Waterfall is sometimes better

I use this as small workshop / discussion panel addressed to people who are wither fixed on doing everything Agile way. This helps undestand that not everything is meant to be developed in Scrum. I briefly talk about what is waterfall and what is agile approach. At the end I open discussion panel questioning: What projects can’t be done Agile way?

How we used to work? Waterfall

We used to split developing products into partf following one after another:

  1. Collecting requirements
  2. Designing
  3. Implementation
  4. Verification
  5. Maintenance

We call this model a Waterfall, because flow is from top to bottom with no returns whatsoever. It was first shown to audience 29 June 1956 by mister Benington. It was connected with software for SAGE . Strictly connected with NORAD. In 1970 Winston Royce said this model is not working, but not all agreed and in 1985 US DoD made this as example of how their contractors should work. Rules is to never ever move for next step if current one is not fully finished.


  • Structure is clear. Information is clear.
  • Goal is set from the beginning.
  • Risk is higher.
  • If terminated after 90% of time give almost no value


  • Its difficult to change anything
  • Exclude client from process.

How we are working right now? Agile

Shortly, Agile Manifesto was proclamated 11-13 february 2001, lets go through principles once more:

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
Working software over comprehensive documentation
Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
Responding to change over following a plan

There are many agile frameworks out there on market. You may be familiar with Scrum and Kanban. They both do similar thing: prepare piece of working product, deploy it, gather feedback and repeat from start, but with taking in mind what you already learned.


  • Changes are easy to apply.
  • Trackable progress.
  • Risk is lower.


  • Require high skilled / cross functional teams.
  • Hard to scale


So what projects can NOT be run Agile way?

There are elephants in the room, belive me.

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