About Waterfall Methodology

In today’s IT world there is lots of talks, discussions and religious wars about Software Implementation Methodology or Strategy. You can read about XP, Rational, Scrum, Agile,.. to name a few but most dominant ones. I am very strong believer in an agile approach, even I know it is a hard way to get it communicated to the customer and digested by them (but I will do everything to come close to it). We all do the Waterfall Approach knowing it is crap. Dr. Winston W. Royce was writing about in 1970 (!) and already mentioned it would not  work for large IT projects. But we are still doing it after almost 40 years ! Carrying the self-fulfilling prophecy in front of us saying “Yes, it is like that. No customer will agree to or understand agile.”

Links:

  • The original concept by Dr. Winston Royce, Managing the Development of Large Software Systems (link)
  • Wikipedia about Waterfall Modell (link)
  • Mitch Lacey, Presentation “When Working Software Is Not Enough: A Story of Project Failure” on InfoQ (link)
  • Scott Ambler, Presentation “Agile in Practice: What Is Actually Going On Out There?” (link)

Reality check on Agile

There are plenty of post-waterfall development and project approaches and methods (Iconix, Agile, XP,..) and some almost religious discussions and controversary are coming along as well. I cant promote a certain methology but I strongly believe todays IT (project, application development) world (both on vendor and customer side) needs to change its attitude towards handling IT projects. I will try to make use of agile concepts in our effort to do development of any kind. A stony way I guess, but let’s try and encompass changes !

Oh, and my advice to all you buzzword loaded managers out there: Agile is not going fix to your rotten, heavily delayed, run-over-budget IT projects ! Read and learn about it before you start boasting with it.

Scott Ambler did an intersting presentation on Agile during the “Agile 2008” conference. See some more info and the video at InfoQ (link).

More:

Manifesto for Agile Software Development
Wikipedia on Agile
Agile Alliance

On virtual conferences

I just highlighted the value of joining real conferences. Besides getting to know more about the topics, it is alway a great opportunity to get in touch with people and grow your network. But sometimes the pricetag can be high or the location is really out of the way. So another good source for joining a conference (in a less interactive manner, not sitting there), is to watch the video transcripts that you find occasionally online. Be aware, there a lots and lots of them and you might spend the whole day watching that stuff.

Todays recommendation: 10 Ways to Screw Up with Scrum and XP by Henrik Kniberg (Agile Conference 2008, Toronto, link)