Adaptive Methodologies vs Predictive Methodologies

The BA Guide | Jeremy Aschenbrenner
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Plan the Project as a Business Analyst

Increase your value as a Business Analyst by learning how to plan projects successfully without a Project Manager

05:14:54 of on-demand video • Updated April 2021

  • Gain the ability to identify, analyze, manage, and involve stakeholders based on their needs and the needs of the project
  • Learn how to create a Project Charter and facilitate an official project kickoff
  • Learn how to create a requirements management plan by defining the level of detail, storage and access needs, traceability, reuse, and change control process of the project
  • Understand how to break down the large project into workable activities
  • Learn various estimation techniques to estimate the effort to complete the project
  • Gain the ability to create both an adaptive (agile) or predictive (waterfall) project schedule
  • Understand how to complete a Quality Plan that outlines expectations for testing and quality assurance, managing defects, and training
  • Learn how to conduct release planning for both adaptive (agile) and predictive (waterfall) projects
  • Gain the ability to identify and set performance measure for both the project and for business analysis
English -: One important concept that I need to reiterate, something we covered in the Conductive Strategy Analysis course, but I want to make sure that in case you forgot, or maybe you didn't take that course, this is a really important concept you must understand to understand what we're going to be talking about throughout a lot of the pieces of this course, and that is the concept around adaptive methodologies versus predictive methodologies. Adaptive methodologies embrace change. They're adaptive. They are okay when new requirements are coming in mid-project, they can prioritize them and work them. Predictive methodologies are more wanting to predict the future, so they're gathering all of the requirements upfront before they move on to design, before they move on to actually creating that, before they move on to testing. So they're doing it in big chunks and changes are not their friend because when changes come in, they are maybe past that point already. Maybe they're in the testing phase and a new requirement pops up. Well, how are we supposed to do this? We're in testing, we're no longer in the requirements phase. So it gets a little difficult. So let's illustrate this a little bit to make sure that you understand. Waterfall, which is the top image here, is a predictive type of methodology. As you can see, left to right, that is time as time moves on. And we can think of each column as like a week or a couple weeks. So for a predictive process, our first couple weeks, we're doing our analysis and our next couple weeks, we're doing our requirements. And then we move on to our design. Then we move on to our build, testing and eventual release. As you can tell again, if we're in our testing and we get new requirements, our requirements were weeks ago, we can't go back and do requirements, so it gets difficult, not impossible, but difficult to implement changes. They're not good with changes. And that's a predictive or waterfall methodology. An adaptive or agile methodology is a lot different. Agile methodologies work with a list of requirements, so they have a list of requirements that's constantly evolving, changing, moving, being reprioritized. And at the beginning of every sprint or iteration, the team is determining what requirements they're going to complete in that iteration. And when I say complete, I don't mean just doing the analysis or the design, they're doing everything. They're doing the analysis, design, the build, the testing, and getting that ready for release. Whether there's a release right at the end of that sprint doesn't matter, but they're moving that requirement all the way through its process and getting it ready to go out the door and ready for the business to get value from that requirement being completed. And they do that over and over and over. So when a change comes up for an adaptive methodology, it's pretty easy to stick it into the list of requirements called the product backlog. And then it gets prioritized in there and worked based on the priority of that change, and it's not a big impact. So predictive, it's more of a phased approach. You don't move on from one phase of the project until the previous one is done. And it's very difficult to go back phases. An adaptive approach, you're working through many iterations and working through those working requirements as they're defined and identified as the top priority for that particular iteration.