Project Management Institute

Across The Spectrum

The Choice Between Agile And Waterfall Has Evolved Into Something More Pragmatic—And Potentially More Powerful

For years, Michael Thompson, PMP, brushed off suggestions from other project professionals that he try agile approaches. "I was a hardcore waterfall guy for a long time and just not interested," says Mr. Thompson, then a program manager at IBM, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. But over the past few years, his preference felt more like stubbornness. So he began taking advantage of the free training offered by his organization. "You could almost see this little lightbulb go on over my head," says Mr. Thompson, now an agile transformation leader at IBM, which is a member of PMI's Global Executive Council. But his epiphany wasn't to abandon waterfall (also known as predictive) entirely. Instead, it was about the value of teams tailoring their delivery approach to each project, regardless of where they landed on the waterfall-agile spectrum.
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