What non-Agile project management methodologies are used nowadays? I know that Waterfall is in use. What else?

  • 2
    I’m voting to close this question because it's inherently list-generating.
    – Sarov
    Commented Oct 8, 2020 at 14:28

3 Answers 3


Agile is not a methodology, much less a project management methodology. Organisational agility is all about having a organisation that is responsive to change with empowered teams. The Agile Manifesto for Software Development is a set of ideas about how to do software development work, and various frameworks and management approaches have been devised that use some of those ideas. Examples: Scrum, SAFe, Scrumban, XP.

The waterfall "model" is not really a methodology either but it is a loose term used for any software development approach that emphasises predictive planning with a phased, sequential programme of work. There are various frameworks and methods that support some of those characteristics but those same frameworks and methods are not necessarily incompatible with working in an agile way. Examples: PRINCE2, V-Model and RAD.


Sad to say, but too many places are still using the "walk around and guess" methodology.

The main component is a deadline - decided upon by management, usually - and a hi-level concept of what needs to be done.

It consists of mainly guessing, bluffing your way and having random long-winded meetings that never create action items and have no follow up.

  • 2
    Variation of that is "Walk around and guess with doublespeak" - where management decrees that "We're agile!" (or other required buzzword), but refuses to follow any methodology other than WAAG". "I want us to be an agile organization; set it up so that we deliver the contract within 3 months under 2K, we can save money but cutting the crosstraining budget"
    – MCW
    Commented Dec 30, 2020 at 10:56

Everything mostly copy-pasted from Wikipedia.

  • Agile refers to a group of software development methodologies based on iterative development, where requirements and solutions evolve via collaboration between self-organizing cross-functional teams.

  • Rapid application development (RAD) is a software development methodology, which favors iterative development and the rapid construction of prototypes instead of large amounts of up-front planning.

  • Spiral development combines some key aspect of the waterfall model and rapid prototyping methodologies, in an effort to combine advantages of top-down and bottom-up concepts.

  • Waterfall - large rigid steps.

  • Cowboy coding - occurs when there is little participation by business users, or fanned by management that controls only non-development aspects of the project, such as the broad targets, timelines, scope, and visuals (the "what", but not the "how").

  • Pull queue - I know this is just a component of other frameworks but IMHO it is a methodology on it's own:

    • QA files bugs to the queue
    • developers choose and fix bugs at their own leisure
    • a weekly 30 minute team meeting promotes, splits or rejects bugs that have lingered unfixed for too long
  • Structured systems analysis and design method can be thought to represent a pinnacle of the rigorous document-led approach to system design.

  • Slow programming - careful and gradual work without (or minimal) time pressures. Slow programming aims to avoid bugs and overly quick release schedules.

  • Unified Process - a general process design tool.

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