Product Development: Can Agile and Waterfall Play Nice?

by Sampreshan

In a recent post for Sampreshan, ShriKant Vashishtha says that although the Agile and Waterfall methodology are often pitted against each other in the product development debate, several agile practices can be used to help Waterfall workers. Vashishtha goes on to point out the benefits of some of agile practices can have in Waterfall, without changing the inherent nature of the product and development methodology. (See Creating Competitive Edge With Agile)

Standup

Standup, Vashishtha  says, takes just 10 minutes but it has a huge impact. “With answering 3 simple questions ‘What I did yesterday?‘, ‘What I am going to do today?’ and ‘Any impediments?‘,” developers can identify and solve problems in a short amount of time every day. An advantage, Vashishtha  says, is you won’t have those intra-team or inter-team interactions issues anymore.

Regular retrospective

“People may have very good solutions but they remain in their silos and don’t speak,” Vashishtha writes. Having retrospective (talk about good points, points to improve, action points and action owner) can install formal mechanisms to improve things in the project. (See Plan vs. Change in Agile Environment)

Continuous integration and automated build

Vashishtha suggests having an automated build from day 1. “Otherwise there is absolutely no guarantee why last build worked and why this one doesn’t,” he said. It’s just easier to get ahead of development issues before they arise, he says.

Writing tests regularly to reduce the maintenance backlog

“It is important to have tests both for customers and for maintainers,” Vashishtha writes.

For more about making agile play nice with the Waterfall methodology, read Vashishtha’s full post here.