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Did Agile Really Kill Waterfall?

Small paper boat pulling a freighter

by Doug Boebinger, MS, PMP®, PMTA-CTP

I’ve been at this project management thing for quite a while and have been on the front line of the changes that have occurred over the 35 year span of my career. One of the biggest changes has been the increase in the use of Agile methodologies.

I’ve heard a lot of presentations made that Agile is THE future for project management that include statements that “Waterfall” is dead.

Well, that’s both true and false.

Agile is a great methodology for projects that need Agile. Waterfall is a great methodology for projects that need Waterfall.

I’ve always warned my clients and course participants that I love stories and analogies, so now you get another one.

My grandfather was a master woodworker and he always told me that the more tools you know how to use properly, the more projects you can accomplish successfully.

So, it’s not Agile vs. Waterfall… it’s Agile and Waterfall… and, in reality, it’s Hybrid as well.

The more tools that a Project Manager is proficient in, the more successful you and your organization’s projects will be. I’ve found most projects would benefit from a Hybrid approach that uses the best of both methodologies.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. The second definition of insanity is wanting change but not making any changes.

If you don’t like the way your projects are going now or the results you’ve gotten from your past projects, but you aren’t making any changes, well, that’s insanity!  Perhaps learning more about a Hybrid approach to project management can help you get unstuck.

Oh, and we can help you!  Here’s a link to information on our onsite and live virtual class, Hybrid Approach to Project Management, and here’s information on the online class, Integrating Agile into a Waterfall Environment.

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