What is Agile Waterfall Hybrid?

Agile Waterfall Hybrid is a midway approach to Agile and Waterfall methods. It is coined by Stephen McConnell to describe an approach that incorporates principles of Agile with those of the traditional Waterfall method. In the Agile-Waterfall hybrid approach, each phase of Waterfall-style development is broken down into smaller pieces and then iteratively implemented in parallel with the agile steps. This approach allows managers to meet their deadlines while also incorporating feedback from early customers. This hybrid approach can be useful for organizations that want to build an end-to-end product but lack the resources or expertise to do so by applying only one method. The waterfall agile hybrid also provides a way for organizations to maintain both agility and control over their product release process.

Difference between Agile and Waterfall Methodologies:

A main difference in the Agile-Waterfall hybrid approach is that the agile process is used to develop the product backlog while the Waterfall approach is used to develop the product itself. Here are the key differences between Agile and Waterfall methodologies:

1. Agile Methodology:

Agile is the iterative method of project development that takes into account the customer’s demands and expectations. This means that it is used to some glitches and changes in the whole outline of the project that may arise due to these aspects. This approach is more flexible and makes testing the whole product fairly easy.

2. Waterfall Methodology:

Waterfall methodology is the counterpart of Agile, and it is the recursive approach. It follows a strict routine and doesn’t allow changes in the project in the middle of the project.

Features of Waterfall-Agile Hybrid Model:

Agile Waterfall Hybrid methodology surely has its flaws, but that doesn’t prevent companies from using it. There has been significant growth in the trend of using this Agile Waterfall model for a lot of reasons.

Both the agile and waterfall methodologies have their own pros and cons. Ruling out one in the favor of the other would not be a sensible approach. The model that is to be followed depends on the type of project.

1. Agile Waterfall Hybrid is a New Approach for Companies:

  • It allows you to deliver continuously. The teams keep delivering the tasks as per the designed project while incorporating the feedback into the next stage.
  • In the IT industry, for example, it allows both the hardware and software teams to work independently with very little dependence on each other. The software team uses the agile method while the hardware team shifts towards the waterfall model.
difference between agile and waterfall

2. Merits and Demerits of Agile and Waterfall Methodologies:

It is to understand that the Agile waterfall hybrid model which has the flexibility of the agile method also has the fixed expectations that come in from the V model. Here both teams would have to show a little understanding of the process and adapt to the changes.

This model is surely not perfect but the way it blends both the project management worlds is remarkable. In order to succeed you need to be capable of working in both environments. As a project manager choosing the right people is as important as knowing the nitty-gritty details of the models yourself, which is explained here in what is a project?

3. Job Opportunities for Agile Waterfall Hybrid Professionals:

Due to its growing demand, many companies are now hiring employees who have knowledge about both the Waterfall methodology and Agile methodology. This also allows them to use the employees on either of the two models and even for the hybrid one when the need arises.

Learning how to manage which project takes certain kinds of skills can take years. However, it would give you a competitive edge if you could learn this a little early in time. For this, you should get some sort of certification. CPME is the most credible project management certification, designed for professionals who are seeking a career and growth in project management. It also leads to AIMS’ online Project Management MSc.

agile waterfall hybrid

5 Ways to Make an Agile Waterfall Hybrid Working Process:

Agile methods are great for building software in an iterative fashion. They support frequent, small-scale feedback to identify and quickly fix problems. However, they can be hard to implement in a water-tight way if you’re working within a process that isn’t designed with agile principles in mind. This is where hybrid methods come into play. Let us discuss some of the ways to make an existing Waterfall process more agile so that it can keep up with today’s fast-changing software development needs.

1. Define Your Working Process:

First, you need to define the essential steps within your process. The process is what defines how work gets done on your team. You want to make sure you keep the good parts of your process and adapt them to suit agile principles. The working process defines how work gets done through activities such as creating requirements, planning, creating, testing, and deploying software. At the same time, it defines what steps are involved in each activity. Some processes are static. They are designed to keep the same basic structure regardless of the type of work that needs to get done. Such processes are often referred to as linear. Other processes are fluid. They adapt to the needs of the work that gets done. Such processes are often referred to as agile. If your process is linear, you’ll need to adapt it to become more agile. If your process is agile, however, then you have an opportunity to make it more effective by adding more structure.

2. Establish Your Team’s Roles and Responsibilities:

Next, you need to define each role’s role and responsibility. Roles are the individual tasks that get assigned to members of the team. Responsibilities are what each role should accomplish. It’s important to clearly define every person’s duties and the team’s goals so that team members can each understand their role in the process. As a team grows, it’s easy to lose sight of this. During the team’s early stages, it’s important to keep everyone focused on the goals the team is trying to accomplish together. It’s also important to avoid the trap of micromanaging team members by giving them too many specific directions.

3. Adopt an Everyday Meeting Structure:

The everyday meeting structure also needs to be adapted to fit agile principles. Agile methods encourage cross-functional teams that are able to work together outside of scheduled meetings. These daily stand-up meetings are a good example of a cross-functional team event. It’s a time for team members to report their status and make sure that everyone is on the same page. It’s also a good opportunity to quickly resolve problems before they escalate. Daily stand-up meetings are a good way to keep a Waterfall process agile. As an added benefit, they help you adapt your team’s structure to be more cross-functional and thus more effective.

4. Embrace Pairing and Small User-Testing Sessions:

Low-fidelity user-testing sessions are a great way to get the most out of your team’s time. This is especially true if your team is large. If your team is small and you want to do user-testing sessions, they will probably take too much time out of your schedule. Low-fidelity user-testing sessions are a great way to bring team members together to get work done. Unlike low-fidelity sprint demos, they are not concerned with creating beautiful products. They are concerned with testing the functionality of the products your team creates. They are a great way to quickly identify and fix problems before they become too big for your team to handle.

5. Establish a Shared Vision and Values:

The shared vision and values are what help bind your team together. The shared vision is what binds the team together as a whole. This should be a vision that captures the core values of your team. The shared values are what each member of the team pledges to uphold as part of their daily duties. These values are what team members should hold themselves accountable for as part of their daily duties. This helps team members understand each other and make decisions as a team.


The promises of agile methods are great. The reality, however, is that they are hard to implement in a water-tight way if you’re working within a process that isn’t designed with agile principles in mind. This is where hybrid methods come into play. We discussed some of the ways to make an existing Waterfall process more agile so that it can keep up with today’s fast-changing software development needs.