How to Combine Agile and Waterfall
How to choose the right methodology for a certain software development project? This issue becomes more important for most companies of the software development industry year after year. Nowadays many companies switch from the traditional Waterfall methodology to Agile. It is one of the trends of modern software development industry. However, there are some projects that require the combination of Agile and Waterfall methods. Most of the software development companies do not abandon such projects and try to perform them by inventing their own ways of combining Agile and Waterfall. Such combinations are usually called hybrids.
The hybrids between Agile and Waterfall methods may have both pros and cons. That is why the issue of combining Agile and Waterfall requires proper research and theoretical approach.
Generally, the Agile – Waterfall hybrids can be subdivided into two groups: successful and unsuccessful. The criteria for both groups are simple. If the combination of both methods gives a good result, it is successful. In any other cases, it can be considered unsuccessful. A successful combination of Agile and Waterfall methods may improve the quality of execution in the entire company. However, the price of failure is very high. If the combination is unsuccessful, it may lead to the failure of a certain project.
To understand how to combine Agile and Waterfall in the best way we will tell you about some peculiarities of such combinations.
The main thing we should realize if we want to combine Agile and Waterfall methods in the work of our company is that we should involve two teams in the work on a project. The general success of the project will depend on the cooperation effectiveness of both Agile and Waterfall teams.
There are three possible ways of cooperation between Agile and Waterfall teams. During your work on a project, you can create high dependence teams, low dependence teams, and independent teams. The level of dependence is actually the range of communication between Agile and Waterfall teams. If they will be totally independent, your company will need to have special employees who will be responsible for combining the results of their work. That is why it is better to conduct as more communications between two teams as possible. The main thing is to make this communication constructive.
It is hard to combine the work of Agile and Waterfall teams in an effective way. However, there are some tips on how to make it simpler.
The first thing you should do to synchronize the work of your teams is to discuss the expectations and benefits with their members. Usually, every specialist who used to work in a certain methodology thinks that this method is the best compared to other methods. The main thing in combining the work of Agile and Waterfall teams is to explain all the benefits of such a combination to their members. People do their job more effectively if they know the exact goal and the ways of achieving it.
The second thing you should do to combine the work of your teams successfully is to merge your metrics. It will be no order in your project if you will have two independent metrics. Most managers prefer to receive reports in Waterfall style. They need to know exactly what is going on with the project and when it will be finished. For some developers that work in an Agile style, such strict requirements may be a problem. That is why it is necessary to merge all your metrics around primary factors. Your employees must know the answer to questions like: “What is our main task?”; “What is its status currently?”, and “When the work will be finished?”
The third thing you need to do to combine the work of your Agile and Waterfall teams successfully is to create benchmarks. Some Agile teams have problems with business goals and time management. If you teach them to set and achieve strict goals like in the Waterfall methodology, it will be a great step to the success of your project.
So how to integrate Agile and Waterfall?
As we can see from the abovementioned material, to create a successful hybrid of Agile and Waterfall you just need to follow some simple recommendations.