Waterfall to Agile: Exploring the Way to Smooth Transition by@heli

Waterfall to Agile: Exploring the Way to Smooth Transition

Many organizations are transitioning from conventional, incremental "Waterfall" approaches to the adaptive framework of Agile in order to surpass and outthink contenders. As per the Project Management Institute, approximately three organizations use Agile methodology occasionally, frequently, or always. Agile can reduce time-to-market, encourage greater initiatives, enhance customer experience, and enhance the quality of the product. Many organizations underrate the barriers to improved performance, which range from skills gaps to cultural stigma. Here are some ideas to get your team set up for the switch from a waterfall approach to an agile one for effective and cost-effective results.
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Heli Patel

Growth Manager at TRooTech with a demonstrated history of working for enterprises and expertise in the tech domain.

The Foundation Stone To The Smooth Transition

Many businesses still use a rigorous, top-down procedure approach as a "waterfall" to manage complex tasks. In this blog, we'll look at how to make the switch from a waterfall approach to an agile one for effective, quicker, and often cost-effective results.


Many organizations are transitioning from conventional, incremental "Waterfall" approaches to the adaptive framework of Agile in order to surpass and outthink contenders. As per the Project Management Institute, approximately three organizations use Agile methodology occasionally, frequently, or always. And for a valid reason: Agile can reduce time-to-market, encourage greater initiatives, enhance customer experience, and enhance the quality of the product.


Regardless of these advantages, many organizations underrate the barriers to improved performance, which range from skills gaps to cultural stigma. "Organizations believe they want to adopt Agile, but they do not really understand what it truly entails," advises John Miller, an Agile mentor with Agile For All. "They assume it's just a methodology, but they don't realize how much transformation they have to go through."

Waterfall Approach & The Related


The Waterfall method is highly systematic and follows well-defined processes. Waterfall testing is carried out using needed features and layout-based scenarios developed in the early phases of a project. The systematic framework to deliver frequently relies on conceptual customer-based requirements, which frequently necessitates re-engineering of the app during the verification process.


Because requirements change so quickly, the initial stipulation and layout may no longer be applicable to buyer requirements and preferences. Furthermore, since the project is coherent, it necessitates a longer production time frame.


The waterfall design pattern is incremental rather than adaptive. The project proceeds in decreasing order of phases, which is more appropriate for physical manufacturing and construction than digital coding layout. Development is founded on irreversible segments. Even though 'feedback mechanisms' between stages enable alteration, the process extends time - to - market.


Modification typically only enables for revamping the immediately preceding stage and does not consider how upgrades may affect the authenticity of subsequent development stages. The additional time needed for unexpected updates leads to inaccurate timelines and false budgets.


Although a waterfall strategy works well for simple, concise projects, it does not work well for complicated tasks, such as digital projects, which generally have many uncertainties. So here are some examples of why waterfall techniques can be troublesome:


  • To begin, it is hard to anticipate every potential result with a strict range of project requirements established in advance.
  • The rigorous blueprint of Waterfall does not enable for course correction based on learning that takes place all throughout the venture.
  • The Disc of Uncertainty can make precisely estimating and planning waterfall projects extremely difficult. This is also why RFPs can be so difficult.

The Advent Of Agile Into The Business Arena

Agile is much more than a catchphrase. Agile development is an iterative approach to software engineering. Initial phases of development have an influence on or ascertain the planning of successive phases. Agile is an alternative to the tightly regulated Waterfall model for tackling the problem of software development and release.


Agile takes the classic approach to software development. The Agile approach eliminates methods that rely on predictable consequences. Agile methodologies not only recognise but also capitalize on the complexities inherent in software development. Preconceived notions are alien to the agile build's organic nature and incremental approach.

Tips To Manage The Great Transition From Waterfall To Agile

When functioning on a single task, agile methodologies are simpler to understand. However, trying to navigate an effective waterfall to agile transition as an agency is a little more difficult as businesses are always dealing with various projects at once.


Here are some ideas to get your team set up for the shift from waterfall to agile:

  • Team Potential: Determine your complete team potential. This is the maximum number of additional hours for your squad each week. Keep in mind to give room in the time frame for non-billable functions, which will inevitably arise. In an institution setting, developers and designers typically have a billable utilization rate of 70-80 percent.
  • Estimating: Assessing task difficulty is an important component of effective sprint planning. Begin by appraising difficulty on a magnitude of 1-10 using working hours as your level of complexity.
  • Personal Capabilities: Instead of planning workloads by team, strategize each user's workload separately. This will allow you to better cater continuously shifting requirements of the project while also keeping your team sane. A fundamental agile team of design engineer, coder, and product manager operating on a project at the same time may sound pretty good, but it's not feasible in practice if you have a bunch of projects operating simultaneously.
  • Scoring System: Ardent agile professionals employ a more complex scoring system that relies on the Fibonacci sequence. This will aid in the development of team unanimous agreement on how to carry out each sprint's desired deliverables.
  • Sprint Length: Sprints are usually a couple of weeks long, but this may not be appropriate for your team's potential or the endeavor they are working on. Adapt sprint durations as needed till you come up with a solution that performs for all project participants.

The Key Reasons That Back This Transition

Agile's risk graph is flat, as compared to Waterfall's rising risk curve. Waterfall workflows are repetitive in nature. As a result, they (sequential phase-wise workflows) demand you to finish one phase prior to actually beginning another one.


It implies that the potential risks with each stage are racked up in bucket 'A.' In other words, the waterfall methodology works sequentially through bucket accumulation. As a result, the waterfall's curve has been steadily increasing.


All through sprint planning, it is common in agile to aggregate all potential risks. You make a combined bucket 'B' in everyday scrums. As with agile, you spread the risk across various sprints or iterations. It makes the agile curve flatter.

The Monarch of Excellence in Waterfall is beaten by Almost Flawless Agile


The waterfall perfects you by avoiding any changes to the finished product. And waterfall requires you to extensively test and quality check the product. In contrast, no item or venture is ideal in agile. As a result, repetitions or sprints are timed to meet the minimum viable product. This quality assessment is carried out by a team of technicians, developers, and reviewers.

It increases the flexibility and feasibility of agile. As opposed to Waterfall, Agile keeps the business in the loop. The business does not have to understand what is happening in your trash barrel in the waterfall, which may allow for more errors. Even so, with agile, the company will receive work in iterative increments. As a result, errors are reduced while maintaining a positive connection with them.

Waterfall To Agile: The Shift Explained Step-Wise

Step 1

Embrace the agile method in small steps to build a strong framework over time. The ideal way to address this is to propose a small portion of the project. Using agile practices such as scrum, extreme programming, or kanban is also recommended. When you have got experience instituting agile, you can then add on some more features.

Step 2

Make sure that an appropriate transformation plan is in place to progress from one stage of the project to the next. For instance, after an iterative process, all incomplete stories should be added to the backlog for future iterations. All glitches or activities discovered during development can be migrated to another iteration or sealed out completely if they are not resolved quickly.

Step 3

Ascertain that your product owner, development team, and decision makers are aware of their respective roles and responsibilities. Make no assumptions. If necessary, get everyone to interpret the agile manifesto.

Step 4

Ascertain that everybody comprehends how and where to work collaboratively using a consistent set of tools. Make sure everybody knows of alternative channels of communication like mailing lists, IRC, and Skype.

Step 5

Work with the software development team and product owner to strategize the very first iterative process (sprint). Inform them about the initial iteration's expectations and accordingly plan relying on their accessibility and skill set. A "sprint" should last one-two weeks.

Step 6

Following the "sprint planning session," the development team must begin writing code as quickly as practicable. Inform them that your primary objective is to have a modest but functional set of attributes by the finish of the first sprint, and that they can pick their own task.

Product Roadmap Gets A New Direction With Agile Transitioning Effect

A product roadmap can help with the transformation from waterfall to agile. Using product management software, you could further divide agile product frameworks into manageable chunks that can be completed in a single sprint. Agile product frameworks can help teams shift to agile by splitting features into small tasks. Product managers can benefit from a variety of product framework tools in this situation.


It enables agile transitioning to concentrate on approximately one to three components at a moment, which aids in ensuring agile transitioning advancement instead of relying on extra resources that may not be accessible. Keep in mind that switching from waterfall to agile is a time-consuming method, but it will improve your relationships with involved parties, such as clientele, as the task becomes more highly interactive.


Agile also enhances your firm's ability to monitor effectiveness, and it's good for morale even though collaborative teams publish their work and obtain feedback at the end of each sprint. Hence, it can be truly concluded that the Waterfall to Agile transition is an easy deal to make in today’s date, while also being a lot beneficial for the companies adopting it.

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by Heli Patel @heli.Growth Manager at TRooTech with a demonstrated history of working for enterprises and expertise in the tech domain.
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