Agile vs Waterfall

Filed in Design, Project Management by on October 14, 2018 0 Comments

There’s something to be said about an Agile method of development.  It practically applies to the development of, well, everything.  Agile methods were first thought of to make software development more efficient.  It follows the principle of continuous improvement, and allows everyone to contribute, even the builders/developer(s).

We know that, in life, nothing stays the same.  Change is the only thing that stays constant.  That’s where an agile method really shines.  It takes into account those changes, sooner rather than later.  It produces an immediate value.  Whereas, a Waterfall method only produces a deliverable outcome at the very end of a process.  Sometimes this process is very lengthy and can take years…..and years.  With a Waterfall method, once a developer begins developing something, they usually have to stay locked into a path which was previously chosen way in advance.  As new information becomes available to a developer, (and it always does), this method is more rigid and doesn’t allow for the flexibility that an agile method does.  What usually happens is, a developer begins working on a project and almost always discovers new information which was unavailable during the initial planning stage.  Even though this new information is critical to everyone (including the customer) developers are often told not to deviate from the original plan, as it might require more work and possibly affect the delivery date.  This is frustrating to fully engaged builder/developers who work hard to make an effective, long lasting product because, by the time it is finished, it often misses the real target.

The agile method is very popular and has been well proven over the years.   It increases efficiency and decreases overall cost.  While archaic, the Waterfall method is still used in large institutions like the government, where time and cost aren’t always the top priority.

There are several frameworks which use an agile method.  For example Scrum and Kanban.  Scrum was developed by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland.

Big projects have so many moving pieces.  Information is always changing.  It feels good to have the freedom to adapt, when necessary.  I think agile methodology makes plain sense.  I have embraced it for a variety of projects and have seen the benefits.  


About the Author ()

Whether it's programming, troubleshooting, cooking, or playing music, Marshall enjoys being creative and lot's of laughter.

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