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TOPIC: Iterative Vs Incremental project life cycles

Iterative Vs Incremental project life cycles 1 year 5 months ago #14445

  • Tahar Ouhrouche
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Hi all,
I am struggling to understand what difference there is between iterative vs incremental life cycles.
As far as I understood, both life cycles add extra functionality in iterations. It is mentioned that incremental life cycles deliver the final product after the final iteration only.
Does this mean that the customer won't be able to use the product until the last iteration is over and the project is closed?
Does this mean that in the iterative life cycle, the product is finalized and put to the market as early as possible and then features get added to it in an iterative way?

Thank you in advance,
Tahar

Iterative Vs Incremental project life cycles 1 year 5 months ago #14446

  • Steven Mudrinich, PMP
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Tahar,

The main difference between them is that an iterative process makes progress through continuous refinement while an incremental process makes progress through small increments. So if I am a PM for a software project, an iterative approach would be to initially build the overall product and then refine the weak areas, while an incremental approach would be to build each individual area one at a time.

Generally, an iterative product will get to market before an incremental product, but the incremental product will be more complete when initially released.

- Steven
The following user(s) said Thank You: Matteo Bettini

Iterative Vs Incremental project life cycles 1 year 5 months ago #14479

  • Tahar Ouhrouche
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Hi Steven,
Thanks a lot for the quick follow up, highly appreciated.
From the description you've given below, it sounds like iterative development is purely horizontal where one builds the full "unfinished" products while incremental focuses on building an shipping finished verticals of the product.

Again, thanks a lot for the quick follow up.

Kind regards,
Tahar

Iterative Vs Incremental project life cycles 1 year 5 months ago #14480

  • Luke Ho
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Tahar,

Steven sums it up well. An example of an incremental life cycle is developing a fully functional website. There's a new functionality being added to the website for each iteration, but the full website is delivered to the customer at the end of the project. As for iterative life cycle, think of a demo, a prototype of that website that you build and let the customer decide to proceed with the full-blown product.

Luke

Iterative Vs Incremental project life cycles 3 months 1 week ago #18343

  • Ashvini
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Based on the response shared by Steven, I would further like to know that in incremental life cycle , the entire scope at higher level is known during the initiation stage or only part of the scope is known to develop the product incrementally by using series of iterations ?

To my best of understanding,In iterative LC , approach, entire scope at higher level is known during initiation of the project. Subsequently product development takes place through progressive elaboration.

Please clarify .
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