Agile vs Waterfall – Project Management Styles

Agile vs Waterfall – Project Management Styles

By no means am I an expert in either Agile or Waterfall project management, but I’ve studied them and I’ve found that in my currently position we implement a blend of the two styles. In general, I much prefer Waterfall because it allows for more structure and insurance that each piece is finished, this is a somewhat unpopular opinion with the modern field of project management that is trying to bring Agile to the forefront.

Our project situation makes it almost impossible to use a traditional waterfall approach, we have student workers who typically work at most 20 hours a week, and our projects are generally proposed, planned and completed within a semester. This creates a rushed timeframe that doesn’t allow for an extensive planning phase and results in a lot of changes to scope as the project is already being worked on. Because of this situation we try to implement an Agile approach to projects but even that doesn’t always work because of our limited project team and the workers not being around all day. As a result, within a project, some things might be planned incrementally with a Waterfall technique while other parts of the project are implemented and created simultaneously like Agile.

This combination of techniques is a result of necessity, but creates confusion and duplicated work from time to time.  While adapting and pivoting is always going to be required on some projects, I prefer to approach projects from the Waterfall perspective. I like to be able to put more time and detail into planing the project and then making sure each segment of the project is completed fully before moving on to the next stage. At the end of the day you have to be able to use whatever approach fits the project and will allow the project to be completed in the given timeframe, meeting the given requirements.


Waterfall vs. Agile: Which is the Right Development Methodology for Your Project?


One thought on “Agile vs Waterfall – Project Management Styles

  1. ERB,
    Good thoughtful post. I hypothesize that most organizations doing real project work end up with methodologies like your hybrid model here.

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