Why old-school middle management prefers waterfall

By | March 23, 2013

In a recent LADG meeting, I realised why middle-management are sometimes reluctant to embrace agile: it’s because they have to accept an element of responsibility for the team’s output.

With waterfall, the manager declares what he or she wants, then sits back and let’s the team commit to deliver the project by a certain date. Then, if it isn’t delivered on time & in scope, the manager blames the team for the failure.

With agile, the team may still estimate (see recent post re forecast over commitment) to achieve certain milestones on certain dates but, if those are going to be missed, the management is made aware way ahead of time due to incremental development. This gives the business the choice of changing scope and/or timeframe.

The latter is obviously a much better position to be in for the development team and the company as a whole … but maybe not for the old-school Teflon shouldered managers!

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