For ages, the waterfall process has been used, in which project deliverables were completed. Each deliverable symbolizes a different step of software development in the waterfall development project, and each stage typically ends before the next one can start. Between each deliverable, there is frequently a stage gate; for instance, the client must evaluate and accept requirements before design can begin.
Since having a working software, is what people are after and is more important than lengthy documentation, the agile methodology has been introduced with principles and values having the objective of finding better methods for creating software. The Agile methodology requires work to be conducted more closely and frequently with the client, with a more efficient collaboration throughout the project lifecycle for a win-win scenario. In that sense, people and interactions are more appreciated and increased communication with the stakeholder is a must for a shared understanding of the project. Thus, embracing change is encouraged versus sticking to a plan, and reacting to change is a must as it occurs.
The Key Differences between Waterfall and Agile methodologies:
The Adaptive Approach
Adaptive approaches are useful when requirements are subject to a high level of uncertainty and volatility and are likely to change throughout the project. A clear vision is established at the start of the project, and the initial known requirements are refined, detailed, changed, or replaced in accordance with user feedback, the environment, or unexpected events.
Adaptive approaches use iterative and incremental approaches. However, on the far side of the adaptive methods, the iterations tend to get shorter and the product is more likely to evolve based on stakeholder feedback.
While agility is a wide mindset that is broader than a development framework, agile approaches can be considered adaptive. Some agile approaches entail iterations that are 1 to 2 weeks in duration with a demonstration of the accomplishments at the end of each iteration. The project team is very engaged with the planning for each iteration and will determine the scope they can achieve based on a prioritized backlog, estimate the work involved, and work collaboratively throughout the iteration to develop the scope.
Figure 1 shows a life cycle using an adaptive development approach. At the end of each iteration (sometimes known as a sprint), the customer reviews a functional deliverable. At the review, the key stakeholders provide feedback, and the project team updates the project backlog of features and functions to prioritize for the next iteration.
Several adaptive methodologies, including agile, use flow-based scheduling, which does not use a life cycle or phases. One goal is to optimize the flow of deliveries based on resource capacity, materials, and other inputs. Another goal is to minimize time and resource waste and optimize the efficiency of processes and the throughput of deliverables.
Adaptive schedule planning uses incremental planning. One such scheduling approach is based on iterations and releases (see Figure 2). A high-level release plan is developed that indicates the basic features and functionality to be included in each release. Within each release, there will be two or more iterations. Each iteration adds business and/or stakeholder value. Value may include features, risk reduction, experimentation, or other ways of delivering or protecting value. The planning for the work in future releases, is kept at a high level so the project team does not engage in planning that could change based on feedback from earlier releases.
Adaptive approaches often use timeboxes. The work in each timebox is based on a prioritized backlog. The project team determines the amount of work they can do in each timebox, estimates the work, and self-manages to accomplish the work. At the end of the timebox, the project team demonstrates the work completed. At that point, the backlog and estimates of work available to be done may be updated or reprioritized for the next timebox.
By this point, everyone is aware that Agile creates value in little increments. It does fit the changing business need.
Agile methodologies typically enable quicker iterations and more frequent releases with the ability to incorporate user feedback into the subsequent development. Hence, the amount and severity of errors that can negatively impact the end user are significantly reduced.
The result of being agile is the ability to deliver value quicker, embrace change, deliver function software regularly, efficiently communicate information, measure progress in terms of software functionality, advance sustainable development, improve the quality of deliverables, and maximize productivity through simplicity.
Organizational capability: Another important factor in being adaptive and agile
Transitioning from predictive development approaches to adaptive approaches and then to using agile methods is more than just stating that the organization will now be agile. It entails shifting the mindset starting at the executive level throughout the organization. Organizational policies, ways of working, reporting structure, and attitude should all be aligned in order to employ adaptive methods successfully.
At Vanrise, we tackle all aspects of agility including those related to the organizational mindset. We are continuously undergoing a shift in mindset to agility across the overall organization, on the people, tools and processes levels.
We speak agile to put our customers first and take advantage of every chance to help them succeed.
For this sake, we have chosen a hybrid development, planning and delivery strategy to evaluate and develop the requirements and complete our projects on time or earlier. Our agile methodology gives our clients the speed, flexibility, and quick innovation required to achieve the necessary business outcomes.
Revenue & Value Realization into the appropriate Sprints, is one of the benefits that Vanrise & its customers are experiencing, due to the change from Waterfall to Agile, the thing which enabled us to focus more, decrease cost, enhance transparency, improve quality, increase productivity, and thus, raise our customers’ satisfaction and competitive capabilities.