Project Management

Danger: Waterfall Approaches

PMI Chicagoland Chapter

George Freeman, PMP, is a seasoned IT project manager and leader who has worked in the software industry for nearly four decades, including over 25 years of project management. He has significant experience and expertise in enterprise information systems, data, and business architectures, and is an advocate for “business and technical architectural awareness” among all project team members. Mr. Freeman has international and remote team experience, and has a passion for meta-modeling, domain-driven design, and “all things architecture.”

My counterintuitive views and approach to questioning long-held perspectives are not always appreciated, but I espouse them to encourage project professionals to “challenge the status quo” to benefit their projects, careers and profession. I find this need particularly true in the realm of delivery approaches, where doctrinal narratives (e.g., those generated by agile purest) relegate our proud profession to a bygone era, and eutopic expressions romanticize a world that is free of waterfall-affiliated structures.

To help us understand the concerns, I put together a short satirical story for our discussion. Now, before you abandon this read for not being a serious piece, let me say that I have found satire to be a powerful tool for reconciling empathetic understandings of positions. In this case, I’m using it to help us explore the rationale behind those who seek to diminish our profession and the tools we deploy, with the hope that knowledge of this type will assist us in bridging the divide.

Danger: waterfall approaches
Let me introduce you to Agile and Hybrid, who are functional team leads reporting into a large project management organization. Although they had never worked together, they became friends after sharing meals and user stories in the lunchroom. Unfortunately, their relationship took a negative turn when those stories dried up, and Agile …


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