Why Agile Project Management Is Better Than Waterfall?

Joint Project, Management, Work TogetherThe waterfall is a great project management approach but we need to move beyond it.

Are you still doing Waterfall? The practise of creating a detailed plan, followed by the phase of implementation, the documentation in Agile Project Management isn’t the same as Waterfall. In fact, the waterfall is now considered obsolete – which makes sense because it relies on assumptions that are no longer true today. We live and work in a world where change is constant, so our actions should be too.

So what’s wrong with waterfall? A lot! It limits interaction between stakeholders and development teams. Let me explain: when an organization adopts Waterfall, it strips away the visibility that everyone else has into what team members are working on during any given frame of time. For example, in a typical Waterfall approach, once the product owner hands over an item to be developed by the team, she or he has no clear visibility into how development is progressing.

An Agile Project Management approach bridges this gap between what’s needed and when thus making it possible for stakeholders to have more involvement in the process. It also allows both groups to see at a glance where work is behind and where everything is on track. This practice leads to faster revisions, fewer reworks and better expectations management overall. And that means improved collaboration.

But there’s still another fundamental problem with Waterfall – it doesn’t make allowances for a change! Waterfall assumes that requirements are set in stone, allowing little room for adjustments along the way. Of course, in real life, situations often change – priorities shift, and business needs met with one product may not be applicable to another.

This kind of freedom is hard for a Waterfall model to accommodate because it’s static – its methodology relies on strict adherence to the plan that was created at the beginning of the project. The longest waterfall project I have ever worked on still took three years from start to finish – it doesn’t exactly encourage quick response times!

Office, Business, BusinessmenAnd then there are all those extra costs involved if an organization decides that they need something different down the road: more time and money for rework, additional fees for consultants or outside resources, tweaks and changes to existing codebase… you get the picture.

In case you’re still not convinced, I’ll give you one more reason why Waterfall isn’t the best option out there: it’s counterproductive! The practice of having a plan to make decisions on is great for making sure your team sticks to their responsibilities, but that same rigidity that drives adherence to the plan can also prevent growth and innovation. To understand why this happens, let me give you an example: if the product owner requests something in version 1..10 of the product, then nothing else will be developed until those requirements are met. But what if that feature (or anything else from his or her list) needs tweaking? Or fixing? Or even scrapping? With waterfall, these changes cannot occur without spending money and time on redoing work that’s already been done. But a company using Agile Project Management can choose to change course on any of these fronts as they see fit – the point is, this flexibility is possible without having to start from scratch.

Read More

Composite Decking Advice

Do you want to build a deck for your home or business? If the answer is yes then you probably have a few questions on how to do it. The following information will provide tips and ideas that will help you select the right material and method of building a deck.

Building A Deck: Choosing Materials And Where To Buy Them

If you opt for composite decking, some steps must be taken to ensure that it withstands various weather conditions without any damage. After all, having a composite material may look really good but what’s the point if it won’t last due to high exposure to sun? Here are some ways in which you can prevent this from happening:

#1 Anchoring composite materials into concrete – One of the ways to make sure that your composite materials are secure in place is by anchoring it into concrete. You can easily do this yourself, but if you have no experience with such things and are not confident enough to do so, then you should opt for hiring a professional who will do it for you.

#2 Proper Installation – When installing your composite material on top of the boards, ensure that all screws or nails are secured tightly. The idea is to prevent them from loosening throughout various seasons and causing damage because of this.

#3 Using Underlayment – For better protection from harsh weather conditions, use an underlayment before installing your composite decking materials. This product will help provide more cohesion between different layers which gives added strength and sturdiness.

#4 Proper Cleaning – Composite materials can also be vulnerable to high exposure of sunlight. So if you wish to keep it from looking dirty, then make sure that you properly clean it on a regular basis. This includes cleaning any dirt or stains off the material using water mixed with mild detergent or soap.

Consulting A Deck Builder

If you don’t have experience in building decks and are not familiar with how composite materials should be installed, then you should consider consulting a professional deck builder instead. You may think that hiring one would cost a fortune but this is usually not the case. The best thing about professional deck builders is that they will do everything for you; from helping choose different types of materials and even giving you sound advice on how to maintain the deck.

Consider The Pros And Cons Of Different Decking Materials Before deciding what building material should be used, make sure that you have considered the pros and cons of each type. This will help determine which ones are more suitable for your needs. Some of the materials available in the market today include: Composite decking – compared to other products such as timber, composite decking is relatively cheaper and offers better durability. It can also be stained or painted depending on its color. However, this material may not look exactly like real wood so if you want something that resembles it then this may not be a good option for you; Solid plastic lumber (plastic) – made out of either PVC or plastic resin, this material is highly durable and offers an aesthetic appeal that looks like real wood. However, it does need to be maintained regularly.

The Location Where Your Deck Will Be Installed – Before making any decisions about the type of materials you will use for your deck, make sure that you consider the location where it will be located. This is because different areas have different weather conditions so certain decks may require more maintenance than others depending on how they are built.

Read More

Interior Tile Styles: Scandinavian, Moroccan, Classic, Marbled, Concrete, And Wood

Bathroom, Sink, Mirror, Apartment, RoomThere are many styles of tile design in modern interior design. Each of them has its own personality and characteristics. Like styles in interior design, they correspond to a specific tradition in decoration. In the photo below, we show the most fashionable tile styles that will allow you to see the full range of possibilities.

The most popular options for turnkey bathroom remodeling this season are marble-look porcelain stoneware, Provence azulejo tiles, concrete and wood-look porcelain stoneware, Scandinavian ornaments, Moroccan zellige, brick-like boar, as well as encaustic and cement tiles.

Contemporary tiles: marbled porcelain stoneware

In modern styles of interior design, we see this material all the time. It sparkles, looks more expensive than it’s worth, and looks very minimalist. It is the tile in a modern style in the form of marbled porcelain stoneware that is now the most practical, elegant, and stylish solution.

Provence patchwork tile: Portuguese azulejo

Provence-style tiles can be different. Here we will tell you about a specific option that is currently at the peak of interior design trends. Azulejo is a patchwork tile where the design of the wall or floor is like a prefabricated panel of various pieces. Such Provence-style ceramic tiles are multi-colored, with repetitive details, or even unique in each specific piece. Regular Mediterranean-style tiles are often similar to this option. A Provence-style bathroom with azulejo tiles looks very ethnic, authentic, colorful.

Loft-style concrete tile: imitation porcelain stoneware

Loft-style bathroom tiles can imitate different materials, but concrete-look porcelain stoneware is the most fashionable option. Loft-style ceramic tiles of this type are usually large format. Concrete imitations have an uneven gray color and a visual cut around the perimeter. On rare occasions, loft-style bathroom tiles can also be used for ceiling designs. Also, the loft style can include such types of apartment finishes as brick-like tiles, brick-like panels, and concrete plaster.

Scandinavian style tiles: geometric hexagons

Scandinavian-style tiles come in many varieties, but geometric hexes are the most prominent option. They can have one shade or several, as well as alternate monochrome options with prints and ornaments. Geometric ornaments, which allow you to create an absolutely original print for each specific interior, give a very aesthetic and modern picture. By the way, such options are ideal for visual zoning of the kitchen and dining room, kitchen, and living room.

Moroccan-style tiles: Zellidge from Fes

Bathroom, Luxury, Luxury Bathroom, SinkOriginally, Zellidge style Moroccan tiles are handcrafted tiles with a hand-fired effect that gives each tile a half-tone shade. Zellige was invented in the Fes region of Morocco, and it is still here that production is concentrated, which now operates mainly for export. In Russia, we see in 99% of cases imitation of Zellidge using ceramic tiles: glazed or not. It has perfectly straight edges, which makes the finish more practical while maintaining the ombre effect.

Loft-style brick-like tiles: trendy hog

There are different styles of loft-format tiles in the bathroom. For example, in addition to porcelain stoneware for concrete, there is also fashionable hog – brick-like tiles. It is found in the loft-style, Scandinavian, modern, Provence, and some others. The fashionable “hog” looks stylish and neat, especially in a glossy format.

 

Read More

Error-Free Deck Construction: See Tips From Professionals

Wooden decks are becoming more and more common. While in the past, they were used almost exclusively in swimming pools, today they occupy other spaces, such as barbecue areas, balconies, bathroom stalls, access walkways, and gardens.

Despite this, execution errors involving foundations and fastening elements to access and interface with electrical and hydraulic installations are common. The incorrect choice of wood or treatment for this type of use can also reduce the useful life of the deck.

FOUNDATIONS

According to deck builders San Antonio tx, the decks can be installed directly on the ground as long as a soil study has been carried out to understand the permeability. The place must be covered with a bidim blanket or, more commonly, be cemented. In both cases, the terrain needs to be leveled so that the deck remains at the same level, without a step, avoiding the accumulation of water.

If the deck is installed on natural terrain, shoe-type foundations must be made, where the structure will be supported or carry out excavations to make the bases of the pillars that will support the deck structure.

The foundation varies according to the height of the deck, between 0.50 m and 1.50 m in depth. When the support bars are in direct contact with the water, the best protection is made with the application of waterproofing paint. And, as a good practice, use a spacer under the beam so that it is not in contact with the subfloor or the ground. It also indicates the installation of rubber supports (neoprene) to facilitate the flow of water and reduce the impact between the wood and the subfloor. The base consists of a network of resistant structures that will be superimposed to distribute the weight evenly and safely.

CLAMPING ELEMENTS

When the installation is done on a subfloor or finished floor, the architect at deck builders San Antonio tx guides to fix the joists of the deck structure with anchor 8 and screw every 40 to 50 cm (between axes) of each other. The usual bars are wooden rafters, resistant and durable, with 5 x 5 cm, or 5 x 7 cm, commenting that a common mistake is to fix them with pins (headless nails) that, over time, lift or they cannot handle the tendency of the boards to twist or warp.

We at deck builders San Antonio tx prefer the newest solution on the market for fixing the deck in its structure, which are galvanized pins or stainless steel screw with inverted thread, even painted in brown, following the tone of the wood.

SPACING BETWEEN RULERS

As the rulers swell when wet, the crevices prevent them from getting too close. If this happens, the water will not drain but accumulate more and more, soaking the planks progressively.

The cracks between the rulers are essential for draining water, also providing for natural expansion of the wood. As the rulers swell when wet, the crevices prevent them from getting too close. If this happens, the water will not flow but will accumulate more and more, gradually soaking the planks, adding that the rounded edges of the planks also facilitate the flow and improve the visual effect.

At deck builders San Antonio tx, the deck’s cost reduction is achieved using pallets, which are, however, built with more fragile wood. The modular deck sold in stores comes in several sizes but is more fragile due to the fixation being made directly, without spacers. In addition, the cutouts for finishing require the help of a joiner.

WOOD TREATMENT

In each part of the deck, from the structure to the rulers, the wood must receive specific treatments against humidity, UV rays, and slipping. According to the architect, if the structure is low, up to 15 cm from the floor, it is necessary to apply in its pieces the impregnating varnish of the hydro-repellent stain type, with sunscreen and insecticidal and fungicidal action, or even waterproofing product. The same goes for the bottom of the deck rules.

MAINTENANCE

Wood is most vulnerable in areas that receive a lot of suns or in places in contact with chemical products. In such cases, annual maintenance is required, using varnish with sunscreen or impregnants. When using stain , it is not necessary to sand or scrape, as it is absorbed by wood and does not form a film like marine varnishes. A thorough washing with a pressure hose is enough to remove impurities. When the deck is in the shade, maintenance is more spaced out, and can reach two years.

Read More

Turn Your Home Into A More Comfortable Space

Many homes lose energy because they are not insulated to the latest standards. Because of this, they can be uncomfortable and require higher costs for heat in winter or to keep cool in summer. With the energy-efficient technology available today, homeowners who properly insulate their homes can save up to 70% of the energy used to heat or cool them by reducing living costs, creating a more pleasant living space, even by increasing the value of their property.

Where do we start?

As the heat rises, the best starting point is the roof insulation. Often, this is the easiest space to insulate because the materials can be placed on the floor of a bridge or an attic space. If your home has a basement or an auxiliary space below ground level, it is very beneficial to insulate there, either at the top of the floor or under it.

Then check your walls. Some homes will be built with hollow walls, originally designed to protect against moisture. Newly built homes are often insulated, but many cavity walls remain uninsulated and this is an excellent opportunity to improve energy efficiency: insulation materials are simply inserted into the cavity. Otherwise, if you have solid walls, exterior or interior cladding will improve the energy performance of your home and can be very cost effective as part of a renovation or repair project.

Then fill in the blanks. This assumes that windows and doors are well insulated and that any gaps in the building envelope (for example, around pipes, cables and lighting fixtures) are airtight. Even small gaps can increase heating and cooling costs and can lead to damage due to humidity or discomfort.

Finally, as part of any insulation project, it is important to provide protection against condensation caused by the “cold deck”, which can happen when there are colder surfaces in a newly insulated interior. It is also essential to ensure good ventilation, either by using windows and window frames or by mechanical heat recovery systems, so that the interior space is as comfortable as possible.

If you live in a house that may have improved insulation, this is a great opportunity to make a home that is more comfortable and cost effective.

Read More

5 Myths About The Improvements You Can Make To A Home To Increase Its Value

Many homeowners who want to sell their home fall into the trap of improvements that should increase the value of the property, but instead make them spend a lot of money in vain.

When you want to do various renovation or modernization works, it is good to think twice before investing significant amounts in the hope that you will increase the price of the property, otherwise you will waste time and money. Remember that many buyers are still interested in arranging their new home according to their own preferences.

Here are 5 myths you hear most often when you are preparing to sell a home and want to make it more attractive to buyers.

Any improvement adds value to the home.

This is one of the most common mistakes made by homeowners. Some improvements are not welcomed by prospective buyers or may decrease the value of the property from their point of view. A concrete example would be the transformation of two smaller bedrooms into a more spacious one.

Another example would be the complete renovation of the kitchen. It can be considered by many as a necessary step to add value to the home before the sale. But it is not true most of the time because such a project is very expensive and you will end up paying more money than you will get in the end for all the work done. In addition, you do not know if the improvements will be to the liking of potential buyers.

But there are some improvements that are not very expensive and that will definitely help you make your home more attractive:

  • you can change the kitchen countertop if it is scratched or worn. If you have a larger budget dedicated to these improvements, try using a granite countertop. This is always a popular choice;
  • you can replace the faucet in the kitchen or bathroom sink with a more modern one;
  • you can replace the toilet bowl in the bathroom with a new one or the sink, especially if it is chipped or has traces of dirt or limescale that you can’t get rid of. If you have enough space you can replace it with a double sink;
  • you can change the bathroom mirror if it is broken;
  • you can paint the walls, but also the exterior if you want to sell a house. But be careful when choosing colors. It is good to opt for neutral colors and avoid strong ones.
  • you can get rid of old carpets or you can replace an old carpet with a new one, not necessarily very expensive.

If you use the best materials you will surely attract more buyers.

Wrong. Buyers who have a fixed budget or do their homework well before coming to watch will not be impressed by such improvements if they know that they can opt for a similar home, more affordable and located in the same neighborhood.

In addition, many who are looking for a new apartment or want to buy a house are already making plans for the renovation or modernization works they want to turn the house into their dream home.

It is better, if you have space, to add a bedroom than a bathroom.

If, for example, you have a two-bedroom home and a space available that you could turn into a new room, it would be better to add a bathroom than to make a smaller bedroom and the future owner to have three bedrooms. and one bathroom.

Washable paint hides wall defects.

This is not true, especially if they have serious problems such as mold.

The time it takes to find a buyer can be quite long, and the problem can recur. In addition, how would you feel if you bought a house and in a month you saw that the walls are full of mold and that you were lied to by the seller?

Make the improvements yourself and spend less.

It is much better to call a professional to deal with these improvements. In many cases you need special equipment for them and, if you have never done something similar, things will not be as simple as you would expect.

In addition, it is possible to make mistakes and spend more money because you will eventually have to call a specialist to solve them.

Read More