By: Harshit
June 9 2019

A word on Agile and Waterfall altogether

Software Development Life-cycle varies across various organisations as per what suits them best on the board.People who use waterfall tend to not like agile and people who like agile tend to not like waterfall. It might seem strange but you will always feel a sense of rivalry between proponents of waterfall methodology and agile methodology. However, we have seen agile being adopted for various reasons across all the practises but some companies still prefer waterfall in many scenarios.

A word on Agile and Scrum, the elephant in the room.

The methodology debates aren't limited to agile vs. waterfall but are common even across agile teams. 

There is confusion related to agile, always. Only because scrum has become one of the most popular agile methodology, many people use the terms agile and scrum interchangeably, when, in fact, there are many methodologies other than scrum that would be considered agile.

Can waterfall and agile function well together ?

For us to understand that, it's important to understand where each practice's strength lie and how do their methods differ on a much bigger scale. 

Agile methods generally allow for faster iteration and more frequent releases with subsequent user feedback that can be worked into future development. Waterfall methods tend to greatly lessen the number and severity of errors that will affect the end user. 

So, in many cases, the optimum project combination incorporates significant planning and QA input early in the development process to mitigate errors while introducing Agile processes to the release schedule and user feedback opportunities, allowing for faster and more controlled improvements. 

Why to bring together agile and waterfall?

A single methodology cannot be the only hammer to nail all the solutions. The Agile-Waterfall Hybrid is often considered a smart approach for adopting both methodologies without compromising too much, essentially utilizing the best of both worlds.

Traditionalists believe in waterfall methodology as a well-established practice that depends on rigorous documentation and rigid governance. However, agile has made a lot of in-roads in modern teams as it is more adaptable to the changes which often make deliverables quite unpredictable.

A few things to take care of 

Bring everyone on the same page about benefits and things any stake. 

Recognise that change is difficult and don’t expect an overnight success. Ease the transition by carefully outlining the advantages to this new dual-method approach. There will be new language, new procedures and new software to learn, which adds to their existing workload. 

Try to merge the metrics as per need and complexity.

Trying to track two sets of non-integrated metrics can be a nightmare, so find a way to merge them. For most managers and the C-suite, waterfall-style reporting makes the most sense - they want to know how the project stands per the objectives, timeline and budget expectations. 

Set milestones to measure against. 

Despite some likely resistance from the agile camp, you must set some clearly-defined benchmarks for project success. To ease the discomfort, start by establishing mutual agreement about how you will measure success based on business objectives, time and budget targets, sales or whatever other metrics you choose. 

The remainder 

Mixing two processes or ideologies is not always a good idea but agile and waterfall seem to go well in the technological space. You will need to take care of metrics and deliverables accordingly. We would love to bring sanity to your development practises, feel free to reach out and speak with us regarding this.