Mudassir Iqbal

Predictive, Adaptive, and Hybrid approaches are the three primary software development strategies.

  • In Predictive strategy, / Plan Driven
    a precise plan is created and adhered to throughout the duration of the project. The timetable, budget, and deliverables are all specified and determined from the beginning of the project. This method is ideal for projects with well-defined needs and stable environments.
  • The Adaptive strategy, / Change based
    often known as Agile, places emphasis on adaptability and flexibility. On the basis of feedback from stakeholders and changes in the development environment, requirements and project plans are continuously revised and reevaluated. This strategy is ideal for projects with quickly changing requirements and a high level of uncertainty.
  • The hybrid technique, / Change based
    as its name implies, contains features of both the predictive and adaptive approaches. It entails drafting a high-level strategy at the beginning of the project while allowing for flexibility and modification as the project develops. This strategy is ideal for projects requiring a balance of predictability and flexibility.

Each strategy has its own benefits and drawbacks, and the approach chosen will rely on the project’s particular requirements.

Agile vs Traditional

Waterfall, Iterative, Incremental and Agile

  1. Waterfall:
    The Waterfall model is a sequential and linear approach to software development. It follows a defined set of stages, where each stage must be completed before moving on to the next. The Waterfall model is best suited for projects with well-defined and stable requirements.
  2. Iterative:
    The Iterative model involves repeating a cycle of planning, development, testing, and review. The project is divided into smaller, manageable chunks, with each iteration building on the previous one. This model is best suited for projects where requirements are not well-defined and are likely to change.
  3. Incremental:
    The Incremental model involves breaking the project down into smaller parts, with each part being delivered and tested incrementally. This approach allows for changes to be made and feedback to be incorporated throughout the development process.
  4. Agile:
    Agile is a flexible, adaptive approach to software development that emphasizes collaboration, customer involvement, and rapid delivery of working software. Agile teams work in short sprints, delivering incremental releases of the software and regularly incorporating feedback from stakeholders.
Waterfall, Iterative, Incremental, Agile approaches
The diagram above is from course notes by Aguanno, Kevin, ‘Agile Bootcamp for Project Owners & Business Stakeholders

When to use waterfall, when agile?

The choice between using a Waterfall or Agile approach to software development will depend on the specific needs and constraints of the project.

The waterfall is best suited for projects with well-defined and stable requirements, where the scope of the project is clear and unlikely to change. This approach is often used in projects with a fixed budget and timeline, such as construction projects or hardware development.

On the other hand, Agile is best suited for projects with rapidly changing or poorly defined requirements, where customer involvement and rapid delivery of working software are a priority. Agile is often used in software development projects where the final product is uncertain, and the development team needs to quickly adapt to changes in requirements or technology.

Predictive, Adaptive and Hybrid Approaches

The focus of different approaches; Predictive, Adaptive and Hybrid Approaches

Predictive: It lowers the unpredictability and complexity of a project, enabling teams to operate in a disciplined and organised manner on the various phases of the project.

Iterative: It collects continuous input on the product as it is given, hence enhancing the value of the deliverables.

Incremental: It provides deliverables that can be utilised immediately by clients.

Agile inherits the benefits of iterative and incremental approaches.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach ; Predictive, Adaptive and Hybrid Approaches

The choice of development strategy will be influenced by numerous variables, including:

  • Size and complexity of the project: Larger and more complicated projects may demand a more structured and predictable strategy, such as the Waterfall model, while smaller projects may benefit from a more flexible and adaptable approach, such as Agile.
  • If the project’s needs are well-defined and unlikely to change, the Waterfall approach may be the most suitable option. An Agile methodology may be better suitable if the requirements are unstable or poorly specified.
  • If stakeholder involvement is a top goal, the Agile methodology, with its emphasis on collaboration and customer participation, may be the ideal option. If stakeholders are less involved in the project or have less influence over it, a Waterfall approach may be more appropriate.
  • If the project has a predetermined timetable and budget, the Waterfall model may be the ideal option because it gives a systematic and predictable method. If the timetable and budget are less restrictive, an Agile methodology may be preferable.
  • If the project entails high risks or unpredictability, the Agile methodology, with its flexibility to react fast to change, may be the best option. If the project is low risk and the needs are well-defined, the Waterfall methodology may be more suitable.

Ultimately, the choice of development approach will depend on the project’s specific requirements and constraints, as well as the preferences and expertise of the development team. A hybrid strategy that includes features of numerous strategies could potentially be viable.

Key Roles

Plan based

  • Project Sponsor: The individual or group funding the project.
  • Project Manager: The leader responsible for planning and executing the project.
  • Project Team: The group of individuals working together to achieve project goals.
  • Business Analyst: The professional who analyzes business needs and requirements.

Change Driven

  • Product Owner: Product owners manage the product roadmap and prioritize the backlog.
  • Scrum Manager/Agile Project Team: Scrum masters facilitate scrums – the Agile framework that focuses on time-boxed iterations called sprints. Scrum masters act as coaches to the rest of the team
  • Agile Coach: An Agile coach or mentor is a highly experienced professional who has implemented and executed agile projects.
  • Development Team: An Agile team consists of more than one developer, but these are the next essential roles after the product owner


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