Agile vs. Waterfall – Agile won the game?

December 20, 2013

agile-vs-waterfall-agile-won-the-game Agile vs. Waterfall - Agile won the game? agile Statement: „Agile projects are successful three times more often than non-agile projects, according to the CHAOS report from the Standish Group.“

The statistics define success, when software development projects are implemented within the given timeframe, on-budget and with the requested features.

Does it mean that agile methods are the universal key to success? Is Agile better than Waterfall?

The general answer is very simple: No, – any methodology by itself is not a recipe for success. Projects can be different, in terms of duration, budget, complexity, number of stakeholders. Agile is not a „one size fits all” approach. Waterfall projects suits to some types of projects and Agile to others, usually smaller, less critical, more local scope, more oriented to end-user. Risk of failure is a nature of software development.

Does it than mean that Agile projects simply manage risk better than Waterfall?

The answer is yes, but it does not mean that failure will be avoided by using Agile methods. Failure is also a nature of software development. Agile methods provide a good toolset that helps to minimize and manage risk effectively. Simply because agile requires better collaboration, more communication, end-user involvement, shorter, more iterative phases with quicker delivery of results. The success mostly depends on the stakeholders of the project, – success is the success of a team, not the project itself. The successful implementation of Agile software projects also depends on the maturity of the client’s expectations. A major portion of software project failure is due to a client who is unable to define the scope. Summary:

  • Agile is not 100% recipe for success
  • Risk and failure are both nature of software projects
  • Methods can be applied according to certain circumstances – case by case decision
  • Requirements management is a critical part of success

Using a comprehensive integrated ALM tool which supports both Waterfall and Agile methods gives the freedom to apply methods that fits to the project attributes. Check how codeBeamer supports Agile and Waterfall.

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Reka Moksony

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Reka is an economist with an MBA and 10+ years of experience in ICT with ERP, SCM, web, and mobile applications, as well as skills in international business development, consulting, and project management. You will find her blog posts on a variety of subjects from application lifecycle management and software quality standards to Agile methods.

Reka Moksony has written 42 posts for Intland Software.

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