Agile vs. Waterfall: Differences in Methodologies

The segments of an SDLC are identified, as well as the organized flow from one phase to the next. There are usually six to seven stages. The development procedures Agile and waterfall are both popular, although they are extremely different.

Teams and companies must first address the subject of Agile vs. Waterfall at the start of each software project. To produce a high-quality result, software projects follow a methodology of precisely defined procedures, or Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). The segments of an SDLC are identified, as well as the organized flow from one phase to the next. There are usually six to seven stages. The development procedures Agile and waterfall are both popular, although they are extremely different.


Agile methodology is a form of incremental software development technique based on ideas that place a greater emphasis on people, outcomes, collaboration, and adaptability to change. It breaks down the development process into small increments accomplished in iterations, or short time limits, rather than planning for the entire project. Each iteration encompasses all phases of the SDLC, resulting in a functional product at the end. A new or revised product is released after multiple revisions. Waterfall project management is a tried-and-true method for creating technical systems that was developed for manufacturing and construction projects. When it comes to software development, specific activities that have been done in one phase must be examined and confirmed before going on to the next. It's a sequential and linear strategy, with stages flowing down (waterfalls) to the next.


So, what distinguishes Agile from Waterfall methodology? Both techniques can aid in the creation of high-quality project management. Knowing the difference between agile and waterfall may help a development team pick the proper approach and methodologies for delivering a successful software project, depending on the individual project requirements. The following are some of the key differences. Agile is a method that is incremental and iterative, whereas Waterfall is a method that is linear and sequential. A project is divided into sprints in Agile, while a project is divided into stages in Waterfall. Agile aids in the completion of numerous minor projects, whereas Waterfall aids in the completion of a single project. Waterfall focuses on effective project delivery, whereas Agile provides a product mentality with a focus on customer happiness. In Agile, requirements are created daily, whereas in Waterfall, requirements are created once at the start. Waterfall avoids scope modifications once the project begins, but Agile allows for adjustments at any moment. In an Agile project, testing occurs concurrently with development; in a Waterfall project, testing occurs only after the build process. In Agile, test teams can participate in requirement changes; in Waterfall, test teams are not allowed to participate in requirement changes.


So, what are the development stages for each of these methodologies? Agile development is a team-based approach to software development that stresses the speedy release of a functional application while focusing on customer satisfaction. It establishes a sprint, which is a time-boxed phase with a two-week duration. A list of deliverables is prioritized based on client feedback at the start of each sprint. The developers and the client analyze and assess the work at the conclusion of the sprint, making suggestions for future sprints. Agile methodology refers to more particular ways based on processes, such as Scrum and Kanban, as a methodology based on basic principles. Waterfall project management is a sequential approach to software development that separates the Software Development Life Cycle into phases including requirements collecting, analysis and design, coding and unit testing, system and user acceptability testing, and deployment. Only once the preceding step has been finished can the following phase begin. A deliverable or a document must be signed off in between stages. All stages are only done once, thus all needs are gathered as much as feasible from the outset to offer information for planning, scheduling, budgeting, and resource allocation. Because it is plan-driven, any modifications made after the project has begun will cause the initial plan to be thrown off and will necessitate a redo.


What are the benefits or advantages of these methodologies? Agile is noted for its shorter software development life cycle, consistent sprint schedules, customer-focused strategy that leads to higher customer satisfaction, flexibility in accepting changes, and project management empowerment of teams. Due to the agreement on deliverables at the outset of the project, waterfall is recognized for simple planning and design, better design with a whole-system approach, specified scope of work, easier costing, and unambiguous measures of progress. What are the disadvantages of these methodologies? Agile necessitates a high level of client participation, which not all consumers are comfortable with or appreciate. Agile believes that every project team member is entirely devoted, which undermines the self-management premise. Customer interaction is hampered by the waterfall, resulting in low satisfaction. For a major project with an ultimate result that is too distant in the future, a sequential method is not suitable. Testing is only conducted in the last stages of a project.


Waterfall Model Restrictions: It is not a good model for a huge project. It is a less effective strategy if the requirement is not apparent from the start. It's tough to return to prior phases and make modifications. After the development phase is completed, the testing phase begins. As a result, there's a good likelihood that flaws will be discovered later in development, when they'll be more expensive to correct. The Agile Model's Restrictions For modest development initiatives, this strategy is ineffective. At order to make crucial choices in a meeting, an expert is required. When compared to other development approaches, the cost of implementing an agile process is slightly higher. If the project manager does not know what outcome he or she wants, the project might quickly go off track.


Before you begin, decide, think about the best course of action. Determine the variables, dependencies, and actions that are critical to your project's success. Determine the most important metrics and success criteria, then compare each technique to find the greatest fit. Assess your team's knowledge and expertise with various project management methodologies and frameworks by involving them in the decision-making process. Finally, whatever decision you make, make sure you stick to it! Changing horses in the middle of a race seldom works out well.


Till next time!

BM Project Solutions.