By Carey Smith
Agile Software Development
The Top-Down Design Method works well when the requirements are well-defined.
Sometimes the general goal of the project or the customer is understood, but the details are not well defined. Perhaps there are multiples ideas and you want to explore some of each. Or perhaps a new algorithm is being considered or a new piece of hardware is needed.
I these case, agile software development can be an advantage. The concept is to start working on one or more pieces and have frequent contact with the customer or management to see if the those parts are satisfactory or if changes need to be made or alternatives explored. This may lead to a better product and/or more satisfied customers and management.