Agile vs. Waterfall in Business

The concept of business agility is coming up more and more in my daily conversations with colleagues and mentees. For those of us that come from the technology world. We are accustomed to hearing the terms agile and waterfall as it relates to coding. However, this concept is also relevant in the ever changing world of business. Like projects in technology, businesses have to adapt to project like methodologies.


Have you ever found yourself in a situation in your workplace where you have been tasked with several different activities in a limited time frame?

 We’ve all been there right. Gone are the days of handling business functions in a traditional linear method. Linear thinking is crippling businesses on a global level. New industry demands are calling for matrix and cross function environments that move horizontally. These new demands indicate that there is even more reason to use an agile sprint approach for projects. Businesses are becoming more and more complex with parts that are interdependent on one another. Often times these projects are multi-functional and far reaching impacting multiple parts of an organization.

Remember, the waterfall methodology involves tackling one aspect of business at a time, with plenty of time built in to test, assess risk and redefine accordingly. Today’s businesses are requiring their employees to handle a wide array of activities at the same time to propel the business forward, and gain quick-wins. In short, companies are seeking agile sprints as opposed to trickle down waterfall productivity from a decision making and results perspective.

When utilizing an agile methodology there are a few realizations that we must come to accept:

  1. You can’t be perfect, but quality is still important.
  2. Results are needed in a faster fashion.
  3. Calculated Risk not Perfection
  4. What is the Projects’ and Business Tolerance Level
  5. Smaller sprints with more focused results, yield favorable results

How are you using an Agile Methodology in your workplace? Join the discussion; I would love to hear from you?

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