How can a Scrum team work with a Waterfall team



  • My Scrum team needs an API to retrieve data. It's not overly complicated, essentially its just one request that gets sent to the API and then the API returns some data. This is the end of the journey.

    Our problem is that the team designing the API is using Waterfall. The waterfall team is also designing the API to cater for numerous other teams needing differing versions of the data returned.

    They seem to have layers and layers of project managers and programme managers sitting on top of the actual development team and they are not located in the same city. They use strict waterfall, so they want ALL our requirements up front and they use legacy approaches, e.g. they don't really know how AWS (where our service sits) works etc.

    How do you recommend my Scrum team works with them or tries to work with them?

    We were thinking of trying to arrange a regular chat between their development team and ours but we not really sure the project managers would allow that. They are also strict. No changes to the requirements. They want to lock down the requirements.

    So we are a little unsure as we are not experienced with this way of working.



  • Pretend the Waterfall team is an outside contractor

    Since you're interfacing with the Waterfall team's code solely via an API, just pretend you're hiring an outside contractor to create that code for you.

    The Scrum rules for how you write your code don't apply to them. You submit your requirements to them, they write up a formal Statement of Work for what they will do for you, which might go through some back-and-forth before both sides agree. Once everyone's signed off on it, they go implement their code.

    Meanwhile, someone on your team should create a dummy that uses the contracted API, so that you can start writing code that interfaces with it. As soon as the Waterfall team's code is usable, substitute it.



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