Adaptive Project Management Life Cycle

The Adaptive models are more appropriate for projects involving higher levels of uncertainty and complexity than the Iterative models. In that sense, they fill a void between the Iterative and Extreme models. Adaptive models are more useful than Iterative models in those situations where very little is known about the solution. Keep in mind that solution discovery is still the focus of these models. Each iteration in the Adaptive models must address not only task completion for newly defined functions and features but also further solution definition through function and feature discovery. It is the discovery part of the Adaptive PMLC models that sets them apart from the Iterative PMLC models.


An Adaptive PMLC model consists of a number of phases that are repeated in cycles, with a feedback loop after each cycle is completed. Each cycle proceeds based on an incomplete and limited understanding of the solution. Each cycle learns from the preceding cycles and plans the next cycle in an attempt to converge on an acceptable solution. At the discretion of the client, a cycle may include the release of a partial solution.

Unlike the Iterative PMLC model where some depth of the solution is not known (features, for example), the Adaptive PMLC model is missing both depth and breadth of the solution. Figure 11-6 depicts the Adaptive PMLC model for projects that meet the conditions of an incomplete solution due to missing features and functions. ...

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