On the wall not too far from where I sit at work there are two charts.  One illustrates the process we are supposed to follow for waterfall projects.  The other illustrates the process we are supposed to follow for agile projects.

Both look pretty much the same.

Admittedly, I haven’t looked at them in detail.  At the moment I am too busy working on things that seem to be neither waterfall or agile.  But I am sure people in the agile community would have alot to say about my observation.

I’ve written much on these pages and bored many people at work over drinks about my views on agile and waterfall.

In my view, agile ought to be a fundamentally different approach to financing a project.  Because if it isn’t, all you really have is a waterfall project but with different ways of reporting progress. There is no real opportunity to change or influence things during the project because you are locked in to what was negotiated upfront in order to get the money. Fine if you’re having your guttering replaced, but not much good if you are working on a complex software development. My previous post explains it further.

The agile debate over the last 5 or so years has really amounted to a rather repetitive in-fight within the technology industry between two factions – ‘waterfall’ people and ‘agile’ people. That is a shame because the real battle lies elsewhere.

Over to you, Messers Beck, Cohn, et al. Or anyone, really.

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