The Process

There’s a lot of fuss lately around work methodologies. Everyone loves “agile” and hates “waterfall”, just because it’s cool to do so. But actually choosing the correct process for a project shouldn’t be a matter of coolness, but subject to the unique specifications given.

Framework

I am currently reading an interesting book called “Interactive Project Management – Pixels, People and Process” and I totally agree with their approach. Here are some notes I made from the book:

The process isn’t for the Project Manager, it’s for everybody.
Existing PM models:
1. Based on 2 popular software development methods:
– Waterfall: sequential process in which each phase concludes before the next phase begins; fairly rigid model that allows for little flexibility
– Agile: far less rigid model, characterized by lack of formal structure; incorporates short, cyclical phases. It works well when you allow the scope of the project to evolve over time.
2. Derived from ad agencies:
– “Traffic”: the creative department drives the project vision.

Unfortunately, none of these methods work perfectly for client-driven, interactive projects:

  • waterfall doesn’t leave clients room for change
  • agile require a too deep level of collaboration
  • “traffic” neglects the end user, they can’t interact

The new way of doing things should borrow:

  • principles of rigor from waterfall
  • iterative qualities from agile
  • client and creative focused techniques from the ad agencies

They (“they” = the clockwork.net agency) even give a detailed flow on their process – see it here.

They are not the only ones talking about processes. Most interactive (multidisciplinary) agencies do:
SoftFacade: Discover – Design – Build – Deploy – Improve
Frog: Discover – Design – Deliver
Switch’d: Planning – Design – Development – Ongoing

HackFwd also has an interesting approach, suitable for startups – see it here.

But why do we need a process?

Well, because you will soon find that you are “out of control,” unless you start organizing and writing down how and when key things need to get done. And also because following a path gives your team / your agency / your investors a clear roadmap, keeps everyone on the same page.

“Startup success can be engineered by following the process, which means it can be learned, which means it can be taught.” – Eric Ries

The Lean Startup

At Okapi we like to make things happen in a natural way, suited for each project. You could say our process looks like this:

Screen Shot 2013-04-15 at 8.22.44 PM

…but it’s important to note that each project is unique and we are adaptable. I strongly believe that, at the end of the day, success lies in execution, and not in the idea.

What PM process do you prefer?

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