Managing Software Projects

Waterfall means it will take longer to delivery, but that is by design. This approach is great at holding onto stakeholder buy-in and being able to provide tons of documentation about anything and everything. This also results in being slow to handle change. The path is already laid out, why change it!

Agile is just that, easy to alter course. Things always appear to, and usually do, get done faster. There is less documentation or sometimes nothing but what was written onto the cards.

In broad strokes, Waterfall starts with a big picture and borrows down into the details and Agile focuses in on little pieces that, hopefully, add up to a bigger picture.

Both approaches can work great or not at all, that’s were things get interesting.

So which is better?

I’ve worked with both and it’s Agile – with some important caveats!

As mentioned, Agile is great to ensure things get done. With that your team needs to ensure the big picture & some planning happen before blasting out some cards. You need to balance and not overdue the planning while ensuring any UI, UX and architecture considerations are addressed before anything gets built.  This also paves the way to ensure enough documentation is generated keeping stakeholders in the loop (more on this later).

At the end of the day it’s up to your team to work out an approach that works for you and your stakeholders.