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Is agile an urban legend and waterfall a taboo in project management?

Stamping a project as agile does not guarantee a successful execution; flagging a project as a waterfall does not ensure a failed implementation. For me, agile is about iterative but speedy design to delivery, and waterfall is about too many iterative steps from planning to execution. I see agile projects as quantitative (XYZ projects, X backlog items, Z releases) while the waterfall is qualitative (detailed explanation of ideas and too many discussions about each project). The IT industry today treats waterfall as something old. At the same time, agile is excellent, which forces leaders, managers, and individuals to learn and embrace agile methodologies and make words like “waterfall” taboo. I think it is a mistake to drop waterfall for agile development altogether. Just as we cannot drop qualitative thinking for quantitative or vice versa, both waterfall and agile concepts must mesh together in our project management approach. We should drop the words “waterfall” or “agile” in labeling projects, but we must always think as “agile” and deliver a successful “waterfall” project.

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