The difference between Agile and Waterfall project management is predictability versus adaptability. At first glance these two methodologies can seem like opposites however, you can combine Agile and Waterfall in a surprisingly effective way. Read on to find out if the Hybrid Agile-Waterfall could be the secret sauce your team needs to take their requirements management to the next level.
The Waterfall approach and how does it affect requirements management?
Waterfall is not a speedy methodology; it is based on predictability. Deliverable results will only show at the end of the development cycle, so it could take months or even years before the customer sees the final product. It is all about avoiding having to update requirements all the time. The team starts the sequential process of development based on requirements, meaning that all subsequent steps are based on these specifications.
Since Waterfall requires everything to be described in written documentation before any code is created it is crucial to define all requirements at the start, as it might be difficult to revise them later. In a traditional Waterfall project, each stage has to be completed before you can move on to the next.
Is it easier to manage your requirements with Agile Software Development?
Requirements Management is considered one of the weaknesses of the Waterfall method. Agile software development is a response to this problem. Agile software development enables requirements to change during the process of development and allows development teams to implement changes in incremental steps. Instead of creating an exhaustive plan at the start of a project and sticking to it till the end, Agile typically breaks up work into two-week cycles called sprints, delivering new iterations of the product at the end of each one. Work is prioritized according to user needs and whatever can’t be finished in one sprint is reprioritized for future ones. Due to iterative updates, teams can see and respond to changing requirements immediately. This enables them to deliver measurable value and avoid wasting time on products or features that are no longer requested or required.
What is the Agile-Waterfall Hybrid model?
The Agile-Waterfall Hybrid model is essentially a combination of Agile practices and the Waterfall method. Although there are great differences between Agile and Waterfall, combining them is far from impossible. In fact, it can lead to benefits that cannot be achieved by using either Agile or Waterfall on its own. The Hybrid methodology can take on many shapes and forms depending on the needs of your project and the organization as a whole.
Requirements in a Hybrid project can be managed in various ways. As this methodology is generally applied by developers of complex products, Waterfall might be used for hardware components, while Agile greatly supports the development of a product's software components.
Why take the Hybrid approach?
Hybrid Agile-Waterfall can be a great approach to try out if you find yourself in need of a more flexible development solution. The Hybrid approach accepts that there is a spectrum of development methodologies, meaning that you are free to build an approach that suits your particular needs as much as possible.
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