Waterfall and Agile: Two Great Tastes in One PM Methodology

Mike Donoghue is a member of a multinational information technology corporation where he collaborates on the communications guidelines and customer relationship strategies affecting the interactions with internal and external clients. He has analyzed, defined, designed and overseen processes for various engagements including product usability and customer satisfaction, best practice enterprise standardization, relationship/branding structures, and distribution effectiveness and direction. He has also established corporate library solutions to provide frameworks for sales, marketing, training, and support divisions.

Hybrids of the agile and waterfall project management models often have poor execution. However, in a presentation by Erick Bergmann and Andy Hamilton at the Agile2013 conference put on by the Agile Alliance, the agile-waterfall hybrid they described supports the idea that in at a combined software/hardware product development environment, project success can be attained. It’s not a perfect marriage (with the waterfall/hardware development side being tasked to abide with the flexibility issues of the software development, and the agile/software development teams committing themselves to needs of time-bound delivery, expense projection and risk evaluation.

Many of us prefer the structural basis that the waterfall project management provides with its emphasis on control, timeframes and finite project cycles. Using this method is helpful when there are limited resources and when work segments are broken out into specific phases and times, but it can be restrictive and broken if its deliverables cannot accommodate change.

Others though like the agile approach because of its iterative process and constant progression toward a satisfactory goal. Agile may be difficult to use with demands outside the project, however, such as sharing resources, budgetary controls and promises of delivery to market.

The waterfall project management technique is certainly more methodical …


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