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  • Writer's pictureKenko Soluciones

The end of waterfall models?

Agile methodologies have gained territory among projects, leaving aside the traditional Project Management methodologies, this has generated the question "Is this the end of waterfall methodologies?

What is a Waterfall Methodology?

Are those with a methodologistic aproach to sort the different steps in the process in such way that the beginning of one step is the ending of the one before it.

What is a Agile Methodology?

Are those that allow the progress to adapt to the project's condition, achieving a flexible yet quick response to shape up the project and it's development to any circumstance. Some of these are:

  • Kanban

  • Scrum

  • Design Sprint

Agile has proven to be more than just a project development methodology, as it requires speed and flexibility, it offers great advantages such as development acceleration, allowing products to reach the market faster and increase their probability of success. At the same time, it proposes continuous iteration with constant validations, generating greater certainty and risk reduction.

This type of methodologies make a strong emphasis on PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Act).

1. Launch planing: In them the first step consists of a planning of the whole project in broad strokes, the number of sprints that will be performed and the dates in which they will be, as well as the objectives that each one will have.

2. The next thing is to start the sprint cycles that consist of breaking down the project, selecting a block of it and describing each of the activities.

3. From there begins the constant work and continuous reports of the work team’s activity.

4. Review with the stakeholders so that they can validate the deliverables and a retrospective where the team can reflect and share what they have learned within the project in order to have a continuous improvement.

Then the cycle restarts until the end of the project, then proceed to complete the necessary documentation and perform specific technology transfer activities. All these consecutive stages are similar to the waterfall method, as each one leads to the next.

So going back to the initial question, Is this the end of the Waterfall Method? In spite of using agile methodologies, it is necessary to have an order and planning that contemplates the project in its totality, even if it is not detailed. Inevitably the activities usually have dependencies and the activities must be performed depending on the achievement that the dependency will lead to. So no, a waterfall method is given in a project when you have the activities and their dependencies are clear, as well as the stages involved in the project.

We could say that when the uncertainty is low and the work is established, waterfall models will be recommended. However, in innovation projects this is not usual, as they usually involve a high degree of uncertainty.

What do you think about it? Share your opinion and experiences in the use of agile vs. waterfall methodologies.

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