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    Waterfall vs Agile – What is the difference?

    • June 14, 2023
    • 5 min

    The need to complete projects on schedule and within budget is important in today's dynamic corporate environment. Project managers and teams may make this happen with the help of tried and true methodologies. Those methodologies lay out a clear road map for success at every stage of the project's lifespan. Waterfall and Agile are two of them that have seen substantial growth in popularity over time.Both Waterfall and Agile reflect different perspectives on how to manage projects. Furthermore, both have their benefits and drawbacks. In order to improve project delivery and adapt to the changing demands of the industry, project managers and teams must have a firm grasp of the distinctions between different techniques.This post on Waterfall vs Agile will make you understand the difference, benefits, and drawbacks. Let’s get started.

    Waterfall vs Agile – An Introduction

    The waterfall model is an approach to various stages. The next stage begins when the previous stage is completed. These stages include gathering the requirements of the project, designing the project, implementing the design by coding, testing the code and last is the maintenance phase.

    Now, when you begin the first stage of gathering requirements, you can’t go to the next stage of designing the project without finishing the first stage. Furthermore, the planning of the project needs to be perfect as you will not be able to change it afterward.

    On the other hand, the Agile method follows iterative development. In every iteration of the Agile method, you will need to develop, test, and launch. Thereafter, you can get feedback on each iteration. Thus, with constant iterations and feedback, you can make any product successful and better. Furthermore, the agile methodology uses shorter, more rapid iterations of the system development life cycle. The agile method divides the project into smaller, more manageable sprints.

    Now you understand what are waterfall and Agile methodologies, let’s know the benefits of the methodologies.

    Waterfall vs Agile – Benefits

    Benefits of Waterfall Methodology:

    • The Waterfall Method requires extensive preparation in advance, but in return, it provides a full vision of every step of the company.
    • The waterfall methodology’s predefined schedule streamlines project administration.
    • You can know the scope of the project and the budget before starting the project. Thus, you can go according to the plan.
    • The requirements are incorporated in the wireframe in the design phase and it is given more focus. The reason behind this is that you can get a clear idea of how the project will look like.

    Benefits of Agile Methodology:

    • Continuous feedback and testing of every iteration help in developing higher-quality software.
    • Furthermore, the outcome of the project is better due to an increase in transparency.
    • Agile guarantees that teams work on several features simultaneously and have expertise in multiple areas.
    • You can make changes to the project while it is being carried out without causing a halt in development.

    Waterfall vs Agile – Drawbacks

    Disadvantages of Waterfall Methodology:

    • It might be expensive to hire more developers to work on new features. Furthermore, doing so would interrupt the development process.
    • Upgrading or adding new features to technology sometimes necessitates a complicated migration process.
    • The procedure’s rigidity makes it impossible to make last-minute adjustments.
    • There is a reduction in customer interaction. Thus, you will get a reduction in feedback.

    Disadvantages of Agile Methodology:

    • When resources aren’t properly managed, it’s hard to know what to expect in terms of price, logistics, and completion time.
    • Because of the lack of detailed documentation, onboarding new developers into the workflow will be challenging.
    • Because separate teams are responsible for various tasks, the final product is often disjointed in agile projects.
    • Due to the iterative style of agile software development, tracking progress may be difficult.

    Waterfall vs Agile – Which One Should You Use?

    Several scenarios must be taken into account when contrasting the agile and waterfall approaches to developing software. The waterfall method is useful when most of the criteria and adjustments for your software project are set in stone. Furthermore, you can go with waterfall if you are creating software that must adhere to certain regulations.
    In case, the customers have established requirements, costs, and schedules then you should use the waterfall approach.

    On the other hand, you should use Agile methodology for developing MVP or an app that needs continuous addition of new features or functionalities. Furthermore, if there is a need for continuous input into the creation of software then Agile is the best choice. In case, your project is of real-time data analysis or processing then you need to go for Agile.


    In conclusion, there is a significant difference in the results of projects completed using the Waterfall and Agile techniques. The waterfall is most effective for projects with clear needs and few modifications. Agile, is adaptable and works best in high-pressure situations when things are constantly shifting. Because of how iterative and incremental it is, it encourages adaptability, teamwork, and the pursuit of perfection.


    What is the waterfall approach?
    The waterfall model is an approach in which the next stage begins when the previous stage is completed.
    What are the 6 stages of the waterfall approach?
    The stages include gathering the requirements of the project, designing the project, implementing the design by coding, testing the project, launching the project, and lastly the maintenance phase.
    What do you mean by Agile methodology?
    The agile method follows an iterative approach in which every iteration needs to be developed, tested, and launched.
    Why is Agile better than Waterfall?

    Projects that use Agile methodology for development are cost-effective and launched in the market more quickly. On the other hand, projects with a waterfall approach take time and need more finance. Thus, Agile is better. That’s why Uber and Barclays used Agile.

    What are the disadvantages of the waterfall model?
    It might be expensive to hire more developers to work on new features and you can’t make last-minute changes.

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