The very first decision that you need to make over the course of a project is choosing the project development methodology. If you want to ensure smooth work operations while maintaining productivity, deciding which project development method you will adopt is vital.
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If you find making a choice difficult, all you require doing is thinking about your project as a whole and then select either of the two most basic and popular methodologies – Agile and Waterfall.
These are reliable and trustworthy methods of project management. Though much project management software has come a long way in managing both processes, it is essential to decide which one is right for you. However, it is based completely on the project you will be working on and what it demands. So, let’s comprehend these methodologies in detail and the difference between agile and waterfall.
The agile approach is an iterative process that sees what works and what doesn’t. It highlights the rapid delivery of an application. It also includes customer involvement to a great extent till the project gets completed and recapitulates depending on the received feedback.
Though there are various approaches to the agile model, at its core, it narrows down to the following steps:
You start by creating a plan for fulfilling customers’ vision. Then, you conduct research and comprehend their needs, struggles, and more so that you can get an idea of what you are developing and for whom.
Next, you build a list of features that would be helpful for your customers. This helps you set the priorities.
Now, your product or service is ready for launch.
After a successful launch, it’s time you start learning from it – what went right and what went wrong. Thus, you can learn from your mistakes and deliver high-end features to your customers.
At last, you repeat the cycle and iterate until the product you thought is completed.
Pros and Cons of Agile Methodology
This methodology defines a straightforward approach to software development. It is all about planning and executing a project. Unlike an agile model, waterfall methodology comprises of six steps:
This step involves defining project requirements and specifying the type of information you will require throughout the project.
Here, you need to document the design you’ll follow. For example, the coding language that you will use. Just as document management software takes care of all your information, this step includes creating a document that your team will follow.
On successful completion of the above two steps, you can move on to the design step. It demands you to create a design that poses what the product is and how it will look like.
Once you complete the above three steps, the actual work for the project begins here. Whatever you work upon should be functional.
In this phase, the testers will try to find out the issues and problems with your product. If they encounter some errors, you can go back a few steps to discover the origin and fix them. Nevertheless, you can also note down the areas for improvement and move to maintenance.
This demonstrates that every input of yours till now is on track. Thus, it indicates that the product is ready to launch. Before making it live, you can check once for errors and your product’s capabilities.
Pros and Cons of Waterfall Methodology
Similar to task management software, both these approaches help streamline the product development operation over a period.
Now that you have learned about the difference between agile and waterfall, how will you decide which methodology is right for you?
Deciding between Agile and Waterfall
Whichever you opt for, both are usable and mature. However, looking at your project requirement as a whole helps you determine which model is right for you. Here are some parameters that you can consider while choosing the methodology for your project:
- Size of the project and the number of team members
- Specific period of time in which the project is planned for execution
- Deadlines you need to meet
- The complexity of executing the processes
- Who are your clients? What is their availability and relationship with you?
Here’s a brief about Agile vs Waterfall.
Waterfall Model vs Agile
Agile vs Waterfall
Agile Project Management
Waterfall Project Management
|Project Scope||Even if the scope of the project is not pre-defined, you can make the changes well in advance with time and within the budget.||Waterfall works well when the project scope is defined in advance. As it includes contract terms, it limits the changes.|
|Team||An agile model can be great for a small or mid-sized team with high coordination.||The waterfall model demands to have large teams. Moreover, it decreases coordination among team members.|
|Customers||Customers can be available throughout the project.||Customers are available only at specific milestones.|
|Customer Relationship||Customers and developers are closely associated throughout the process.||There is a long-distance between customers and developers.|
|Feature Prioritization||It prioritizes features and resolves issues according to the set priority. This improves efficiency and eliminates complete failures.||As features are not prioritized, there are chances that this model leads to either complete success or complete failure.|
|Feasibility||The agile model looks better when the project is feasible.||The waterfall model does not depend on the project’s feasibility.|
|Funding||It works towards increasing funding efficiency.||It works by reducing fixed funding via up-front contracts.|
|Release||It includes repetitive iterations and multiple releases.||There is a single cycle and only one release.|
|Flexibility||The agile methodology is highly flexible.||The waterfall methodology is non-flexible and organized.|
|Testing||Testing happens in parallel with the development so that quality is ensured continuously.||Testing is done only after the development is finished.|
|Project Schedule Risk||It involves a little project schedule risk.||There is a high project schedule risk.|
|Product Delivery||A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is delivered at the end of each sprint/phase.||The product gets delivered at the end of the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC).|
In this article, we determined the exact difference between agile and waterfall along with a comparison table demonstrating waterfall methodology vs agile. We hope this information will help you gauge the best model for your project.