Agile Requirements Structures, Part 1

If you have worked in large Agile projects or programs, you may have noticed that there is often quite a bit of confusion about requirements, what the requirement types are, their purpose, how to write them, how to use them, and above all, what not to do with them. There are many causes for this confusion. Here are some of the more common I have seen: Nobody in the organization has read up on the requirements model it is using, so everyone makes their own interpretation. The organization deviates from a standard requirements model, but nobody knows which standard model the organization is deviating from, and/or there is no agreement about how they deviate from it. The organization has not documented its own requirements model very well. The organization mixes two or more different requirements models, often without realizing it. The organization has documented its requirements model, but finding the documentation is an epic project in itself, on par with when Henry Sta

Waterfall vs. Agile: Battle of the Dunces or A Race to the Bottom?

The major software methodology wars since the mid 1950’s. Someone was wrong on the Internet, so here we go… In a recent HBR article, It’s Time to End the Battle Between Waterfall and Agile , the author sets up a false premise: There is a war between Waterfall methodology and Agile. The war must end. And finally, you can combine the approaches to get the best of both worlds. This sounds good, but the article is based on a misunderstanding of both Waterfall and Agile. Also, there is no war between Waterfall methodology and Agile. There can’t be, because Waterfall methodology does not exist! Waterfall is a name for large projects that failed in the 1960’s. Waterfall was never a methodology, but a failure to apply the methodologies that existed back then. As I will show towards the end of this article, at least one of the “successful” Waterfall projects mentioned in the HBR article was neither successful, nor a Waterfall project. I got invaluable help from Alistair Cockburn. He fact che