Agile Vs. Waterfall: Difference Between The Agile And Waterfall Methodologies

Agile Vs. Waterfall Methodologies: What's the Difference?

Agile Vs. Waterfall

In 2023, it is impossible to achieve the desired outcomes and make the most of your resources without seamless project management. An organized approach to project management helps you schedule your tasks, delegate responsibility, manage risks, make the right forecasts, and get a better idea about where you are headed. If you are planning to work on a project, it is important to choose the methodology that best suits your requirements.

There are two major project management methodologies preferred by teams and team leaders worldwide – Agile and Waterfall. While both methodologies give a definite structure and cadence to your project, it is important to know how different they are from each other. Knowing Agile vs. Waterfall will help you make a more informed choice regarding the methodology to choose for your project.

Let’s start by understanding both approaches briefly.

What Is Agile?

Agile is a project management methodology that involves continuous development iteration and testing. It is a flexible approach that does not restrict your workflow to a single direction. Agile involves working on multiple development and testing activities simultaneously. Here, your project is divided into smaller chunks called sprints. Each sprint has its own objectives, schedules, and reviews to help your team attain the core project goals. Moreover, Agile is an inclusive methodology that gives importance to continuous communication with all stakeholders involved in a project.

What Is Waterfall?

Waterfall is a stricter and more definitive project management methodology than Agile. Also known as the Linear Sequential Life Cycle Mode, Waterfall focuses on moving in a singular direction. Here, you can move on to the next development or testing phase only after completing the previous one.

What Are The Benefits Of Agile?

Here are some of the most important benefits of Agile:

  • Agile continuously involves the client throughout the project’s course
  • It involves highly motivated and self-organized teams
  • It is flexible and facilitates change at any phase
  • It ensures seamless collaboration between the team members
  • It is ideal for complicated projects

What Are The Benefits Of Waterfall?

Let us now have a look at a few benefits of the Waterfall methodology:

  • It is an easy methodology to implement
  • It is ideal for smaller projects
  • It ensures faster project delivery
  • It involves well-documented processes and results
  • It is an adaptable method for shifting teams

Key Differences Between Agile And Waterfall

Now that we know what each of the two methodologies means, let us understand a few key differences between them:

  • While Waterfall restricts development and testing to a single direction, Agile is free from these restrictions
  • While Agile deals with an incremental approach, Waterfall follows a sequential design process
  • While Agile can be considered a combination of multiple smaller projects, Waterfall is a single project implemented in multiple stages
  • While Agile gives you the scope to make changes along the way, Waterfall makes it difficult to make changes once you have embarked on your project
  • While Waterfall does not involve the client except at the beginning and end of your project, Agile encourages client communication throughout your project

Agile Vs. Waterfall: Which Methodology Is Better?

The methodology that best suits your needs depends on the nature of your organization, team, and project. If you are working on a small project that does not require you to stay in touch with the client at all times, you can go ahead with the Waterfall methodology. It is also the right approach if you are 100% sure about your project’s course and the route you want to take. On the other hand, Agile is the best methodology for working on complicated projects that require seamless and continuous collaboration.