In Defense of Waterfall: Deconstructing the Agile Manifesto

Kenneth Katz, DST Output

A long history of failed software projects using traditional waterfall methodologies was one inspiration for agile development methods. Regarded as novel and even radical a decade ago, agile methods are now widely adopted. Ken Katz's personal experiences do not lead him to support the proposition that waterfall is doomed to the discard pile of development methods. He has a solid track record of managing projects successfully with waterfall. Ken critically analyzes the Agile Manifesto and its principles, demonstrating that they are based on assumptions that, in certain circumstances, are just as invalid as the generally discredited assumptions underlying waterfall. He describes when waterfall methods are most appropriate and how to use some agile concepts to improve waterfall. Leave this session with an appreciation for the strengths and weaknesses of agile and waterfall, an understanding that no methodology is a panacea, and guidelines to consider when you select the best methodology for your project.

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