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Agile processes and basic waterfall principles

Adrian Sita
21 Apr, 2020
3 m read

Agile Processes - Agile Fall

Agile-Fall - is a term used in both worlds, software and business. As the name suggest is a combination between Agile and Waterfall (one of the oldest known methodology for writing software) also used in the Agile Product Management or Agile Product Management - startups and enterprises - where agile or lean mindsets are the usual ways of thinking of agile development team, but their old mindset of waterfall sneak into software development techniques without even observe it.

agile processes

An usuall case in companies

Who is not working using Lean-startup in nowadays? Maybe you’ll laugh, but a lot. There are companies that are having a considerable inertia, and their competition that applying Agile Product Management or Agile Project management disciplines can easily disrupt them.

Therefore, companies need to bring quick and efficient value into the market. What this means?

The old ways are not working anymore and if we try to find solutions there could mean that we are already “dead”. It proves MVP to be (not all the time) an excellent way to gain results in uncertainty times.

So the first thing to do is to “get out of building” and discuss with your clients and understand that this is where you can offer them the value that they need to succeed. Don’t forget - If they succeed - you succeed.

The hardest thing to change is people mindset - if you are applying processes like the frameworks describe it this doesn’t mean that you’ve become Agile but just applying by the book.

The same Agile mindset is the foundation of Agile Product Management or Agile Project Management discipline or any other discipline that starts with Agile in mind.

In teams, no matter what is the maturity level, there are people that are thinking in old ways (usually the project manager role… which id different from product manager role).

You can find here more information on roles.

Usually the persons having PM role want to have “the cover” papers and therefore the team can see this behaviour as an impediment because it disturbs them with unneeded papers instead of focusing on what brings the right value to a client. But the papers should be “just enough” and not a very important step in delivery.

But it changes this if you apply an Agile Project Management or an Agile Product Management discipline.

This could be a culture issue - depending on us if we find the value in reports or in outcomes and the happiness of our client.

But most of the times I can see teams that are applying lean/agile mindset, but disturbs them people with unique roles that are making professional activities in older ways that got nothing to do with the business in nowadays.

What can we do in this kind of situation?

Changing the culture is a very simple thing 🙂

We can change the people mindset between having a bottom up approach and to have an Agile coach to step in.

The Agile coach can discuss with the PM role to better understand the people mindset and why the team needed to be less disturbed than in a waterfall approach. Regarding the discussion, there were a few steps very important:

  • people are more important that processes and reports
  • more verbal communication and less paperwork - just what the top management need it
  • to have a deliverable software (an increment of the product/solution) is the key in having happy clients

These principles are the basis for Agile Product Management or an Agile Project Management discipline.

What has changed?

  • The PM made the reports for top management with small involvement of the team just small discussions with the leadership team.
  • More verbal communication than written documents - just what the top management is need it
  • Now from Agile Project Management discipline an agile PM should coach the management to focus on outcome and not reports. Actually, this applies to Agile Product Management discipline.

What is the enormous achievement?

  • The most amount of documentation remains at leadership and PM roles
  • The team can focus on value delivery
  • Every aspect of Agile can be in the right place

Some (final) thoughts

Less paperwork for the team means more time spent on the value delivery that means happy clients. Agile Project Management or Agile Product Management are the new disciplines that should be part of your company.

This article is part of a bigger topic called: 

Agile Software Development

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