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Transitioning from Waterfall to Agile

17 July 2014

Chandrashekhar Madabhavi
Tata Consultancy Services


You're planning to move away from Waterfall and adopt Agile in your organization. This article offers some steps you can take as you make the transition.

Welcome the change

Whenever there is change, people will be hesitant to adopt it. But Agile is a proven method with lots of benefits. So you have to help your stakeholders welcome the change and adopt it with full faith. Share some success stories to relieve them from nervousness.

Transition needs training

Agile transformation needs training so that the participants can understand the Agile Manifesto, Agile principles, and other practices. There are many training institutions that can help us in adopting Agile. Teams can also study on their own by going through books, blogs, and attending seminars on Agile.

Communication, communication, and communication

Communication is important in Agile, and each and every member who is going to participate needs to improve this skill. Agile ceremonies such as sprint planning, daily stand-up meetings, retrospective meetings, and son on all need better communication skills. If every member can communicate easily and work as a team, then -- and only then -- Agile can be successful. The communication skills include verbal, written, or tool-based methods of presentation.

Forget old techniques and processes

This might be difficult, but when we are adopting something new, we need to leave behind the old things. Some organizations have old processes that either need to be changed or thrown out. E.g., code review processes, defect resolution, etc.

Spend money on automation

To bring agility, we need to adopt automation, which will reduce the time to deliver your product. Spend money on creating automated processes and automation tools. E.g., spend money on test automation and code deployment tools and processes.

Create an Agile environment

Agile is quick and collaborative. To achieve success, we need to create an environment where the team members can collaborate with each other. The best option is colocation. If that's not possible, adopt distributed Agile methods. Empower the team to take decisions and move forward.

Enjoy the journey!

Enjoy the journey with team, and success will be yours. Celebrate small deliveries. Rotate team members and give them occasional breaks so that they can gain energy and come back stronger.


Opinions represent those of the author and not of Scrum Alliance. The sharing of member-contributed content on this site does not imply endorsement of specific Scrum methods or practices beyond those taught by Scrum Alliance Certified Trainers and Coaches.



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