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PM Believer: Agile or Waterfall, What’s Better?

I am a believer in the power of project management.

As a professional project manager for nearly twenty years, I have witnessed project success drive business results. I have also proven that project management can change lives and help achieve personal transformation. Now I am sharing some practical tips and techniques that you can use to help achieve your own personal goals, live your best life and become a PM Believer.

Agile or Waterfall, What’s Better?

Agile or waterfall? It is a debate that has plagued project managers for years. Which is the superior methodology for delivering projects?

Waterfall has its rigid structure beginning with an up-front planning process before project delivery begins. Alternatively, Agile gets started with delivery almost immediately, but it doesn’t offer the predictable delivery scope and timeline. That is an over-simplification of the nuances of these two methodologies. Still, it is a glimpse inside the ongoing debate.

Recognizing that each approach has advantages and drawbacks, most organizations embrace both methodologies for different projects. This is often called bimodal delivery. Some companies have even adopted supplementary practices in a trimodal delivery model.

Lately, an industry-wide debate has emerged about the merits of imposing standardized methodologies at all. While I doubt that this debate will become commonplace, it highlights an important fact.

At the heart of the debate about Agile versus waterfall is the truism that there is no one-size-fits-all approach for successful project delivery.

This is likewise true for your personal goals as well.

As you know, I am a believer in the power of project management. I stand behind the value of project management and its various tools and processes to help make your dreams come true. But, the operative word is “help.”

A project management methodology on its own will not achieve your goal. These methodologies are simply toolsets you can use to achieve your goals. It is still up to you to choose the right tools and apply them in the right way based on your specific project.

Project management requires flexibility.

A good project manager focuses on the goal or outcome they are trying to achieve above all else. Then, the project manager chooses the appropriate tools and techniques to accomplish that goal. This may mean following a standard methodology or cherry-picking a couple of the tools or techniques to apply to the project. Your project may be one where a less-is-more approach is good enough to get you to the finish line.

Over-reliance on a standardized methodology or rigid set of processes is a recipe for project failure.

The purpose of project management is the application of structured tools and techniques to achieve an outcome. The result is more important than the structure. Simply following a checklist of project management processes is not going to get you to the finish line.

If you want to use project management to achieve your goal, it will require some decisions. Use the process as a guideline, and then choose only the tools needed to achieve your goal.

Progress is more important than process, and there is no right project management methodology.

Are you ready to be a PM Believer?

You have a goal to achieve, and you want to use project management to make it happen. What’s the right methodology for you, Agile or waterfall? The answer might surprise you.

How have you applied project management for your personal success? Tell me about it at and make sure to join my email list to have updates delivered to your inbox weekly.

Make sure to help your friends achieve their goals by sharing this post on your social network and by following me on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.

Want to know more about how I changed my life with project management? Pick up your copy of my book Operation Melt: How I Used Life-Changing Project Management to Lose Over 100 Pounds In Under a Year.

About Operation Melt

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Published inPM Believer

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