The classical mistake of many agilest is to equate Waterfall with a method that is in use today. Projects @ Work (subscription required)has a discussion about Method Madness in which the classic mistake is made.
“Waterfall methods are notorious for leading one to believe projects are on schedule when, in fact, they are not.”
First the notion of waterfall is agile code for bad project management. Second the process of Waterfall is actually misrepresented. The Winston Royce paper "Managing the Development of Large Software Systems," is the place to start. In this paper is a description of the development of a small software program and the issues created when that approach is scaled up to larger programs. In Figure 10 of the Royce paper shows how the steps in software development were defined in the Spring of 1970.
Looking at the statement above, leading one to believe project are on schedule when, in fact, they are not. This is a common myth created by the BAD practices of project management in general. Here's a short summary of how to manage a project using a simple method of tangible evidence of progress to plan.
If we're not making use of these Five Principles of Project Success, no method, no matter how cleaver is going to help. If we are making use of the 5 Principles, then the Red Herring of Waterfall - the code work for bad project management - will be evident and we'll know better than to make the statement that introduced this post.