I am acting as Project Support to a large multinational that is keen to embrace Agile - although it is really just Scrum that they are referring to.

The ERP migration is traditional Waterfall but they want Agile used, probably for the refactoring.

Can you recommend any case studies, whiter papers or best practice for Agile within Waterfall?

  • 3
    Agile isn't a framework, it's a set of principles. See agilemanifesto.org for details. Meanwhile, your question as posted is too broad, and is likely to be closed without editing. Please improve it by adding some concrete details about your situation, what you're trying to accomplish, and what you've already tried.
    – Todd A. Jacobs
    Commented Jul 5, 2014 at 14:46
  • Can you clarify what you mean by, "they want Agile used, probably for the refactoring". I didn't know refactoring was particularly limited to Agile. Commented Jul 5, 2014 at 18:49
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    Agile within waterfall doesn't work. It's like trying to fit an orange into a potato. It doesn't fit, won't work and makes no sense. Commented Jul 9, 2014 at 19:22
  • I have heard the "Agile is not a Framework, it is a set of Principles" mantra before. However, Agile is widely referred to as a framework now including the wikipedia page. I don't think prescriptive "it's not a framework" labels are helpful. Commented Jul 16, 2014 at 7:08

1 Answer 1


Your question might be best stated as, "Is is possible to implement Scrum methodology within a multi-national Waterfall ERP migration?"

My answer to this question would be an emphatic yes, based on experience leading projects where we did just that (both before the principles that make up Agile were canonized, and after). The key is to look at Scrum functionally as opposed to literally and transfer the concepts to an understanding of:

  • what you are trying to achieve in each "time-slice" of the waterfall project;
  • who are the customers for that time-slice; and
  • what work items can or should be iterated in that time-slice.

In this case "time-slice" equates to the period of time that most parallels a sprint for your project. I try to avoid the word sprint since it sounds antithetical in the Waterfall context.

See http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/websphere/techjournal/0907_hines/09d07_hines.html and http://www.slideshare.net/srayhan/scrum-at-a-waterfall-organization. Both these came from a Google search, and I have only scanned them to see if the projects and results were related to this discussion. I would suggest not following any links that lead down the path of Agile vs. Waterfall; they will likely distract in this case.

If you would like to share some of your project activities planned for the next few months, I (and perhaps others) can be more specific. There is no reason to limit the discussion to refactoring, nor would you get the most benefit from doing so.

  • Michael - very much appreciated. I will return with some project details in the near future. Commented Jul 16, 2014 at 7:10

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