Difference between Waterfall and Agile Methodologies

Difference between Waterfall and Agile Methodologies

Let us discuss and observe below in  details  what  is the Difference between Waterfall and Agile Methodologies.

difference between Waterfall and Agile
difference between Waterfall and Agile
Advantages of Waterfall Model:
  • It is one the easiest model to manage. Because of its nature, each phase has specific deliverable’s and a review process. In each phase we will get to know what to deliver and when to deliver.
  • Faster delivery of the project
  • Process and results are well documented and documentation plays important role in Waterfall methodology.
  • Easily adaptable method for shifting teams.
  • This project management methodology is useful to manage dependencies.
  • It works well for smaller size projects where requirements are easily understandable.

Disadvantages of Waterfall Model:

  • This model is not suggestible for Large projects
  • If the requirement is not clear at the beginning, we can’t use waterfall methodology because every phase is dependent on previous phase.
  • Here next phase will start once previous phase completed.
  • Very difficult to move back to makes changes in the previous phases.
  • The testing process starts once development is over. Hence, it has high chances of bugs to be found later in development where they are expensive to fix.
  • There is no team work in this model.
  • Difficult to manage change requests in this model.

Advantages of the Agile Model:

  • Agile teams are extremely motivated and self-organized so it likely to provide a better results from the development projects.
  • Client involves in every phase of the SDLC, so requirements are clear and if team needs any clarifications also we can close as soon as possible.
  • Agile software development method assures that quality of the development is maintained
  • The process is completely based on the incremental progress. Therefore, the client and team know exactly what is complete and what is not. This reduces risk in the development process.
  • Change requests are welcomed at any phase of the SDLC.

Disadvantages of Agile Model

  • It is not useful method for small development projects.
  • It requires an expert to take important decisions in the meeting.
By reading above  we can understand difference between waterfall and Agile.

Let us observe  in table in details  what  are the difference between Waterfall and Agile

Difference between waterfall and Agile Methodologies



It separates the project development lifecycle into sprints.

Software development process is divided into separate phases.

It follows an incremental approach

Waterfall methodology is a sequential design process.

Agile methodology is known for its flexibility.

Waterfall is a structured software development methodology so most times it can be quite rigid.

Agile can be considered as a collection of many different projects.

Software development will be completed as one single project.

Agile is quite a flexible method which allows changes to be made in the project development requirements even if the initial planning has been completed.

There is no scope of changing the requirements

Agile methodology, follow an iterative development approach because of this planning, development, prototyping and other software development phases may appear more than once.

All the project development phases like designing, development, testing, etc. are completed once in the Waterfall model.

Test plan is reviewed after each sprint

The test plan is rarely discussed during the test phase.

Agile development is a process in which the requirements are expected to change and evolve.

The method is ideal for projects which have definite requirements and changes not  expected.

In Agile methodology, testing is performed concurrently with software development.

In this methodology, the “Testing” phase comes after the “Build” phase

Agile introduces a product mindset where the software product satisfies needs of its end customers and changes itself as per the customer’s demands.

This model shows a project mindset and places its focus completely on accomplishing the project.

Prefers small but dedicated teams with a high degree of coordination and synchronization.

Team coordination/synchronization is very limited.

Products owner with team prepares requirements just about every day during a project.

Business analyst prepares requirements before the beginning of the project.

Test team can take part in the requirements change without problems.

It is difficult for the test to initiate any change in requirements.

Description of project details can be altered anytime during the SDLC process.

Detail description needs to implement waterfall software development approach.

The Agile Team members are interchangeable, as a result, they work faster. There is also no need for project managers because the projects are managed by the entire team

In the waterfall method, the process is always straightforward so, project manager plays an essential role during every stage of SDLC.

Agile and Waterfall are very different software development methodologies and are good in their respective way. Organizations will follow the methodology which suits for the project and requirements.

  • Usually Waterfall methodology will be used for small projects where requirements are clear and there is no chance to change the requirements.
  • Usually Agile methodology will be used for large projects where requirements are not clear and client is changing the requirements frequently.
  • Documentation plays important role in waterfall methodology.
I hope it helped you to understand the difference between waterfall and  agile.

In interview also they may ask what is  the difference between waterfall and agile methodology.

If you need any clarifications on difference between waterfall and agile, you can post here.

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Author: Pallavi

Business Analyst , Functional Consultant, Provide Training on Business Analysis and SDLC Methodologies.

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