Agile methodology emerges with greater flexibility with the new model for the development of the organization. The study has a systematic methodology that was identified with the key challenges in the process of transition from waterfall to agile.
The organization of ABC Company has adopted an agile methodology to challenge their work practice at the technical and organizational levels. It was analysed that agile methodology has a mindset of transition for the team, which has become the biggest challenge in the pattern of the waterfall model to agile. Thus, the paper shares an experience about the challenges in transitioning from waterfall to agile.
Challenges of Transitions in Methodology
It is important to utilise and understand the difference between the methodologies of Waterfall and Agile. Along with it, the way the company transits from one methodology to the other needs to be realized. However, the waterfall model is traditional and generally used for the transition of an agile model with larger corporations. Due to certain privacy challenges, the company has to go through the transition of the waterfall to an agile method. There are benefits and advantages for the ABC Company with the development of the agile methods since the business process is changing from a traditional method. Agile method is reported to have a completely different value from the traditional method. Thus, the company will face many challenges concerning this transformation, that is to be discussed in the section below.
The article consists of challenges that the companies mostly face while transitioning from Waterfall to Agile. ABC Company works on multiple projects simultaneously. However, when it comes to the transition of the methodology from Waterfall to Agile, then it becomes difficult to manage multiple projects at a time (Maassen, 2018). The next challenge that was reported had been the assigning of the tasks along with time and implementing appropriate team members. The team was able to change the sprint time from two weeks to one week for which the team member had to think about another way to measure the amount of work in hours and was able to see the time that everyone spends for the project (Lampropoulos & Siakas, 2018). While the transition is made, the amount and lanes of communication is a problem for the team members. A project has completed with Waterfall Methodology and it requires a written communication, but there is no requirement for a verbal collaboration and communication, which is a big change in the transition of the business methodology into an agile one. Another issue is that people were not aware of the way agile methodology looks like (Mitsuyuki et al., 2017). This problem makes people difficult to understand the work and reach the goal the team make. People are not willing to change or learn any new methods that can help them in completing the project even though they have been facing the biggest obstacles while transitioning from Waterfall to Agile methodology. For every transition between the methodologies, there is an involvement of technical and human factor with which an issue arises that can gain a richer understanding about the organization while making a transition from Waterfall to Agile (Ouriqueset al., 2018).
Some of the challenges the agile team faces are discussed below.
- Agile process or method: It becomes difficult to understand the agile methods and their underlying principles. When people have started to adopt Scrum methods, they did not understand the principles that have troubled them physicallyand the result has ended up with neither the adoption of Waterfall nor Agile (Wagner et al., 2017).
- The biggest challenge at present that the agile team is facing is different mindsets of the people that do not change from the waterfall assigned in a specific time, budget and scope. Such specification is called the triple constraint that trickles along with every task, which needs to be equal to 40 hours. Agile could time box projects and iterations or sprints. It involves a 2-week time box and the end of the sprint has a full-functioning deliverable that does not specify the time. The time for a specific task is proposed for budgeting. Each team member gets a fix burn rate per iteration.
- Another challenge in changing the concept of the waterfall to agile is mainly in shifting, as both the method is different (Mohan, 2018). Changes are difficult to accept in many cases. The biggest hurdles are the concepts of introducing the iterative development with the ongoing requirements.
- The agile team needs to easily communicate with the members of the team regarding the whole project or it can be thrown out of track. With the existence of an Agile method, the primary agile team is being distributed to various locations. If the distributed team has to manage then the first thing to be established would be the communication methods that can be done through live chats, video conferencing and collaboration tools (Dingsøyr et al., 2018).
Challenges in Waterfall to Agile Migration
The challenges that the company faces is regarding the cultural and organisational influence of the structure of the social organisations. The significant influence exerts in the organisational culture for social negotiations, decision-making processes, problem-solving strategies, and a mechanism for planning and controlling (Almeida, 2017). The organisational cultural change alters the people’s mindset as the process is not easy. The style of management needs to change from traditional to agile methods also from command and control to leadership and collaboration. The next subject of a challenge in this is the documentation. For the traditional methods, heavyweight documentation is completely based upon whereas in the agile methods, there is limited documentation and mostly has a tacit knowledge.
The adoption of the agile method with respect to the human behaviour tends to achieve value and trust with the collaboration and communication between the members of the cooperative process. Even managers select some appropriate personnel, with the necessary training, creating and mentoring work practices to promote process excellence. Another challenge is the customers for which they have dedicated team members with different goals, experience and attitude (Raspopovicet al., 2016). However, for such a situation, the traditional project managers had no options for the new situation. A critical role is played by the customers for the success of the agile methods which could be responsive, authorised, committed, collaborative and knowledgeable (Abrahamssonet al., 2017). The presence of such customer is not as easy as it could be a barrier in the agile project success mostly at the time of first joining. Enough amount of attention is being paid by managers for experience and professional coach. Lack of mentoring, coaching and training is the critical issue.
Without the investment of time and effort, there is no availability of agile activities from a changing attitude. It is problematic to have a high level of CMMI. The traditional methods have processes that are based on standard measurement and activities for processing the agile methods with uncertain activities. This is associated with rapid development along with high quality production (Hekkalaet al., 2017). The debatable issue in agile methods is the practice of finding the appropriate measurements. Sometimes it becomes confusing to find the adequacy and documented tools for measuring the agile methods. The changes in the process model have a significant influence on tools, strategies, techniques and role of the people. It becomes difficult for a software developer to do frequent test for developing a test code in order to achieve continuous integration. The changes in the process model from waterfall to agile are an approach that could alter this obstacle. The next issue is to choose an appropriate agile method. This is all based on the values of agile methodology along with different activities and practices. Their difference is in priorities, project, implementation and team size, code ownership, and iteration time (Raunak& Binkley, 2017). It is difficult to approach an agile method with a wrong selection that causes more effort and cost, which may even lead to failure of the agile movement.
Challenges related to Management and Organization
Transforming to the agile method is a big technological issue. However, companies have to be aware of it. With the use of hardware and non-flexible tool, there is a barrier in agile movement (Dönmez & Grote, 2018). Companies use tools for continuous integration, version management, incremental evolution, re-working, and version management. The challenges could be confronted with enough training and investment. The agile method is the best way that could provide appropriate tools for the development environment along with its distribution.
There are six different challenges faced in the above section to which five different solution being provided that are suitable for the organization.
- The first is that the project team member along with the project manager should have a positive attitude with the type of work that need to create a plan for solving the problems, and effectively manage various tasks and deadlines. It is very much necessary to manage one particular task with full attention.
- The second is the use of the planning software and before that provide proper training for the proposed methodology. So that they do not face any issue in using the new methodology.
- The third is to build the trust the members need to communicate and collaborate with the project manager and provide everyday update about the work that they are doing. The project members need to be inform about the project that could determine the communication flows. So that they do not miss the task deadline. The event need to be plan properly, manage the schedule and through project calendar keep track of the important dates. The better way of collaboration with the team is to use the collaboration software like the ProofHub, this will ensure that project members are in loop will the recent project.
- The fourth is related to the process where it is very much needed to avoid scope-creep. With proper planning the goals needs to be systematically process and try understanding the need of the customer. Documenting every details about what is happening and communicating about the challenges to the team, management and the stakeholder.
- The fifth is the need of having core set of skills for the workload and based on it analyse the team members’ strengths and weaknesses. It would be better to enhance the knowledge by providing proper training to end the gaps in the skill.
From the paper, it has been concluded that the transition process is a complex process as it involves the operations of the organizations, their processes and principle. The study has found numerous benefits when the organization has introduced the agile method that has been derived from practices. The study reiterates that using the Agile method can help reduce the efforts of engineers and managers on a large scale. Challenges such as personal education, stakeholder involvement, experience, commitment, teams, and stakeholder location, course availability of training and needs of the customers has been identified in the study. Moreover, it is understood that the organization and the management have mostly undertaken these challenges. Thus, it can be reaffirmed and understood from the study that organizations will benefit largely when converting from the waterfall method to the Agile method.
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