Technical projects composed of several subsystems, for example, often implement one subsystem at a time. Tenants can move into some floors in a new office building while there is active construction on other floors, and sections of a new freeway are opened as they are completed rather than waiting for the entire freeway to be complete.
Phased delivery has several benefits:
Modularized products, whose components can operate independently, can be delivered in phases. To determine how to phase a project or product delivery, you need to look for the core functionality—the part of the project that the other pieces rely on—and implement that first. The same criteria may be used in identifying the second and third most important components. When multiple components are equally good candidates, they can be prioritized according to business requirements.
Trade-off: Phased implementation increases functionality at the expense of schedule. If the approach requires old methods to run concurrently with new methods, it could also temporarily lead to higher operating costs.
Impact on risk: When components of a solution are delivered over time, the connections, or interfaces, become high risk. For technical solutions, that could mean corrupted data.
Information for this article was derived in part from Eric Verzuh’s book “The Portable MBA in Project Management.”
This article was originally authored for the PM Tips website - the original post appears here.