What Agile Methods Bring to the Party:
When you think of the challenges of delivering change quickly, ones mind turns to agile methods that employ friendly or visual interactions between developers and business professionals using resulting processes or applications. BPM employs visibility in designing the processes through models, visual orchestrations of resources and resulting dashboards that are ideal for incremental and quick development and improvement. The problem with these incremental approaches that the teams need tighter communication patterns to keep everyone up to date with the latest results of each iteration. Some savvy organizations limit the number of increments within a given time fame to keep the whole team in synchronization. Agile is quick, but it also quick to have the chaos factor enter the efforts.
What Water Fall Methods Bring to the Party:
When you think of the challenges of delivering a perfect release where all are kept up to date, so that they buy in and approve of the resulting process or application, ones mind turns to waterfall methods that are careful at each sequential step. There is careful delivery of proven milestones and deliverables and every one knows what to expect at any moment in time. There is a project schedule that is visible and everyone knows the plan and executes to it, however this approach is too slow for the pace of business change and one never ever gets it right because of the need for change in the middle of development.
We Need WAGILE (Water Fall and Agile):
The answer is the best of both worlds, but organizations have great debate and churn around just how to accomplish this. It is very important to combine these methods to the satisfaction of most of the developers and business folks, There are jump start training approaches to help combines SDLCs and Agile BPM and many of the successful BPM vendors are there to help, along with their solution provider partners.
You have no choice in the digital age, but to combine agile with current methods. Knowing it, in advance, will help your journey. This is a "pay me now or pay me later" effort that is really necessary for Digital and BPM success.