Case Study: Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls… Or Should You? (Design Process)

Case Study: Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls… Or Should You? (Design Process)


How do you know if the way you do things is the best way? No system is perfect, but the Software Development Team at a major industrial manufacturer wanted to ensure they used the best system for their specific needs. They recognized several weak elements with their current “waterfall” methodology, but were not sure whether they should tweak elements or completely restructure their development process. To understand comparative benefits and drawbacks of various design and development methodologies, including both agile and waterfall, they wanted to hear directly from engineers who develop specialty software about their process for moving from conception to implementation and maintenance. However, they did not know how to reach the people who could contribute this type of feedback.

Critical Issues

Best Practices     Process Validation     Fresh Perspectives

The Solution

The corporate leaders tasked with improving the team’s design process needed people who could explain the issues of software development processes at a high level and shed light on the increasing trend toward agile development. Their Account Manager recommended doing a series of calls to help them understand the major considerations of a design process before developing a set of best practices. The leadership team spoke with several Mavens before determining that their waterfall method was not as outdated as they expected and did not require a complete restructure. During the next round of interviews, they found a Maven who then helped implement improvements to their process.

“We didn’t know where to start when we first spoke with Maven; we expected this to be a big undertaking, but were pleasantly surprised that we could get validation and help so quickly.” –Market Research Lead


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