As of 2011, most successful development teams use agile practices to some degree. The rest of the project is waterfall, flowing around the lone agile ranger.
There has been some discussions on testing people being hired early also, but this rarely happens. This is because in waterfall project management it is hard to see what test and documentation experts are to do until the project is nearly done.
With D3, engage test staff from day one. They are responsible for activating the analyst and architect documentation. Only when the first section is complete, reviewed and activated do you have work for the development team.
Don’t forget the technical writer. With D3 everyone contributes to the documentation. Without a technical writer to continuously organise the document it will contain inconsistencies and repetition – just like the multitude of artefacts being produced by analysts and architects today.
So, the hiring order is: Project Manager, Technical Writer, Analysts, Architects, Development Team Lead, Test Personnel, Developers. Given that developers should have work to after one iteration of an agile project, …