Although evolutionary, iterative and incremental development (IID) in software is in the ascendance as the modern or agile approach to replace ad hoc or waterfall (sequential lifecycle) development, its practiced and published roots go back surprisingly far. At least as far back as the mid 1950s, as a contemporary alternative to the nascent waterfall model …
Iterative and Incremental Development:A Brief History
Every Agile consultant is standing on shoulders of giants. In fact, we all are.
It’s only recently I realised how much we tie ourselves in knots over process, and an obsession with adopting processes at a surface high-level, instead of properly analysing what is needed. Processes are generally treated as if it is not possible to integrate them into other methodologies. The classic case is the step-down approaches, which have long provided business with the milestone approach that makes them feel comfortable. Release or Sprint? How about a Release containing multiple Sprints?
The true history of software development methodology called Waterfall…
In memory of Winston Royce
There is a risk in adopting Agile, that is an historical issue not even related to Agile. The bigger a company is, the better they can suck up failure. And in a huge company, 1 project pass/fail is neither here nor there in grand scheme of things. With Waterfall (step-down) methodology, these types of failures would happen “gracefully”, due to the lumbering nature of the roadmap, and lack of visibility of progress until release points. In the larger companies, on Agile projects, something strange happens …
Waterfall … much maligned, and earned it’s label and reputation post-Agile. In QA, we know how easy it can be to slate anything in technology. In fact, being a critic is an easy position to be in, as the onus is not on the critic to provide a solution. The evolution of Agile did not happen on the back on Waterfall criticism – it was simply a move to provide alternative to the methodologies available at the time, that did not suit the demands of modern development.
There are some good articles around at the moment about Agile and Business. The business approach to risk needs to change, avoiding Waterfall type check-points (milestones) to measure risk. An Agile project will stress under pressure of differing objectives between the Agile project and the business, if the old ways are not changed.
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