Tasks Versus Responsibilities (Agile vs Waterfall)

Software industry worldwide requires more and more broadly educated senior developers, so the career markets strive to meet those needs by delivering new hires with broad knowledge, gained in various institutions. The level of technological knowledge of the new and constantly investing in themselves candidates for a work in the enormous software sector is extremely high, thanks to the well-known software universities, academies and companies offering trainings from proven experts in the field.

However, there is a specific restraint by companies when offering vacancies. The main reason for this timidity is often financial – the price of the candidates is rising steadily because of the high cost of self-improvement, making reinvestment in new employees so expensive so it can be at and beyond budget limits.

Why “organizational culture” is the breaking point and regularly discussed and is it so complicated to find the right collaboration between people doing different tasks in one system? I would like to give a slightly different view on this perspective by comparing Agile and Waterfall process of delivering products.

In the well- financed “Waterfall” environment, the responsibilities of employees are more technology rather than business oriented.

It is expected of them to do their task well and in organized time slots, to integrate the components correctly, to deliver high-quality code, TDD and so on. The comfort of doing everyday tasks without stress in a Waterfall project is provided by the analysis and network of tasks and roles, created far before the development stage. So the Waterfall model can work well as long as we live in a rich flora and not particularly demanding fauna.

Agile changes the expensive paradigm and puts visibility, optimization and financial results before the process calmness. Expectations of the “seniors” as we like to call them, are transformed (but not excluded) from technological development to communication and analysis – with great personal responsibility for the success of the product.

The preliminary planning includes high-level definition in form of Epics, User Stories, and the only assistant in the performance is our Scrum Master.

On team and management level there is still understanding that the Scrum Master represents a magical combination between business analyst, product owner, project manager and everything necessary to make our Waterfall live. But the role of this mystic creature is simply to understand our problems and to connect us with the right people who are able to solve them.

Then where remains the decision how long will take the implementation of the User Story, which we evaluate with points rather than days? And what happens if I cannot deal with something on my task list? Who should be worried if we didn’t finish on time? But I ‘m a programmer, I can code well, why should I be bothered with such things?

The answer is in the „seniority” or otherwise said the maturity of the developer. It is time to accept that starting a work we undertake not to do only a line of tasks, but to take responsibility for the projects.

In symbiosis with everyone in the organization we have to provide quality, to communicate, share and deliver results. Scrum Master is our window to the people who have answers and solutions to our questions, but the commitment to the final result is ours. And that’s what employers have in mind when putting the English word “senior” in their job offers.

In conclusion I will say that technologies can be learned, the quality of the code can be evaluated with relevant tools, tasks pass from one sprint to another when we cannot cope with them. The responsibility, however, is the factor that matters and ensure compatibility with any successful organization. The liability as determined from Agile.

Share your experience in transformation – have you had „methodological differences,” how did you overcome them?

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