A tale about customer feedback

Probably you have also heard the constantly repeated mantra of many agile gurus: “Get real customer feedback. Get it early. Learn from it.”
And probably you also know these “agilized” projects with lots of of sprints and reviews and a go-live at the very end of the project. And unfortunately no time to talk to customers.

Let me tell you about a different experience from my last project.

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The Waterfall Accident

“For every complex problem there is a solution that is simple, neat and wrong.” (H. L. Mencken)

Probably since the mid-70s, the waterfall model has been the prevalent approach when it comes to software engineering. The basic idea is easy to communicate and appeals to common sense. First you find out what is needed, then you decide how you are going to do it, then you do it, after that you check if you really did it right, and finally you use it.

So it is quite surprising that the omnipresence of the waterfall process seems not much more than a quirk of history, some call it even a historical accident.

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