Project managers often face long development cycles, constantly changing priorities that disrupt the product development process and consequently a final product that does not meet expectations.
Traditional project management methodologies are often blamed for being unable to adapt to the changes which often makes testing products or changing alterations quite impossible. An Agile approach is often considered as the “perfect” solution, especially for projects with multiple changes. Time is usually less critical in the “Agile world” while iteration status can be constantly checked and adjustments can be made as long as the product is not ready to be released. The Agile approach has many positive points, it is important to note that it is not a “one-fits-all” solution and as a result we often see business using a combination of methods: hybrid solutions.
Hybrid models are usually born from the compromise between different methods. One of the most popular today is Agile-Waterfall Hybrid described by Erick Bergmann and Andy Hamilton.
The Agile-Waterfall Hybrid model is far from perfect and it is a compromise. It has as many advantages as disadvantages, just like all methodologies. The Agile-Waterfall Hybrid is often considered a smart approach for adopting both methodologies without compromising too much – essentially, making the best of both worlds.
The most important details to know about Agile-Waterfall Hybrid
- Implementing Agile-Waterfall Hybrid allows software teams to work “Agile”, while hardware development teams and product managers can keep using a traditional PMP/Waterfall approach.
- Tight, continuous integration between PMP and Agile software development processes from product concept until validation and production. As with all software development methodologies, collaboration is key, and the Agile-Waterfall Hybrid method enables teams to define requirements and adapt to changing requirements and provide feedback from both PMP and Agile sides, allowing for continuous delivery.
- The Hybrid model is best suited for reusing software code, when dealing with a series of similar products and when future products must also be considered. In such situations, a quick turnaround time may be needed to keep up the pace with continual product releases. Backlog management is a critical area for successful adoption of this Hybrid model, and adoption is best assisted by software version release planning features.
As with all Hybrid models, both sides must compromise. Waterfall development must give up some of the certainty of fixed expectations, for the flexibility and freedoms of the Agile world. The Agile compromise is to be creative but with far less freedom, working against a fixed deadline with cost forecasting and risk assessments.
The Agile-Waterfall model aims to retain the dependency tracking and clarity of Waterfall, while embracing the strengths of the Agile methodology, providing the flexibility and transparency necessary to adapt to the fast changing requirements of stakeholders.
codeBeamer ALM is ideal for Hybrid software development, extending the benefits of Agile tracking & management to encompass Hybrid development lifecycles. Read more about Agile-Waterfall Hybrid Requirements and check out how codeBeamer ALM supports both Agile and Waterfall development practices.