Unveiling the Illusion: The Mini-Waterfall Approach Masquerading as Agile

Agile is a software development methodology that emphasizes iterative development, collaboration, and customer feedback. It has become increasingly popular in recent years, as businesses have come to realize the benefits of being able to deliver working software more quickly and respond to changes in the market more easily.

However, many companies that implement agile do so in a way that is not truly agile. Instead, they adopt a “mini-waterfall” approach, in which they break down the project into a series of small, sequential steps. This approach can lead to a number of problems, including:

  • Increased risk of delays and missed deadlines
  • Reduced customer satisfaction
  • Increased costs
  • Decreased innovation

So, what is the difference between agile and mini-waterfall?


  • Iterative development: The project is broken down into small, incremental steps, and each step is completed before moving on to the next.
  • Collaboration: The team works together closely to ensure that the project meets the needs of the customer.
  • Customer feedback: The customer is involved throughout the development process, so that their feedback can be incorporated into the project.


  • Linear development: The project is broken down into a series of small, sequential steps.
  • Little collaboration: The team members work in silos, and there is little communication between them.
  • Little customer feedback: The customer is not involved in the development process until the end.

As you can see, mini-waterfall is not truly agile. It does not emphasize iterative development, collaboration, or customer feedback. This can lead to a number of problems, as mentioned above.

If you are considering implementing agile, it is important to make sure that you are doing it in a way that is truly agile. This will help you to reap the benefits of agile, such as:

  • Increased speed to market
  • Increased customer satisfaction
  • Reduced costs
  • Increased innovation

How to Avoid Mini-Waterfall

There are a number of things that you can do to avoid mini-waterfall when implementing agile. Here are a few tips:

  • Break down the project into small, manageable chunks. This will make it easier to manage the project and ensure that it is completed on time.
  • Involve the customer throughout the development process. This will help you to ensure that the project meets their needs and that they are satisfied with the final product.
  • Use agile tools and techniques. There are a number of tools and techniques that can help you to implement agile effectively.
  • Train your team on agile. It is important to make sure that your team understands the principles of agile and how to implement it effectively.

By following these tips, you can avoid mini-waterfall and implement agile in a way that will benefit your business.

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