Perhaps the most familiar and comfortable process for many companies. Waterfall is still very applicable and efficient in select instances, for specific archetypal applications.
Most often production based, Waterfall follows a Phase-oriented architecture where one phase must be finished and signed off before the next can begin. While very clear and direct in its approach, it tends to be rigid. That rigidity can often cause wasted time, energy and resources, especially when the target has moved since the beginning of the project. That is where Agile was born.
Since things change at an accelerated pace today, a successful company must adapt accordingly – or be left in the dust. Unless a project’s lifecycle is short enough to be able to successfully complete it and then immediately pivot in a new direction to capture the moving target, Waterfall simply isn’t flexible enough to make the grade.
Agile is a value-based project management process. Often misunderstood, the power of this process is only fully-engaged when upper management is totally onboard.
Often, going fully Agile requires a planned transition period from existing Waterfall processes. Coding, design, development, production and/or manufacturing often need interim solutions.