Falling with ‘Waterfall’ and deciding to go ‘Lean’
April 3, 2011
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Sometimes excitement about a project can take over rational thinking and desire to ship out the perfect product can hold one behind and play a bad trick.
Last November when releasing the initial version of the Information Management System for SIFE Windsor I thought that it would fulfill the needs of the team – data storage, knowledge transfer and some rather basic intelligence. The way we approached development was rather traditional – the PADDTIM (Planning – Analysis – Design – Development – Testing - Implementation – Maintenance) Framework learned in one of my classes sticked with me so well that I subconsciously decided to follow it.
The ‘Waterfall’ model and establishing goals for each phase of development resulted in wasted time and resources. First several steps were focused around gathering requirements and developing a system to fulfill them. This would normally work ok in a large company or a structured organization, but the environment I was developing for was anything but that. Without a tracking system in place and also without many formal processes implemented the situation needed a different approach.
To sum it up, the lesson we learned was the following – before a system can be implemented, processes have to be identified and some preliminary data has to be gathered and carefully analyzed.This is exactly where a lean model came in place and agile software development concepts proved to be important.Going ‘lean’ might not work for many industries and organizations, but when requirements are vague and initiative is totally new it might actually be the ultimate solution.
So, after ‘falling’ with ‘Waterfall’, we decided to go ‘Lean’ and mobilize our team. If you are implementing lean approach in your organization and have any tips for me, please drop me a line.