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Parallel Worlds: Agile and Waterfall Differences and Similarities

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.

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SEI

Palmquist, Steven; Lapham, Mary Ann; Garcia-Miller, Suzanne; Chick, Timothy; & Ozkaya, Ipek. Parallel Worlds: Agile and Waterfall Differences and Similarities (CMU/SEI-2013-TN-021). Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, 2013. http://resources.sei.cmu.edu/library/asset-view.cfm?AssetID=62901

IEEE

Palmquist. Steven, Lapham. Mary Ann, Garcia-Miller. Suzanne, Chick. Timothy, and Ozkaya. Ipek, "Parallel Worlds: Agile and Waterfall Differences and Similarities," Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Technical Note CMU/SEI-2013-TN-021, 2013. http://resources.sei.cmu.edu/library/asset-view.cfm?AssetID=62901

APA

Palmquist, Steven., Lapham, Mary Ann., Garcia-Miller, Suzanne., Chick, Timothy., & Ozkaya, Ipek. (2013). Parallel Worlds: Agile and Waterfall Differences and Similarities (CMU/SEI-2013-TN-021). Retrieved September 22, 2014, from the Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University website: http://resources.sei.cmu.edu/library/asset-view.cfm?AssetID=62901

CHI

Steven Palmquist, Mary Ann Lapham, Suzanne Garcia-Miller, Timothy Chick, & Ipek Ozkaya. Parallel Worlds: Agile and Waterfall Differences and Similarities (CMU/SEI-2013-TN-021). Pittsburgh, PA: Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, 2013. http://resources.sei.cmu.edu/library/asset-view.cfm?AssetID=62901

MLA

Palmquist, Steven., Lapham, Mary Ann., Garcia-Miller, Suzanne., Chick, Timothy., & Ozkaya, Ipek. 2013. Parallel Worlds: Agile and Waterfall Differences and Similarities (Technical Report CMU/SEI-2013-TN-021). Pittsburgh: Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University. http://resources.sei.cmu.edu/library/asset-view.cfm?AssetID=62901