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Converting a project from a waterfall to an iterative approach

by Scott Ambler on May 25, 2006 |
Rose Ritchie, a senior project management at IBM, and Bernie Michalik, a senior architect at IBM, describe strategies for convincing traditionalists to adopt modern software development techniques, in particular iterative approaches such as the RUP or XP (the article focuses on a RUP example, but the advice is generic).  They review excuses not to adopt iterative techniques, such as "waterfall works for us" (it likely isn't), we need sign off (that's a choice, not a need), everyone else around us is doing waterfall (so what?  You can ignore them or block them).

The article presents reasons why an iterative approach is more appropriate.  Once again, it's in the context of a RUP project but the same things can be said of XP, FDD, DSDM, AUP, and so on.  The discussion of what was changed for this organization, and what remained the same, is particularly interesting because it puts the migration from waterfall to iterative in perspective for the doubters among us.  Finally, it reviews the results of the effort and provides some advice for being successfull.

Many agilists find themselves in this situation, so this article will prove valuable.

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