Many organizations have decided that there is no need to choose between Agile and Waterfall aproaches to manage projects. There is a sinthesys solution than can be tested in some environments.
The project management world has followed a triad evolution, as in Hegel’s dialectical method. Waterfall was the thesis, Agile the antithesis … and now there are approaches that try to be a kind of synthesis of both models. A logical evolution.
How can agile and waterfall be combined?
There are differents approaches to achieve the convergence of both mindsets:
- Agile-fall. Teams following this model try bo be agile but they keep falling into waterfall development habits. It is a way to develop a slow transition.
- Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), based in these principles.
- The Envelope method, that is supposed to help the project manager to maintain the relationship between the agile project team, the non-agile elements of the project and the rest of the enterprise.
- Implementing agile in large waterfall projects; to increase quality, improve milestone deliverables and obtain better development efficiencies.
Benefits of a mixed system
What are the benefits of these kind of approaches?
Probably there will be people used to work in ‘pure agile’ or ‘pure waterfall’ environments who will say that these approaches are just a perversion of the core values of their project management systems.
Nevertheless I think there might be situations where these options may be valuable:
- Organizations who are transitioning from waterfall to agile and vice versa and need to remain in an intermediate step for some time instead of moving directly from one environment to the other one.
- Organizations where the top management is used to deal with waterfall project managers and whose development teams have found that they achieve a better performance being agile.
- Complex and big projects where there is part of software development and part of hardware or infrastructure deployment.
What is your opinion? Have you tried any hybrid approach to project management? What were the results?
Do you know any other hybrid approach to project management? I would like to know more about it, please add comment with your explanation.