Difference Between Agile vs Waterfall
We will start by defining Agile and then move over to linking agile vs waterfall frameworks. Agile and waterfall are very popular among software developers. This is because they provide assistance to these developers in terms of 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.
Head to Head Comparison Between Agile vs Waterfall (Infographics)
Below is the top 10 difference between agile and waterfall:
Key Differences Between Agile vs Waterfall
Let us discuss some of the major differences between Agile vs Waterfall:
- First, the waterfall methodology is sequential and linear, whereas the Agile methodology is incremental and iterative.
- Scaling up projects, that is, further building them via additional features and versions, is limited in agile, whereas it is easily done in agile.
- Customer involvement is low in a waterfall, whereas it’s high in agile.
- All work that is carried out is documented. However, in agile, a lot of emphasis is not laid on the documentation.
- Final testing occurs in the end when the project is completed in a waterfall. In agile, continuous testing happens at every stage.
- In the waterfall level of flexibility, is minimum in the agile level of flexibility is high.
- Waterfall iterative model is good for projects with clearly defined requirements and without expected changes. On the other hand, agile allows changing and evolving requirements.
Features of Agile Model:
The agile manifesto has primarily three most essential features.
- Iterative Approach to Development: This means that working software is quickly delivered to clients, and the feedback that is received from clients is used in the next batches of the software. This allows teams to incorporate changes and fix bugs even late in the production stage.
- Short Feedback Loops: This means that customer feedback is important and valued by the software developers. Also, they spend their time and resources on things that matter the most.
- Disciplined Project Management Process: This means that the project is extremely structured and well organized. 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 software is developed, it is checked if it is even feasible to work on this software. Is it possible to even build the software given the requirements of the clients, what would be the cost, and how many resources would need to be allocated to it?
- Requirements Analysis and Specification: Requirements analysis and specification are done to understand what the customer needs and whether the company has the resources to meet those needs.
- Design: Once the above two steps are completed, developers can outline what they need to do and how they plan to do it. They spend time on the drawing board analyzing all the steps.
- Coding: Once the above steps are completed, developers move to the coding stage, where they write code. This is also a testing phase, where they test out their code, make changes to it and try to improve it as much as possible.
- Integration and Testing: This is the final phase of testing, all the steps are then merged, and final software is produced; one final testing is done before it is given to the customer.
Agile vs Waterfall Comparison Table
Below are the topmost comparisons between Agile vs 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.||Model is delivered in batches because if any changes are needed based on client feedback, they are implemented in the next batch.|
|It is a traditional model.||It is one of the latest models.|
|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 in a sequential manner.||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 the 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 to develop software. In today’s modern age Agile framework and many more have taken over. They are designed for keeping customer requirements in mind and are flexible and adaptive to changes at any point in the development stage and even after. 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 Agile vs Waterfall key differences with infographics and a comparison table. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more –
- Agile vs Waterfall Project Management
- Agile vs Scrum vs Waterfall
- What is Agile Sprint
- Principles of Agile Manifesto