Agile, Waterfall, and the Blending of Methodologies | TechWell

Agile, Waterfall, and the Blending of Methodologies

We’ve been told over and over again that agile needs to be embraced in some form or another by your team if you hope to keep up with today’s software landscape. It’s the latest, greatest, and fastest way to complete projects, and a new report is letting all CIOs know that now is the time to embrace the change.

Gartner explains that CIOs are always under the microscope when it comes to supporting “fast-evolving digital business scenarios,” but most of the conventional methods just aren’t getting the job done. That’s why research director Nathan Wilson finds that agile methods have the power to positively transform a team’s efficiency if the CIO dedicates himself to the culture change.

"Done well, agile development can be an integral part of the portfolio of methods that the CIO uses to deal with increasing business demand for innovation," Wilson said in the Gartner release. "Done badly, agile development will create a lot more problems than it solves."

Agile doesn’t always require you to throw the baby out with the bathwater, though. Just because you plan to incorporate agile into your team (or even your entire organization), that doesn’t mean you need to scrap whatever other practices, such as outsourcing, or methodologies you’re using in order to create the purest form of agile possible.

It might actually be more beneficial to mix and match methodologies based on what development or testing problems you’re facing. Some projects are most easily and efficiently completed through quick, agile techniques, while others require an iterative, incremental solution.

If your team is currently making use of the waterfall methodology, for example, and isn’t willing to dump what it’s most comfortable with, it’s very possible to adopt some agile approaches while still maintaining normalcy.

The results of certain blends are quite positive. According to a report by software analysis firm CAST, more than 75 percent of the robustness, security, and changeability scores for applications developed with a mixture of agile and waterfall were higher than the median scores of solely agile projects.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach, but it’s important to understand that if your CIO does decide to bring agile into the fold, other software development methodologies still have a place in your portfolio. How you decide to tackle certain projects all depends on the nature of that project and the commitment from your team.

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