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Parallel Worlds: Agile and Waterfall Differences and Similarities

Technical Note
This report helps readers understand Agile. The report assembles terms and concepts from both the traditional world of waterfall-based development and the Agile environment to show the many similarities and differences.
Publisher

Software Engineering Institute

CMU/SEI Report Number
CMU/SEI-2013-TN-021
DOI (Digital Object Identifier)
10.1184/R1/6576047.v1

Abstract

This technical note (TN) is part of the Software Engineering Institute’s series on Agile in the Department of Defense (DoD). It primarily addresses what at first seems a small issue on the road to Agile adoption—the confusion of terms. However, this is a much larger issue, as ineffective communications among and between stakeholders is often cited as a significant stumbling block on any project. Confusion over simple terms is a needless hurdle.

Many terms and concepts used by Agile practitioners seem to confound those working in the DoD’s Traditional World of waterfall-based environment, and vice versa. The goal of this paper is to assemble terms and concepts from both environments to show both the similarities (of which there are many) and differences (of which there are also many).

A comprehensive cross dictionary was beyond the scope of this work; the authors strove to select from those terms most commonly encountered when considering Agile adoption. Therefore, the authors selected terms based on suggestions from both inside and outside the SEI, but deliberately limited themselves to 25 terms from each environment.

Cite This Technical Note

Palmquist, S., Lapham, M., Miller, S., Chick, T., & Ozkaya, I. (2013, October 1). Parallel Worlds: Agile and Waterfall Differences and Similarities. (Technical Note CMU/SEI-2013-TN-021). Retrieved April 23, 2024, from https://doi.org/10.1184/R1/6576047.v1.

@techreport{palmquist_2013,
author={Palmquist, Steven and Lapham, Mary Ann and Miller, Suzanne and Chick, Timothy and Ozkaya, Ipek},
title={Parallel Worlds: Agile and Waterfall Differences and Similarities},
month={Oct},
year={2013},
number={CMU/SEI-2013-TN-021},
howpublished={Carnegie Mellon University, Software Engineering Institute's Digital Library},
url={https://doi.org/10.1184/R1/6576047.v1},
note={Accessed: 2024-Apr-23}
}

Palmquist, Steven, Mary Ann Lapham, Suzanne Miller, Timothy Chick, and Ipek Ozkaya. "Parallel Worlds: Agile and Waterfall Differences and Similarities." (CMU/SEI-2013-TN-021). Carnegie Mellon University, Software Engineering Institute's Digital Library. Software Engineering Institute, October 1, 2013. https://doi.org/10.1184/R1/6576047.v1.

S. Palmquist, M. Lapham, S. Miller, T. Chick, and I. Ozkaya, "Parallel Worlds: Agile and Waterfall Differences and Similarities," Carnegie Mellon University, Software Engineering Institute's Digital Library. Software Engineering Institute, Technical Note CMU/SEI-2013-TN-021, 1-Oct-2013 [Online]. Available: https://doi.org/10.1184/R1/6576047.v1. [Accessed: 23-Apr-2024].

Palmquist, Steven, Mary Ann Lapham, Suzanne Miller, Timothy Chick, and Ipek Ozkaya. "Parallel Worlds: Agile and Waterfall Differences and Similarities." (Technical Note CMU/SEI-2013-TN-021). Carnegie Mellon University, Software Engineering Institute's Digital Library, Software Engineering Institute, 1 Oct. 2013. https://doi.org/10.1184/R1/6576047.v1. Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

Palmquist, Steven; Lapham, Mary Ann; Miller, Suzanne; Chick, Timothy; & Ozkaya, Ipek. Parallel Worlds: Agile and Waterfall Differences and Similarities. CMU/SEI-2013-TN-021. Software Engineering Institute. 2013. https://doi.org/10.1184/R1/6576047.v1