Agile vs. Waterfall

Agile and Waterfall are two of the most popular methodologies used by engineering teams. Now they can be used in project management anywhere. Let’s go through the benefits and drawbacks of this methodologies to help you find out which is more suitable for your current project.

What is Agile?

The Agile methodology is a way to manage a project by breaking it up into several phases. It involves constant collaboration and adding improvement at every stage. In other words, it has short cycles of work that allow for rapid production and constant revision.

Agile

Agile has a lot of advantages:

  • Results might be seen quicker and your customer can get value sooner 
  • Changes are being adapted better with immediate feedback 
  • Issues can be fixed and defected faster
  • Costs of test and experiments are low

But there are also some disadvantages, limitations, and risks to be aware of:

  • Progress is more difficult to measure because it happens across several cycles
  • It demands more time and energy from everyone 
  • Projects can become ever-lasting as long as there is no clear end
  • It is hard to know how much the project will actually cost
  • Higher level of communication is required from all participants 

Waterfall

The Waterfall methodology (or Waterfall model) is a stages development process that flows like a waterfall through all phases of a project. Each phase in this model is  completely wrapping up before the next phase begins. 


Waterfall methodology can provide a lot of benefits, such as:

  • Clear structure
  • Determined goals in the beginning and focus on it at all times
  • Clean transfer of information at each step

Some risks by using waterfall model may include:

  • It makes changes difficult 
  • It focuses very little on the end user or client involved with a project
  • Delays testing until after completion

As we can see, Waterfall and Agile both have some benefits and drawbacks, and you should choose a methodology that meets your project requirements and your end goal better.

The Agile methodology is known for its flexibility and allows changes in project development requirements whereas Waterfall is a structured software development methodology and has no scope of changing the requirements once the project development starts.

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