I read The Cathedral and Bazar by Eric S. Raymond some time back. The author talks about the contrast between two very different delivery models. He also specifies the advantages of the Bazar model in an open source project. The essence of the bazar model is to ship features out as soon as they get ready. The thought behind this is to get the feature out into the users hands and start getting early feedbacks. This incorporates the actual users feedback as a tool to arrive at the perfect solution. This happens when we ship fast and keep the users involved.
I found the thought interesting and looked at how I can incorporate the Bazar Model into my own deliveries. Here the dynamics are very different than an open source project, as shipping a half baked feature is unacceptable. So I tweaked the bazar model and adopted the use of short build cycles. This gave me two advantages-
The short build cycle sometimes posses a challenge in keeping the productivity up and show continuous progress. This is not a huge issue in an open source project, but assumes importance in a client project. This is mostly because the Bazar model pushes for more feedbacks. And its sometime difficult to establish a balance between working on feedback and new feature.
I found the use of proper planning and having short weekly milestones as target very helpful. This helps in early assessment of the progress and gives window of course correction. Another important aspect to take care of is having proper communication. With this, we ensure that we keep the client expectation in consideration. We also keep them informed with the latest progress, and what to expect in upcoming deliveries.