Are you also part of the project management team at your organization? If yes, then you might be aware of the huge debate regarding which project methodology is right to use- the agile or the waterfall methodology. Have you ever wondered why this is such a big topic and how to choose the right one for your project?

Simply said, a project development methodology is used to determine how the tasks of a project are organized and acted. And, as these two methodologies are popular in the software development and project management industry, it is necessary to pick the suitable one. The main difference between agile and waterfall is that agile projects are iterative in cycles and waterfall projects are completely sequential.

Therefore, for those who are looking for a comprehensive guide to Agile vs. Waterfall, we have got you covered. Below, in this blog, you will find the difference between both methodologies with their advantages and disadvantages curated by our highly skilled software development Company in Bangalore. Overall, both are beneficial to develop software, but it is good to choose the one according to the project needs and type.

But, before we begin with finding out the differences, let us grab some more knowledge about both methodologies through some stats.

According to a poll conducted in 2019, one in five professional software developers uses waterfall methodology in their organization. And, almost 81% of the professionals said that their projects are conducted using the agile methodology. Based on research by HP, 54% of agile users consider it over a waterfall as it enhances teamwork and collaboration.

Which Methodology Should Your Team Use?

Read on to know the differences between Agile vs. Waterfall methodology. We have also added the pros and cons of each to help you explore which one your organization should pick today. All you have to remember is the project management methodology that you choose should determine the frameworks, principles, and processes of your project.

In agile methodology projects, the focus is more on learning and iterating. Project requirements are not fully defined at the project initiation stage.  There is also less emphasis on structured documentation and more on adding value to the customers.

Whereas, in waterfall methodology, the project requirements are defined at the beginning and then the project is run from start to finish. For most parts of the project, you need to work according to a proper delivery process and schedule timely deliveries.

Now, this is not enough to choose the right one for your project, so to know more, scroll down to read the main differences between the agile and waterfall methodology.

What is Agile Methodology?

Agile methodology is the process that provides full iteration of project development and testing through the software development lifecycle. Here, the project is split into different sprints and every sprint has a defined duration of planned deliverables. The work in the agile methodology is reviewed by the project team and the customers using sprint demos and daily builds. The agile process includes high involvement of the customers and offers rapid delivery of all functional components.

There are mainly five stages in the agile methodology that start from creating the concept to end up in the retirement process. Below, we have explained the stages in detail.

What is Agile Methodology

Pros of Agile Methodology

  1. The agile model is known for its adaptability, and it also deals with customer needs easily.
  2. The methodology gets input from the clients to better understand their preferences and requirements.
  3. The entire project management process in agile methodology is transparent, allowing the stakeholders and the team to know what is happening in the project.
  4. In the agile project, testing is done continuously to detect and fix bugs at the earliest to improve the quality of the deliverables. 

Cons of Agile Methodology

  1. The Agile model does not suit small development projects.
  2. To work on the project, there should be a professional team as the model requires the right discipline and commitment.
  3. There is no proper structure in the agile model which makes the project challenging at times.
  4. The cost of project implementation is more as compared to other project development methodologies.

So, to curb all these disadvantages of the Agile Model, the Waterfall model came into consideration. Let us now get familiar with the Waterfall Methodology.

What is the Waterfall Methodology?

The waterfall model is the first software development cycle approach to the software development industry. The methodology is the collection of various phases, and every phase has to be completed for the next phase to start. And, the next step is fully dependent on the deliverables of the previous phase.

The waterfall methodology breaks down the project into multiple sequential phases that follow the top-notch approach to complete the project. The process starts with gathering the requirements and lasts with the maintenance.

The model is divided into six different phases which have been discussed below.

Stage 1- The requirement gathering is the first phase of the waterfall model where the project needs are gathered for development.

Stage 2- The next stage is creating the system design after all the requirements are specified. At this stage, the system architecture is prepared.

Stage 3- The implementation stage takes input from the previous phase to develop the system in small units. These units are tested for functionality and are known as unit testing.

Stage 4- At the integration and testing phase, the units developed in the implementation phase are tested and integrated into the system. After this, the overall system is processed for failures. 

Stage 5- The deployment stage is where the project is deployed in the customer environment or the market when the testing gets complete.

Stage 6- The last is the maintenance phase which lets you fix issues of the deployment process to enhance the project and release its best version.   

Pros of Waterfall Methodology

  1. All the results are well-documented.
  2. The model is simple to use and easily managed.
  3. The waterfall methodology also works for small development projects, so it is easy to identify requirements.
  4. There is no need to give specialized training to implement the waterfall model.

Cons of Waterfall Methodology

  1. The waterfall model does not suit large development projects.
  2. It is difficult to make changes in the previous stages.
  3. It is not possible to estimate the project progress within each phase.
  4.  The model works internally, so there is no space for the customers.

Agile vs. Waterfall: How to Select the Right Model for Your Project

The comparison between both the models will help you differentiate between them, and let you choose the right one for your project. Let us look at the differences between both methodologies depending on some basic factors. 

Agile vs. Waterfall How to Select the Right Model for Your Project

Therefore, with this comparison, we came to some of the advantages of both methodologies over each other. Let us read them to choose the right one for your project. 

When is Agile better than Waterfall Model? 

  • The Agile methodology is very flexible to make changes to the software even at its last stage. 
  • There can be more collaborations made with the clients to offer more customer satisfaction. 
  • Delivery of working software can be ensured instead of being stuck at a stage. 

Advantages of Waterfall Over Agile Model

The waterfall model is better than Agile when you require- 

  • Rigidity is more than flexibility. Fields like banking, defense, and manufacturing industries should use the waterfall model to develop a rigid structure as their first requirement is focusing on security. 
  • Documenting software over working software. The waterfall model is perfect for projects that require more documentation, so a rigid structure makes the document more effective. 

Both Agile and Waterfall models are very popular software development methodologies. Agile focuses more on collaborating with the clients, while the Waterfall model uses a rigid structure to develop the software. So, for successful software development for your business, select the right model that meets all your requirements and business needs. 

Wrapping Up

By now, you have understood the basics of Agile and Waterfall methodologies. We also got to know various factors that could help you decide between Agile and Waterfall models for your project development. The differences help you choose the perfect model for your project according to the project size, team expertise, and time duration. This will help develop the software project effectively. 

And, if you still require more details about both models to choose the right one for your business, you can meet our software developers in Bangalore and get your doubts clear. We have had the best team at our place meeting the customer’s requirements for the past several years, making us the top software development company in Bangalore. Connect with us and let us serve you in the best way possible. 

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