As companies make the move to Agile software development, it’s possible many will run into challenges as they transition from traditional practices. Whether it is regulatory requirements or reasons of data sovereignty, it can be difficult for teams to move quickly when faced with these constraints.

A quick solution is hybrid application development or hybrid Agile/ waterfall development, which is common in large organizations that have some projects in their portfolio being developed using Agile, and others with waterfall, said Malcolm Isaacs, senior solutions marketing manager at HPE.

At the executive level, getting insight into the requirements and resources in each team can be difficult when using the same units from waterfall and Agile teams. According to Isaacs, there needs to be a way to compare two different products and teams using two different methodologies.

This complexity is creating anxiety within the application portfolio. Collin Chau, a solutions marketing professional for HPE, said he sees many organizations’ current Agile tools are not capable of handling the workload of hybrid development, nor can they straddle both Agile and waterfall environments, much less be able to scale up for the enterprise.

“With hybrid application development, the market is not taking a binary approach,” said Chau. “It’s about straddling waterfall development and Agile delivery whereby any given team may have one methodology or a mix of different methodologies in the same portfolio they are managing.”

Companies desire this flexibility and they are looking for a solution that propels hybrid application development. They want to be more fluid and move faster. Yet some companies don’t want to give up their traditional technology, so they are trying to find the “best of both worlds,” working with Agile for faster time to develop, while still working with legacy technology, said Chau.

And it is possible that both Agile and waterfall may come into play with legacy software, according to Isaacs. If the back end is doing releases every few months, and the front end is doing releases every few weeks or so, there is an obvious “clash of culture,” he said. Of course, culture is important when it comes to Agile and DevOps methodologies as opposed to waterfall.

“You have to have a way to manage your development because you have two teams using two different methodologies,” said Isaacs. “You need integration points between the two teams, you need to do the planning up front, and you can’t just have the teams working in isolation from each other.”

Isaacs added that there needs to be some sort of communication and synchronization between the two teams. It’s a major pain point for companies, he said, since teams are all working with different tools to manage waterfall software and Agile software development. At some point, these tools need to integrate and provide metrics and reporting.

This is what’s missing in managing application development in a hybrid space, Chau noted. There needs to be an integrated ALM toolchain that allows customers to move between both methodologies as they adopt Agile, he said.

Companies also need to be able to scale across their tens and hundreds of distributed development teams, and at the same time, adopt hybrid application development so they can move from traditional IT to the hybrid space with confidence, said Chau.

By bringing together the ability to provide visibility and dig into metrics and reporting, HPE created an integrated toolchain called HPE ALM Octane, which includes traceability, visibility, and assures governance and compliance.

HPE’s ALM Octane is offered in two flavors, Pro and Enterprise. Pro is all about helping Agile teams and development teams scale across project teams in the organization. At the same time, the goal is to help them move into  hybrid application development, especially as they transition from waterfall to Agile. ALM Octane Enterprise is releasing this month, and it recognizes the need to be Enterprise Agile, said Chau.

“Businesses demand Agile portfolio management, but they do not want to do so at the risk of management complexity and the hidden cost of having to adopt add-ons just to make things work,” said Chau. “Now in this space, addressing program and project requirements in distributed teams is the call to action.”

About Madison Moore

Madison Moore is an Online and Social Media Editor for SD Times. She is a 2015 graduate from Delaware Valley University, Pa., with a Bachelor's Degree in media and communication. Moore has reported for Philly.com, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and PhillyVoice. She is new to Long Island and is a cat enthusiast. Follow her on Twitter at @Moorewithmadi.