PMP in a Snap

Considerations for Selecting a Development Approach

August 15, 2023 Kaye B Episode 46
PMP in a Snap
Considerations for Selecting a Development Approach
Show Notes Transcript

When you are deciding as a team which one development approach to use to manage the project for your product, service or result, there are several factors that you would consider. Let's talk about the different ones and which approach is better. All lessons are based on the PMBOK®, 6th and 7th Edition.  

CAPMP, PMP and PMBOK are registered marks of Project Management Institute, Inc. 


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Quick recap, there are three development approaches: predictive, adaptive and hybrid. when you are deciding as a team which one to use to manage the project for your product, service or result, there are several factors that you should consider. Factors like the degree of innovation. This is when the scope and requirements are well understood and the project team has worked on before. If the product, service or result is relatively known, then you would use a predictive approach. If it’s complex or the team has never worked on that type of solution, then an adaptive approach is appropriate.

Another one is requirements certainty. When the requirements are well known and easy to define, then predictive approach is the one to use. If the requirements are uncertain, volatile or complex, then adaptive approach is the better fit.

If the scope is stable and not likely to change, predictive approach is useful, if it’s expected to have many changes, then the adaptive side is better. 

You can see the trend, right? If it’s a stable project and we know what to expect, then use predictive. If you are working on a project that you have no idea on how to even start, then it’s an adaptive approach.  Other variables are:

●     Ease of change: Whether or not change is easy to implement on a project

●     Delivery options: If the project needs to be delivered incrementally or in pieces or phases, then it’s adaptive. Larger project more lively use a predictive approach because everything needs to be delivered at once. 

●     Risks: If the risk is low, then most likely you will use predictive. If you need to build the project in phases to assess different risks, you guessed it, it’s adaptive. 

●     Safety requirements: This one is a bit tricky. For the most part, anything that needs safety will be done using a predictive approach. Think about it: You won’t build an air tank in phases. You can’t release the shell of the air tank and have people use it and say, “we’ll deliver the air that goes into the tank in 2 weeks” The whole unit, including the air needs to be done all at once, hence using a predictive approach, not adaptive. 

●     And the same goes for regulations. If you have significant regulatory oversight, you may need to use the predictive approach due to the required process, documentation and demonstration needs. 


You should take into consideration the type of product, service and result that you are trying to solve and match it appropriately with the development approach. That will help you and your project team manage the lifecycle of the project.


That is your PMP in a Snap. We’ll see you again next week.