Light Methodologies

Ever-increasing technological complexities, project delays, and changing client requirements brought about a small revolution in the world of development methodologies. A totally new breed of methodology which is agile, adaptive, and involves the client every part of the way is starting to emerge. Many of the heavyweight methodologists were resistant to the introduction of these "lightweight" or "agile methodologies" (Fowler 2001). These methodologies use an informal communication style. Unlike heavyweight methodologies, lightweight projects have only a few rules, practices, and documents. Projects are designed and built on face-to-face discussions, meetings, and the flow of information to the clients. The immediate difference of using light methodologies is that they are much less document-oriented, usually emphasizing a smaller amount of documentation for the project. For example, they are somewhat code-oriented: The team considers the source code as the project documentation. Advantages of a lightweight methodology include:

It works well with change.

It is people-oriented rather than process-oriented. It works with people rather than against them.

The methodology is complemented by the use of dynamic checklists.

If a client constantly introduces frequent changes to the design to see what the solution will look like possibly to see immediate results or functionality of the product a light methodology may be the suitable route to follow. Although you might set some limits to prevent too many changes, in today's ever-changing technological environment, clients might prefer that the project proceed in smaller iterations. The great thing about light methodologies is that they are learning methodologies. After each build or iteration, the team learns to correct issues on the project and improvement cycles form throughout the project. Additionally, with light methodologies, the project teams are smaller and rely on working more closely, fostering knowledge sharing, and having almost instantaneous feedback. The project manager does not need to develop heavy project documentation, but should instead focus on the absolute necessary documentation (i.e., project schedule).

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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