10 Differences Between Agile and Waterfall Methodology

The traditional waterfall methodology for software development is rapidly losing its popularity as Agile methodology is now being increasingly adopted by companies worldwide for software development.

Waterfall basically is a sequential model where software development is segregated into a sequence of pre -defined phases – including feasibility, planning, design, build, test, production, and support. On the other hand, Agile development methodology follows a linear sequential approach while providing flexibility for changing project requirements, as they occur.

Here are the top 10 differences between Agile and Waterfall Methodology:

  1. The software development process is divided into different phases in the Waterfall model while Agile methodology segregates the project development lifecycle into sprints
  2. Waterfall is a structured software development methodology, and often times can be quite rigid, whereas the Agile methodology is known for its flexibility
  3. According to the Waterfall model, software development is to be completed as one single project, which is then divided into different phases, with each phase appearing only once during the SDLC. However, the Agile methodology can be considered as a collection of many different projects, which are nothing but the iterations of the different phases focusing on improving the overall software quality with feedbacks from users or the QA team
  4. If you want to use the Waterfall model for software development, then you have to be clear with all the development requirements beforehand as there is no scope of changing the requirements once the project development starts. The Agile methodology, on the other hand, is quite flexible, and allows for changes to be made in the project development requirements even after the initial planning has been completed
  5. All the project development phases such as designing, development, testing, etc. are completed once in the Waterfall model while as part of the Agile methodology, they follow an iterative development approach. As a result, planning, development, prototyping and other software development phases can appear more than once during the entire SDLC
  6. One of the major differences between Agile and Waterfall development methodology is their individual approach towards quality and testing. In the Waterfall model, the “Testing” phase comes after the “Build” phase, but, in the Agile methodology, testing is typically performed concurrently with programming or at least in the same iteration as programming
  7. While Waterfall methodology is an internal process and does not require the participation of customers, the Agile software development approach focuses on customer satisfaction and thus, involves the participation of customers throughout the development phase
  8. The Waterfall model can be regarded as a stringently sequential process, however, the Agile methodology is a highly collaborative software development process, thereby leading to better team input and faster problem solving
  9. The Waterfall model is best suited for projects which have clearly defined requirements and in which change is not expected at all, while Agile development supports a process in which the requirements are expected to change and evolve. Thus, if you are planning to develop a software that would require frequent overhauls and has to keep up with the technology landscape and customer requirements, Agile is the best approach to follow
  10. The Waterfall model exhibits a project mindset and lays its focus strictly on the completion of project development, while Agile introduces a product mindset that focuses on ensuring that the developed product satisfies its end customers, and changes itself as the requisites of customers change

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