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Alion | Every digital project calls for the right approach. This is how we do it.

Every digital project calls for the right approach. This is how we do it.

Alion blog author

Tim van Spronsen

25 March 2020

min read

Alion blog intro image

As Creators of Digital Power we turn ideas into digital solutions. From websites to apps to video's, animations and complete campaigns. Projects can vary in size and complexity immensely. For that reason we do not use a set approach of project planning, but we look at each individual project to determine the best way of working. How do we determine the right approach? In this article we give a little peak into our project kitchen. Do you want to know how we could approach your digital project? Feel free to challenge us! ;-)

Important factors at each project

When determining the right approach for a project, we always look at 6 factors. We'll go into these briefly. 

Feedback
Would you like us to show the progression of our work during the project, so you'll be able to give some feedback before the project is delivered?

Time to market
How important is it to have a short time to market for (a part of) the product, on which we can continue to build? 

Return on investment
Does the product need to start earning back the investment as soon as possible?

Budget management
Would you like to determine step by step how the budget is allocated (per priority) or is there a set total budget?

Planning
Do we makes small steps quickly or do we plan the entire project ahead?

Result
Do we deliver several times or will there be a single delivery?

 

 

Which approach fits best, with Sprints or Waterfall? 

After going through the factors, we know which approach fits best. We then choose between two approaches: in Sprints (also called Agile, meaning a flexible planning en small deliveries) or Waterfall (traditional approach with a set planning and delivery once the end result has been achieved). The Agile philosophy embraces the 'Learning by doing' mentality. Delivering results in small steps (Sprints), in contrast with the more traditional project approach, where there's a single delivery at the end of a project and where there are known risks like an end result which doesn't meet the expectations and a budget and planning which could be exceeded. And that's exactly why many IT related projects have been done with the Agile methodology the last couple of years. However, this doesn't neccessarily mean that every project is better off with working in Sprints!

Because Waterfalling suits perfect for projects of which the conditions, needs and wishes are and will remain crystal clear. In short: the defined end goals are set very clearly. It's also a great approach for small projects. And if there's no doubt on which technology to use, our developers can start working on the project independantly towards the desired delivery. If this situation is applicable for your company, the Waterfall method is the way to go: it will be better, faster and most important: cheaper.

If the demands and the end product aren't exactly clear yet, working in Sprints is ideal. This approach enables all stakeholders to think along about what the ideal end product would embody. Also for larger projects, in which time to market and flexible releases are important, this approach is perfect.

That's why we at Alion choose for working in sprints when building complex websites.

However, some projects require a hybrid approach. Call it the best of both worlds if you like ;-) We're open to discuss how we can find the ideal mix for your project if we feel it helps the end result and matches the budget.

A handy overview

When do we use which approach? In the short overview below you can find the main differences between the two approaches:

Sprints

Waterfall

  • When the conditions, needs and demands aren't exactly clear yet
  • When conditions, needs and wishes are crystal clear and won't change 
  • When the end result/product hasn't been defined enough yet
  • When the product definition is clear and stable 
  • When the technological solution still needs to be determined or needs to stay flexible
  • When the technological solution is completely clear 
  • When it's difficult to plan the project beforehand due to the large number of stakeholders 
  • When the budget is not sufficient for phased delivery and/or when there's a set budget
  • When the budget isn't (exactly) clear yet or depends on intermediate results, priorities and wishes
 

 

How can we help? 

Do you have digital wishes? Please check with us what the options are and feel free to challenge us to convince you of the right solution and project approach. No matter what your digital challenge is, we will help you make it a success! 

Please contact Daan Verberne if you wish to learn more.

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