Waterfall versus Agile

CIS 348 Assignment 3

Waterfall versus Agile

In this paper I will describe a waterfall methodology and describe its relationship to the PMBOK process groups. I will describe the agile methodology and identify its relationship to the PMBOK process groups. I will contrast the waterfall and agile methodologies. Finally, I will describe XP and defend or criticize the practice.

The waterfall methodology can best be described as a sequential process where in

order to complete a project a detailed process must be followed. Although this sounds like an effective way to complete a project, in the waterfall methodology, there is no room to make changes. Each step in the plan must be completed before moving on to the next. There is no going back without scrapping the whole project and starting from scratch.

PMBOK is very similar to the waterfall process and many consider them to be one in the same they are in fact different. PMBOK also has a system of processes, which are placed into groups. This is intended to assist in guiding teams through projects and seeing them to a successful completion. In contrast, PMBOK is a set of guidelines to aid Project Managers throughout a project using the waterfall process. So as stated, they are PMBOK and waterfall are two different processes that synergistically work together during a project.

The agile method is the new approach to how organizations take on projects. It utilizes scrum as the framework for managing product development. It relies on sprints throughout the development process and rather than scrap a project and start from beginning like PMBOK, a project can continue its progress. Agile isn’t necessarily a guide, system of processes, or steps but rather a mindset.

XP or Extreme Programming, refers to an agile software development methodology. XP utilizes software engineering best practices and groups 12 practices into 4 areas. It is a method of developing high value, quality software rapidly. The good thing about XP is that a product can be delivered in a short amount of time. The bad is that the product may not meet all expectations or be as robust as it needs to be. XP mirrors scrum which uses sprints but is much faster paced.


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Waterfall vs. Agile: Which is the Right Development Methodology for Your Project?