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If you want to move away from this type of behaviour:

 

 

To this:

 

 

It can be done.

 

Why it is hard to change

One of the biggest hurdles to transition from waterfall to incremental development is the organisation’s management structure. Many organisations are organised in a matrix model of functional line-managers (verticals) and project streams of work (horizontals).

 

Typically line-management looks after specific skill domains, like BA’s, developers, testers etc. Line management is tasked to take care of competency, skill building, resource planning, HR staff matters, but often is also held accountable for the delivery of Business Analysis, Development or Test outputs. Thus before long the line-managers chop and change resources across projects and the project manager is no longer in control.

 

It is this latter point of accountability that reinforces waterfall behaviour and stops such organised units from moving away from waterfall to an integrated team project model (CMMI level 3 capability).

Kick the waterfall habits without the drawbacks

The CMMI has determined the key processes and practices to create better team integration (IPPD). These practices generally coincide with how the Agile methods like Scrum and XP work. However, to truly break the waterfall habit also requires a subtle shift in line-management accountabilities, and a change in the mindset regarding approval and sign-off. The SmartMethod covers all of this, thereby enabling you to organisationally kick the waterfall habit.

 

In addition to tackling the organisational issue, the SmartMethod moves you straight into an incremental model. Through its approach of “agile specification, incremental build”, you can incrementally expand and refine scope, estimation and planning, thereby meeting the demands of business planning and finance. As the team gets more accustomed, they can wind back the increment timespan from several weeks to bi-weekly, weekly, or faster increments, to deliver specific phase milestones. Thus you get the best of both worlds: agile, but “plan-able”.

 

Once you’ve made the shift to incremental, the team can move on to fast cycle iterations in time frames that match their tooling and competencies, with full guidance from the SmartMethod.

 

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