Agile Software Development
Software development companies have traditionally approached software project management with the Waterfall Approach, a well-established albeit risky, expensive, and out-dated method of managing software projects.
The Waterfall process is best characterised by dictating all project specifications up front and then adhering to a pre-defined planning document until the final piece of web-based software is shared with the client. According to a UK study based on 1,027 Waterfall-based projects, 87% were unsuccessful.
The single largest contributing factor for failure was the Waterfall-style scope management process used, which was cited in 82% of all projects that fell short as the leading cause of their failure. (Source: Craig Larson - Agile and Iterative Development: A Managers Guide published by Addison-Wesley Professional).
The Waterfall process works more like a freight-train from start to finish without the ability to change direction mid-stream –whereas Agile Software Development allows for flexible, transparent client involvement and embraces changes that may arise over the course of a given project. This is accomplished through an organised iterative approach, and by its nature allows for a structured process, fixed price, and fixed timelines.