Difference between Waterfall model and Agile model | What is Waterfall and Agile Model, Work, Best Benefits

In this article, we are going to share knowledge on the waterfall and agile models and the basic difference between Waterfall model and Agile model.

Agile and waterfall methodologies are two alternative strategies to complete jobs or projects. Agile is an iterative methodology with a collaborative and cyclical process. Although tasks are typically completed more linearly, the waterfall is a sequential methodology that can also be collaborative. Your project will go through several cycles throughout its existence if the agile methodology is followed.

The process of developing, reviewing, receiving comments, and finally approving the work item with a yes or no answer. If so, carry out and finish the task. If the answer is no, note it, make any adjustments that are required, monitor it, update the backlog or prioritization to reflect the new information, and then proceed to the subsequent task or sprint.

It is easier to move tasks through the stages of identifying requirements, designing the implementation, implementing the work item, verifying the implementation and performing quality assurance, and finally maintaining the feature by using the waterfall technique. According to your preferences and the specifics of each project, choose the best methodology. Some projects call for a more iterative method, while others call for a more sequential one.

Benefits of Waterfall Model

Agile and waterfall are two of the most widely used project management approaches. These two approaches are both reliable, well-developed, and well-liked for a variety of reasons. Neither of the two has an inherent advantage over the other when making a decision. Instead, each approach has a place in particular circumstances.

Consider how flexible your project has to be as well as which features and components best meet your needs when choosing the optimal approach. Analyze the size and scope of your project, your team’s makeup, its culture, and the goals you have for it. Even if your company favors a specific model, there are typical ways for you to improve it and adapt it to your requirements.

Waterfall Model

The initial process model introduced was the waterfall model. It is commonly referred to as a “linear-sequential life cycle model.” In a waterfall model, there is no overlap between stages; each one must be finished before the next one can begin. The waterfall model served as the original SDLC approach for software development. The waterfall method may be most advantageous for project managers, project teams, and teams whose members often change. However, there is a minimal possibility for alteration or error due to its rigid structure and controls. As a result, a clear plan that is rigorously followed from the beginning must be formed along with the project’s goal.

The waterfall model is used in a linear sequential flow which represents the software development process. This indicates that for a phase of development to begin, the phase before it must have concluded. In this type of waterfall paradigm, the phases do not overlap each other. The essential feature of the waterfall development methodology, hence the name “waterfall” is that each stage of the software development process requires approval from the project’s stakeholders before the team is allowed to continue.

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How does the waterfall methodology work?

The waterfall model, also referred to as the linear sequential life cycle model, is a methodology. The waterfall model is sequential, thus the project development team only moves on to the next stage of development or testing when the previous stage has been successfully completed.

Typically, the waterfall development process looks like this:

  • Assemble and record each requirement upfront
  • Design
  • Development
  • Testing
  • Deployment
  • Delivery

The waterfall methodology prevails when the project is time or financially constrained and the needs and scope are defined. The waterfall method presents a set of procedures based on the premise that each phase must be approved before continuing in these circumstances. The waterfall methodology, in short, performs better at delivering a well-defined feature set within a certain budget or timetable.

Benefits of the Waterfall Model

  • One of the easier models to use is this one. Due to the nature of the process, each step has specific deliverables and a review process.
  • It has been applied in all business sectors and is a well-defined methodology. It’s a tried-and-true methodology that’s quite simple and has defined expectations.
  • Results and processes have been well-documented.
  • At the start of the process, the approach clearly outlines what you are creating. Setting deliverable due dates, start and completion dates, milestone planning, and the team’s capacity to monitor progress are all made considerably simpler as a result.
  • It functions better for more manageable jobs with precise criteria.
  • Quicker completion of the project
  • A simple technique for switching teams
  • Dependency management benefits from using this project management style.
  • The team’s output will be easier to forecast. The final product is more predictable because there is a commitment to deliver a specified set of features because the product requirements are committed to and authorized before development ever starts.

Limitations of the waterfall model

  • This model is not suitable for a big project.
  • It is more effective if the requirements are not obvious to the business.
  • It is very challenging to move back for adjustments in this model.
  • Following the completion of development, testing begins. There’s a good chance that they’ll have a flaw later on in the development process.

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Agile Model

Using an agile method to design software facilitates iterative development and testing processes. Parallel testing and development under this approach are possible, unlike the waterfall methodology. This method makes more communication between users, developers, managers, and testers possible. Agile software development emphasizes self-organizing, cross-functional teams that identify and design a solution through an iterative process, unlike the traditional waterfall method, which specifies and plans the whole project before any development work begins.

Each project phase aims to deliver a working product that can be tested for feedback and used to demonstrate progress. Any suggestions are meant for later stages. Agile is very adaptable and offers the possibility of continuous improvement. Agile presents a compelling alternative in today’s fluid market, where software development must be quick and effective.

Typically, the agile development process looks like this:

  • Establish a few ground rules.
  • Design
  • Develop
  • Test
  • Deploy
  • Analyze the tiny result that is produced (i.e., a product feature)
  • Get input on the information that has been presented so far.
  • Once you have the intended final product, repeat the micro result cycles and create new requirements for the following sprint based on feedback.

Suppose the product team wishes to decide what should be developed based on adjustments they make or is still determining what has to be produced from the beginning. In that case, they should consider the following: agile will provide the team with greater flexibility to seize opportunities as the project progresses and generate more features in a shorter amount of time.

Waterfall Model

Agile Model Advantages and Disadvantages

  • It is a client-focused process. As a result, it ensures that the client is always continuously involved.
  • Agile teams get better results from development projects since they are highly driven and self-organized.
  • The agile flexible approach to software development is one of the methodology’s fundamental components. To satisfy the needs of the stakeholders, priorities, and requirements can be changed throughout the project.
  • The use of agile software development ensures that development quality is maintained.
  • The entire procedure is built on small, gradual steps. As a result, the client and team are fully aware of what has been completed and what still needs to be completed. As a result, the development process risk is decreased.
  • With agile projects, there is less emphasis on planning and documentation and more on what needs to be done. With each iteration or sprint, the team concentrates on creating the product and delivering functional software.

Agile Model Disadvantages

  • There are more effective strategies for modest development initiatives.
  • To make significant decisions at the meeting, you need an expert.
  • Deploying an agile process costs more than other development methods.
  • The project could easily veer if the manager still determines the desired outcomes.

Difference between Waterfall Model and Agile Model

 Water Fall ModelAgile Model
  Timeline  There is a set schedule for waterfall. However, the concept is that the project’s inception and end have already been planned.  Agile is far more flexible and enables trying out different tactics. Instead of a set deadline, the schedule changes as the project progresses. Agile was published online in 2001 by a group of software engineers. It states that team members should “deliver working software regularly, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a bias to the shorter term.”    
    Flexibility  Because each phase must be finished before moving on to the next, waterfall is less flexible than agile. However, because the project is planned out in advance, this management approach is excellent for teams that know exactly where they are going from beginning to end.    Agile is a theory that is designed to work with different configurations of software. Agile emphasizes sprints, which are brief periods of work. The approach encourages flexibility, including new data even when the project is already underway.  
  Budget  The budget is typically established for projects using the waterfall process. Since the project is planned out from beginning to end, it is less possible to alter the budget in the middle of it.   Agile is flexible and welcomes adaptation, experimentation, and changes in the course even in the project’s later stages. As a result, the budget is more adaptable.  

How to Choose the Best Methodology for Your Project between Waterfall and Agile

The waterfall takes less time with better control than agile, where you frequently have several iterations due to its linear paradigm and precise specifications. To some extent, this is true. But conversely, agile allows for extensive product testing, allowing for early product release and a quicker time to market and revenue generation. Both waterfall and agile can be compared, and neither is inherently better. However, depending on how big and comprehensive your software project is, one methodology is more applicable and advantageous than the other in some circumstances.

For instance, more complicated projects often need more thorough up-front study and run the danger of gradually expanding scope. Agile can speed up development by avoiding early-stage intensive planning. You significantly lower risk by adopting an incremental strategy and fine-tuning as you learn more knowledge. The waterfall is a wise choice when the project scope is well-defined from the start and is anticipated to stay the same.

Above we have shared the best difference between the waterfall model and the agile model.

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