Is Water-Scrum-Fall Reality? On the Use of Agile and Traditional Development Practices

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9459)


For years, agile methods are considered the most promising route toward successful software development, and a considerable number of published studies the (successful) use of agile methods and reports on the benefits companies have from adopting agile methods. Yet, since the world is not black or white, the question for what happened to the traditional models arises. Are traditional models replaced by agile methods? How is the transformation toward Agile managed, and, moreover, where did it start? With this paper we close a gap in literature by studying the general process use over time to investigate how traditional and agile methods are used. Is there coexistence or do agile methods accelerate the traditional processes’ extinction? The findings of our literature study comprise two major results: First, studies and reliable numbers on the general process model use are rare, i.e., we lack quantitative data on the actual process use and, thus, we often lack the ability to ground process-related research in practically relevant issues. Second, despite the assumed dominance of agile methods, our results clearly show that companies enact context-specific hybrid solutions in which traditional and agile development approaches are used in combination.


Development practices Agile methods Software process Systematic literature review Comparative study Scrum 



This research was partially carried out and supported by a Software Campus project (BMBF 01IS12053) funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Institute and Center for Energy InformaticsUniversity of Southern DenmarkOdenseDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of HelsinkiHelsinkiFinland
  3. 3.Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software EngineeringKaiserslauternGermany

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