardless of changes in technological needs or market (Lal, 2018). Another difference is that while the Agile model delivers in sprints and sports nimble product teams, the Waterfall model delivers by tasks in succession hence creating team and task dependencies and more fixed teams. The main similarity between the two models is that they both gather, analyze, maintain and code the projects (Lal, 2018). The two models also use similar building blocks. An illustration of these differences is provided below

The pros and cons of Agile and Waterfall project management in terms of planning and the execution of projects and collaboration among project team members

One of the pros of the Agile method is that it is highly flexible hence promoting adaptive planning and execution of project activities. It allows software developers to work on small modules in phases to give time for customer feedback and software testing. The Agile model also facilitates communication and interaction within the project team, thus facilitating the effective execution of projects. Developers can work on different modules in the development process and then collaborate in integrating them into one software at the end of the project (Juricek, 2014). Agile also allows users to make any changes that may be needed to meet the needs of project owners and stakeholders. Another pro of the Agile model is that it allows clients to regulate software features based on their preferences and priorities (Stern, 2020). This helps the development team to understand clients’ needs and deliver them within the expected output. The Agile model also facilitates effective coordination between project teams due to frequent communication usually done face-to-face. The main con of this model is that it limits the ability to predict the scope of the project due to less planning in the earlier stages of the project (Juricek, 2014). Another con is that it is restricted to small multidisciplinary teams and relies on an individual’s skills.

One of the pros of the waterfall model is that it guides project teams on how to effectively complete tasks because a detailed description of the project and its requirements is provided at the beginning of the project. Another pro is that it allows project teams to provide comprehensive documentation of the project hence making it easy for stakeholders to monitor the project’s progress (Rasch, 2019). The main con of the model is that it limits the project team’s ability to make changes throughout the project stages because all requirements are already outlined and discussed at the beginning of the project (Rasch, 2019). Another con is that testing is done in the last stages of the project hence making it time-consuming and expensive to make any modifications that may be needed by a client.

The rationale for using the Agile model to manage the project for the company

I would choose the Agile model to manage the company’s project. This model would be ideal because changes in technology constantly affect customer preferences and needs in e-commerce. It is therefore important to make constant changes on the e-commerce website to meet customer needs and ensure that the website contains all the features that customers may consider important in understanding the company products as well as creating ease in order placement. The Agile model would therefore promote continuous improvement based on the feedback from customers. I also prefer the Agile model because it will enable me to get support from other employees, thus ensuring that I develop a good website. The model will also be ideal for the development of the e-commerce website because it will give me enough time to test the website before presenting it to stakeholders. I can use code sprints to ensure that I complete the project on time so that there is enough time to make any changes that may be required. The Agile model will also be ideal for the current project because of the need to adhere to a specific budget because the model ensures that a project is completed on time within the required budget.

Major pitfalls and misconceptions inherited in the Agile approach and key actions that I, as a project manager, could take in order to mitigate the risks associated with the previously identified misconceptions

One of the major pitfalls and misconceptions inherited in the Agile model is that it reduces the significance of planning in project management (Stern, 2020). Planning is, however, done but to a limited extent to determine the resources required for the project, budget, and expected completion time. The main risk associated with this misconception is failure to adhere to project requirements among project teams because they may argue that they do not have a plan to follow. I would therefore hold a meeting with the project team before the project begins and inform them about the estimated cost of the project, their roles and responsibilities in the project, and the time the project is required to be completed. I would also ensure that I regularly review the work completed by the project teams to ensure that it meets the requirements of stakeholders. Another misconception is that budget estimates cannot be done (Stern, 2020). This could result in misappropriation of funds hence reducing the funds available to complete the project. I would mitigate this risk by making a budget estimate at the beginning of the project and reviewing it regularly based on the number of sprints being developed to ensure that a specific budget is maintained. The third misconception is that there is no management role because it is believed that project teams follow the direction of the project owner who provides the project’s requirements (Stern, 2020). This could create conflict among team members because they all believe that they are at the same level and do not need to answer to anyone apart from the project owner. I would mitigate this risk by defining and allotting different roles to the project teams to ensure that everyone knows what is expected of them and who to answer to or approach in case of any problem or need throughout the project execution process.

References

Juricek, J. (2014). Agile project management principles. Lecture Notes on Software Engineering, 172-175. https://doi.org/10.7763/lnse.2014.v2.117

Lal, M. K. (2018). Knowledge-driven development: Bridging waterfall and Agile methodologies. Cambridge University Press.

Rasch, F. A. (2019). Methodologies in project management. IJBMR.

Stern, T. V. (2020). The lean and Agile project leader/Manager model. Lean and Agile Project Management, 203-212. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429343414-16

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Question 


Agile vs. Waterfall
Preparation

An agile approach to project management has become more and more popular in recent years. The agile framework is different from the traditional waterfall model. It has a considerable impact on how projects are planned and executed.

Comparing Agile and Waterfall Models in Project Management- A Case Study on Building an E-commerce Website

Comparing Agile and Waterfall Models in Project Management- A Case Study on Building an E-commerce Website

Imagine that you have been assigned as a project manager to manage your company’s e-commerce website where customers can browse the company’s products, place orders, and interact with the company’s customer service representatives. Your project must be completed in three months and you have twelve people on the team. There are three offshore developers in Ireland and two QA testers in Dallas, TX. The rest of the project team and the product owner are in San Diego, CA.
Instructions

Write a 4-5 page paper in which you:

Compare Agile and Waterfall models of managing a project in the context of building an e-commerce website. Include diagrams or tables through the use of graphical tools in Microsoft Word or Visio, or an open-source alternative such as Dia, to show the differences and similarities. Note: The graphically depicted solution is not included in the required page length.
Evaluate the pros and cons of Agile and Waterfall project management in terms of planning and the execution of projects and collaboration among project team members.
Determine whether you would use an Agile or Waterfall model to manage the project for your company. Support your rationale.
Identify and analyze the major pitfalls and misconceptions inherited in your chosen approach. Propose key actions that you, as a project manager, could take in order to mitigate the risks associated with the previously identified misconceptions.
Use at least four quality resources in this assignment. Note: Wikipedia and similar websites do not qualify as quality resources. You may use the resources above or others of your choosing.

This course requires the use of Strayer Writing Standards. For assistance and information, please refer to the Strayer Writing Standards link in the left-hand menu of your course. Check with your professor for any additional instructions.

Include charts or diagrams created in Visio or one of their equivalents, such as Dia and OpenOffice. The completed diagrams/charts must be imported into the Word document before the paper is submitted.

The specific course outcome associated with this assignment is:

Produce project results using Agile practices such as high-value increments, continuous improvement, and problem detection and resolution.

 

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