Updated July 12, 2023
Difference Between Agile and Waterfall
We will start by defining Agile and then link Agile vs waterfall frameworks. Agile and waterfall are very popular among software developers. This is because they assist these developers in delivering software quickly and efficiently. An agile manifesto lays down and outlines software development concepts; using one of the development methods stated in the agile manifesto and developing on it is called agile development.
What is Agile?
Agile is an iterative and collaborative approach to project management and software development. It emphasizes flexibility, adaptability, and customer collaboration throughout the development process. Agile methodologies, such as Scrum and Kanban, promote shorter development cycles, frequent feedback, and continuous improvement to deliver high-quality products efficiently.
What is Waterfall?
The waterfall is a software development model that breaks down the project into linear sequential phases; this implies that each phase is contingent upon the completion of the deliverables from the preceding one. This model is typically used for projects where the requirements are well-defined, and the project goals are clear.
The waterfall model is divided into 5 phases:
- Requirements gathering and analysis
Head-to-Head Comparison Between With Infographics
Below is the top 10 difference between agile and waterfall:
Key Differences Between Agile and Waterfall
Let us discuss some of the significant differences between Agile vs Waterfall:
- First, the waterfall methodology is sequential and linear, whereas the Agile methodology is incremental and iterative.
- Agile has limitations when scaling up projects and adding additional features and versions, whereas these tasks can be done quickly in the waterfall.
- Customer involvement is low in a waterfall and high in agile.
- All work that is carried out is documented. However, Agile does not place much emphasis on documentation. We will conduct the final testing in the Waterfall model once we complete the project. In agile, continuous testing happens at every stage.
- At the waterfall level, flexibility is minimal, whereas flexibility is high at the agile level.
- The iterative waterfall model suits projects with clearly defined requirements without expected changes. On the other hand, agile allows changing and evolving needs.
Features of the Agile Model:
The agile manifesto has primarily three essential features.
- Iterative Approach to Development: This approach allows us to deliver working software to clients quickly, and we use the feedback we receive from clients to improve the next versions of the software. This will enable teams to incorporate changes and fix bugs even late in production.
- Short Feedback Loops: This means that customer feedback is essential and valued by software developers. Also, they spend their time and resources on things that matter the most.
- Disciplined Project Management Process: The team has structured and organized the project well. Each team knows its role and timelines within which they need to finish their tasks.
Features of the Waterfall Model:
The waterfall model was one of the first software development models; it was effortless in its structure, making it easy to use and understand by software developers.
- Feasibility: Before we develop software, we check if it’s feasible to work on this software. Given the client’s requirements, can the software be built? What would be the cost, and how many resources would need to be allocated?
- Requirements Analysis and Specification: We perform requirements analysis and specification to understand the customer’s needs and to determine if our company has the resources to meet those needs.
- Design: After completing the above two steps, developers can outline and plan to execute their tasks. They spend time on the drawing board analyzing all the steps.
- Coding: After completing the above steps, developers move to the coding stage, where they write code. This is also a testing phase, where they test their code, make changes, and try to improve it as much as possible.
- Integration and Testing: This is the final phase of testing; we merge all the steps and produce the final software; we perform one final test before giving it to the customer.
Agile vs. Waterfall Comparison Table
Below are the topmost comparisons between Agile and Waterfall:
|It is a sequence base model; after the first step is completed second is started, and so on.||It is an iterative approach.|
|Once the model is completed, it is delivered.||The company delivers the model in batches to incorporate any necessary changes based on client feedback in the subsequent set.|
|It is a traditional model.||This model is among the latest ones.|
|It involves a lot of planning before it begins.||It does not involve a lot of planning.|
|Client suggestions are difficult to incorporate once the software is delivered.||Clients’ suggestions are quickly incorporated.|
|Suitable for projects which have clearly defined requirements and those which are not expecting changes||Suitable for projects which have to evolve and those which involve changing requirements.|
|It can be viewed where development is in charge and control.||The entire team is in control and has the autonomy to make decisions.|
|Software development is sequentially.||A collaborative approach is followed.|
|Less ability to respond quickly to changes.||High ability to respond quickly to changes.|
|Planning is done just once before the test cycle.||Planning is at every stage of development, before and after the software is developed.|
Thus we would like to conclude by reiterating that the Waterfall method of development was one of the traditional and one of the first methods of developing software. The Agile framework and many more have taken over in today’s modern age. Designers keep customer requirements in mind when creating them, making them flexible and adaptable to changes at any stage in development. Both of these frameworks provide a benchmark base to software developers; they use fundamental principles outlined here and use them to develop software.
This has been a guide to the difference between Agile vs Waterfall. Here we also discussed the Agile vs Waterfall key differences with infographics and a comparison table. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more –