Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Agile vs waterfall – the debate continues

It’s been good to see the number of new readers that have found this blog by searching for this topic – and I welcome the many comments that I’ve received on my previous posts.

Over the past year I’ve met with a number of advocates of agile methods, and had the opportunity to review a number of new software products being developed using agile methods. Whilst my view remains that it’s “horses for courses” when deciding on agile vs. waterfall methods for development (see my original post - Agile vs. waterfall methods), I’ve yet to find anyone that is using agile development methods for new application package products effectively.

Yes – I’ve seen some very successful agile developments of bespoke systems for single customers, but agile methods seem unable to cope with the development of package products that need to be designed to meet multiple and differing customer needs. The key appears to be the need to understand the many different customer requirements in advance, so as to be able to decide upfront on the core parameters for the product.

As noted in my post Agile methods for package enhancements?, when there is an existing product, where the majority of core parameters have been defined already, agile methods can be used effectively to develop new modules – always providing that you have the right types of team members and a true agile methodology (rather than a “let’s give the techies control of this development” approach).

However, do any of my readers know of new application software products that have been built successfully using agile methods? If so, please let me know.....

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