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Jul 22, 2021

Waterfall vs Agile – key discussion points

Agile-Carolinas Mtg: Waterfall vs Agile – Key discussion points

Agile started as a reaction to Waterfall (cf. definition of waterfall in Dr. Royce’s paper).

Perhaps not so much a reaction to Royce’s Waterfall, but to how Waterfall was being played in the wild.

The reaction was expressed many ways, but a simple short explanation is in the Agile Manifesto (4 lines) and the Agile Principles (12 items).

In this session, we will have an organized discussion of some key issues.

Here are some key questions:

  • do we always understand agile well? (No)
  • do we always understand waterfall well? (No)
  • is agile in complete contradiction to every idea in waterfall? (Of course, no.)
  • so, how do we talk about and explain the differences between waterfall and agile?
  • have some “agile” people gone too far? (Yes.) And could they learn by talking through key concepts that some associate with Waterfall?
  • will talking about Waterfall very much lead to people abandoning key concepts in agile and reverting to Waterfall in a bad way? (Yes, there is definitely that risk.)

Here are some key examples we will discuss:

  1. What are some aspects of Waterfall SDLC and/or Project Management we should remember (keep) as we embark on Agile?
  2. Do some senior managers (who we assume have prior experience with Waterfall or Project Management) seem to “throw the baby out with the bathwater”? (When they start “going agile”.
  3. Waterfall has a strong emphasis on leaving sufficient time for requirements gathering. Does this often get short-changed with “agile”?
  4. Waterfall has a strong emphasis on planning. Does this often get short-changed with “agile”? Should we in agile not have at least some idea of the end when we begin? (Cf Steven Covey)
  5. Often the use of agile leads to the Business side taking no responsibility for “requirements” (or details of the stories). And then leads to further frustration and lack of progress. Is this how agile will be more successful?

And more…See blog post here: https://leanagiletraining.com/better-agile/agile-carolinas-mtg-waterfall-vs-agile/


Agile Carolinas