The Agile-Waterfall Hybrid model is most commonly associated with product development when product is constituted by hardware and software parts. In this case the hardware components are developed by the traditional Waterfall/V-Model approach, and software development teams are using Agile/Scrum.
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How should we use the Agile-Waterfall Hybrid model for software product development?
In our internet oriented world mostly multi-tier architecture apps are developed, – usually with three-tier architecture. A three-tier architecture is typically composed of a presentation tier – as the Graphical User Interface (GUI), a business application tier- as the business logic, and the data tier – as the database, where data and files are stored. The database layer and the business logic layer have to be robust, sometimes really complex and technically reliable, with safety and security of data paramount.
The function of the GUI – as presentation layer is to attract users and therefore GUI has to be easy to use, and functionally rich. It needs frequent changes and optimization, while the business logic remains stable. The Agile and Waterfall development methods can be well combined for n-tire architecture apps.
The Waterfall approach fits into the business logic since agile is for the GUI where user interacts, and where the frequency of changes is more important. Intland has been inspired by Dean Leffingwell’s SAFe® model, and implemented a SAFe® application in 2013. In SAFe® mixing agile and waterfall development is now an accepted approach. The scaled agile framework, which has been so much criticized in the last few months, – greatly supports hybrid development. In Intland’s representation of SAFe® at team level visitors can find agile scrum development teams and also the waterfall V-model development, to deliver (PSI) to releases.
Agile/Scrum and Waterfall seems to be two methods with really different fundamentals, but being complementary for complex, n-tier architecture web-application developments. Agile and Waterfall hybrid development is also required for standardization reasons (eg. in the automotive and medical industries), where regular audit requirements can be fulfilled only by traditional V-model approach.