I was thinking today, while watching a team fail miserably at planning, that we all know what we would do if asked to choose between Agile or Waterfall; but what if you had to choose between “MakeItUpAsWeGoAlongNoRules”-Agile and Waterfall. In other words, “Aspects of Agile” vs Pure Waterfall. I’d have to say I’d go for Waterfall…
(for this next piece to work you need to understand that governments exist to control you in a coercive and violent manner)
If you lived in country that was governed by a central authority, you’d have rules in place, albeit not all pleasant, and made up by a small group of individuals, but you’d still have rules that govern everyday life. Compare this to a state of “anarchy” (the Mad Max style “no rules leather bound bike riding shotgun wielding” kind) where there are no rules, or at the most constantly contradicting rules. What would you choose? I equate Waterfall to a central authority style coercive control and “aspects of agile” as the Mad Max style anarchy. Given this choice, and for nothing more than pure “survival” (read “sanity”), I’d have to go with Waterfall!
Of course, the true nirvana is true agility, which I guess you can equate to the type of true anarchy that rejects all form of coercive control, and has a basic set of rules, related to people and interactions between people, based on universally preferable ethics.
Of course I may be way off here, but these are just my thoughts.