As Microsoft Dynamics 365 projects evolve, the overarching question that project managers need to ask themselves is “which framework best fits my project?” In this blog, we discuss some pros and cons of the “Agile” and “Waterfall” frameworks that might assist you in deciding which is the best fit for your project.
This framework is named “Waterfall” because each life cycle is a sequence that flows downward in a series of phases. Typical phases are Feasibility > Plan > Design > Build > Test > PROD > Support.
- Waterfall is a structured process defined in phases with deliberate deliverables in each phase.
- There is an emphasis on documentation such as requirements and design documents.
- Requirements are defined in advance with little flexibility in allowing change once requirements have been signed off.
- Changes in design must go through a formal change control process that can impede timelines and budget.
- Oftentimes stakeholders aren’t completely sure of the design they are asking for. Waterfall is rigid in its design and its ability to change with the clients evolving requirements.
- The inability to change things done in previous stages.
The agile framework is based on an incremental and iterative approach. Instead of all the planning being up front, the framework allows for changing requirements over time.
- Change is part of the process and not seen as a weakness to designing the product.
- Since delivery is iterative, issues and problems tend to come to light much quicker.
- User feedback is crucial throughout the entire lifecycle of the project.
- Documentation can sometimes be neglected. The Agile Manifesto refers to the value behind working software then comprehensive documentation.
- Planning tends to be less “fixed” since the requirements are continually growing as the product evolves.
- There is a risk that the final product may look quite different from the original design.
The goal of each framework is to deliver a functional and quality product. At the end of the day, everyone who is contributing to the Dynamics 365 project must collectively decide on the best approach.
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Happy Dynamics 365’ing!