Waterfall + Agile: Waterfallgile
Have you heard about this management approach?
Have you ever considered this approach to run and manage your daily work?
There is no such thing as “The Best” or the “Most Comprehensive” approach to follow, but all project management approaches are fine to implement as long as it serves the project desires and success.
Dealing with day-to-day activities as a business analyst or project manager needs a well-designed project management approach. And as we know, most methods that are used nowadays and have the appropriate maturity is the Waterfall management approach or the Agile method.
Waterfall VS Agile
It’s all about how to manage the client’s expectations and how to achieve the project’s desires, so in any project, the success points or milestones need to be identified from the very beginning.
The Agile approach is adopted to identify the project milestones, implemented through something called sprint planning. This way, it will give the client and the project controller the ability to predict. So maybe at this point, we could use a “milestone” word to refer to sprint, but in most cases, the sprint plan won’t be able to achieve something tangible, or in another term, something the client sees.
“The key is to set realistic customer expectations, and then not to just meet them, but to exceed them — preferably in unexpected and helpful ways”
So again, it’s all about client expectations and how to achieve the set milestones.
The Waterfall management approach also cares about the client’s expectations and could be more useful to fulfill the project’s desires, and also could be a good approach to enhance the project’s profitability by identifying full package milestones including specific deliverables on a specific date. In this case, both parties won’t need to revisit the plan and keep going forward to finish the full project release.
Maybe implementing the Waterfall method will give the stakeholders what they need from the beginning (project kick-off), to achieve the full delivery with full covered desires, so in this case, the project plan will be built on predefined milestones along with a specific full delivery date.
But there are a lot of assumptions that need to be considered if we’re willing to follow this approach, such as the full requirements of a predefined project which would impact the cost if major changes happened during the development. And the most important thing is how to achieve full delivery without client involvement, and also how to run the project with full requirements from the beginning?
The Waterfall approach is like a domino effect. It needs one event to knock on, affecting the whole project, but it needs more if obstacles start appearing.
Agile is a process by which a team can manage a project by breaking it up into several stages and involving constant collaboration with stakeholders and continuous improvement and iteration at every stage.
The methodology begins with clients describing how the end product will be used and what problem it will solve. The client in this approach needs to be well-educated and know about the most efficient way to get the final results.
Eventually, as I said earlier, it’s all about the client’s expectation and the project profitability that allows us to decide which approach will get the most benefit.
There are a lot of aspects that need to be considered to know which approach to follow as shown in the table below:
Considering all the mentioned aspects, it still depends on what I need to accomplish and what the client needs to see. Say I have a demanding client that needs to be highly engaged, it’s better to implement the Agile method. But what if the client demands exceed my expectations? Do I need to implement a requirement document and get it signed-off to minimize the changes requests? Or maybe implement a high-level project charter?
Now, is there a way that you can use these two development methodologies to work on a single project? Is there anything called Waterfallgile? Do we use it unawarely? Could it be considered as a hyper management approach?
Waterfallgile is an approach that could be the best of both methods. The reason the two methodologies can work harmoniously is that Agile is more of a mindset and approach than a methodology, so it’s possible to use the Agile philosophy with the more rigid Waterfall methodology.
Author: Saif Al Najjar, Business Analyst Team Lead