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Creative Fabrik
  -  Journal   -  Eat Your Elephant in Bitesize chunks

You’ll always need a methodology to drive and deliver both offline and online projects… or as I like to call them ‘elephants’.

Back in the day my introduction to project management principles and practices were from a 5 day course in Prince2 management using a waterfall, or traditional methodology. This has always stood me well going forward, to drive and deliver both offline and online projects… or as I like to call them ‘elephants’.

Elephant organisation and risk management principles were also a hug part of the Prince2 philosophy and, sometimes, to drive this from start to finish isn’t an easy thing to achieve in an ever changing digital world.

The success of your elephant has always dependant on the initiation factor and this applies more to a waterfall methodology and less to Agile BUT you have to have that initial goal based conversation of the requirement of the elephant just as much if not more with Agile.

The waterfall principle is a set of events that happen in order:

Vision Planner and document your elephant requirements
Design elephant
Develop and test elephant
Perform system testing of elephant
Perform user acceptance testing (UAT) on elephant
Fix any elephant issues
Deliver the finished elephant

This requires heavy client input at the beginning to understand where we will be at the end BUT in this ever changing world is the newer Agile Methodology the way to go forward.

Having a heavy client need at the start of the elephant discussion when you might not have a relationship with the client is always the hardest part in my opinion as they are intimated by specific details this early in the requirements of the elephant and ultimately don’t know exactly what they want and need, this leads, as the design and development of the elephant progresses, to scope creep and ultimately leads to frustration on both sides of the team.

This will ultimately lead to a finished elephant that isn’t what the client hoped for and changes can then be difficult and costly to make.

Agile is a newer approach to Project Management as it allows rapid delivery in bite sized chunks of the elephant… called ‘sprints’. Each sprint has a defined timeline associated against it with a list of the deliverables required which are planned at the start of the sprint. This allows the client to approve these elements and then move onto the next ‘sprint’.

Once the work is completed it can be overviewed by the Project Team and Customer in Project Scrums and whilst this methodology needs customer involvement it really needs their focus at this Project Scrum level as the approval is the approval to move to the next sprint of the elephant.

This methodology then gives real drive to move on and slowly build the approach to allow for a version of the elephant to be placed in the live environment and the iteration changes made to this live version.

So how do you choose? Here at Creative Fabrik we have a mix of both the methodologies and whilst we try and plan using waterfall we use sprints and scrums to make sure that the project delivery is on track. With client access to the excellent Active Collab they can then become as involved or not involved as they want to be in the development of their elephant.

Don’t hesitate to give Rik a call 07900 154579 or email me at: r.james@creativefabrik.co.uk if you have a specific elephant in mind…