Agile or Waterfall?

Srikanth has 13+ years of experience in software testing/quality assurance, with expertise in organizational QA strategy, program/project test strategy and QA project management.

The waterfall methodology is a tried and tested model. Sequential and phased in its approach, it provides clear processes and steps for a team, a clear objective from the start of the project, and better control from a project management perspective.

However, companies have also faced challenges with waterfall—such as a lack of flexibility for change, longer delivery times, limited cross-collaboration of resources, and working functionality created late in the project—that cause uncertainty and risk.

The Standish Group’s 2015 Chaos Report shows that 89% of waterfall projects of all sizes were either challenged or have failed, compared to 61% for agile. Agile was the direct outcome of trying to resolve the many challenges caused by the waterfall model.

In this article, I want to first explain how agile resolves some of these challenges—and then elaborate on its benefits. I will then describe factors to consider when moving from waterfall to agile, including challenges (and methods to overcome them). However, it’s important to understand that not all projects are suited for agile, so I will also explain some of the factors to consider before deciding to move to an agile.

Accommodating change
An agile survey found that the top three reasons for companies and projects adopting agile were to:

  1. accelerate software delivery
  2. enhance the…

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