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Topics: Agile, Career Development, Leadership
Have you effectively used Agile techniques in Waterfall Projects and vice versa?

My colleague Sripriya Narayanasamy and I are scheduled to present an interactive session titled "Agilely Vaulting Over Waterfalls: Applying Agile to Waterfall and Vice Versa" at the PMI EMEA Conference at Dublin in May.

We would like to hear of your experience and expertise in this area. The best comments will be featured with your name in slides at our session.

How frequently do you do this? Never, Rarely, Frequently, or Very Frequently?

If you regularly use these techniques, which of these and why?

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Agile is not about a method, is not about a process, did not start with the Manifesto. Agile was created as an alternative to Lean with enterprise wide focus. I was part of that. My recomendation is taking a look to Tom Gilb EVO method. Tom was my teacher and he was the first person in the whole world to put in a paper and practices lot of buzzwords you will find today

Karthik -

We do this all the time with my current client. We've branded such practices "agile accelerators" and work with project teams on traditional projects to determine which will be leveraged.



There are always opportunities to use "Agile" approach in "Waterfall" projects. I think we do that intuitively applying fit for purpose approaches. In a recent large complex IT Program, I ran the "Reporting" part using an "Agile" approach. It was an obvious choice resulting an overall hybrid approach!

I often hear that agile cannot be applied to large industrial projects such as infrastructure. While there are major schedule constraints and dependencies, and it may be cost prohibitive to use an iterative approach on major cost/schedule drivers there are still many opportunities for agile approaches. Not everything on the project is so highly constrained, and developmental processes involved can be larger than entire projects in other fields.

Work statement development can be collaborative and iterative. Trade studies can be treated like sprints. Methods like 3D printing, solid modeling, physical mock-ups, and developmental labs can enable testing concepts prior to full definition. Product and process improvements can be deployed in waves. Innovation contests can be held where small teams tackle problems over short periods of time. Although the term “agile” might not be used and the customer is internal, the principles and methods are largely the same.

I've personally used or seen all these used on large waterfall projects, and they are becoming increasingly popular due to the benefits achieved.

@Keith, on the other side, Agile is not constrained to iterative-incremental life cycles. That is a big misunderstanding that most of the people have (I am not saying that you because I agree in general with your comment). Is the same that said that Lean can not be used with waterfall life cycle. On the other side, the other big misunderstanding people have is some of them call waterfall what in fact is sequential.

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