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Difference between agile and waterfall: Which Development Methodology Is Ideal

Agile and Waterfall methodologies, several SDLC model types, and the distinctions between Waterfall and agile development are all covered in this guide. ...

Written by Niel Patel · 5 min read >
difference between agile and waterfall

Agile and Waterfall methodologies, several SDLC model types, and the distinctions between Waterfall and agile development are all covered in this guide. 

Consider each model’s benefits and cons to determine which is best suited for your project. The Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) comes in two flavors: Waterfall and Agile (SDLC). The software industry uses several methods to design, build and test software. 

It’s possible to meet the needs of our customers by adhering to a standard development lifecycle (SDLC). 

Workflows Using the Waterfall and Agile Model 

‘Agile’ means moving swiftly and effortlessly’ in simple English, which is what the Agile development technique is all about. 

In the Agile project management technique, the tasks are broken down into smaller, more manageable chunks of work that are reviewed and modified frequently.  

The Waterfall is a sequential model in which the flow of work progresses mainly in one direction down through the stages of requirements collecting, analysis, design, development, testing, and deployment. 

Let’s first look at what the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is and what it entails before moving on to the Agile versus Waterfall debate. 

What Is the Life Cycle of Software Development? 

Systematic software development is a step-by-step process. As a result, we have to pick from various software development life cycle types used by various businesses. A suitable life cycle is chosen based on the requirements. 

In the software development lifecycle, the waterfall model is a sort of SDLC that has been around for a while. The agile model is the most recent and cutting-edge one available. Other software development lifecycles have influenced the development of Agile. 

Spiral, V and V, and prototype models are examples of other SDLCs. When developing a software application, we’ll select the model best suited to the business’s needs and requirements. 

What is the difference between agile and waterfall development methodology?

Waterfall Model 

what is the difference between agile and waterfall
what is the difference between agile and waterfall

The waterfall model, as previously discussed, was the first software development life cycle to be developed. It’s the sequential approach to software development. Taking this method has minimal usage in business. We will use this method when the project is straightforward and there are no more modifications to the requirements.  

Agile Model 

difference between agile and waterfall methodology
difference between agile and waterfall methodology

More and more firms are implementing an agile workflow to streamline software development. Agile refers to a development methodology based on sprints in the software industry.  

Agile Workflow 

We’re now going to look at the life cycle of an Agile software project. Agile is a method of working rapidly and accurately. 

This model is based on a project management technique popular among those involved in creating computer software. Tasks are broken down into smaller, more manageable chunks, and plans are reviewed and adjusted frequently. Team members should have a fundamental understanding of the company’s operations. 

Developers and testers work together to create and test software in Agile. Iterative development is used in the creation of new products. Each iteration of a user story necessitates research, conceptualization, creation, implementation, and validation. 

As a result, creating and testing the software block can be completed more quickly and with greater precision and adaptability. As a result, more industries are adopting and following this procedure. 

Important Agile Terminologies 

Scrum 

The main purpose of a scrum meeting is to evaluate the progress of each team member on a specific project. Everyone is held to the same standard and on the same page in a scrum, ensuring that no one falls too far behind or goes too far ahead of the game. 

As the team’s issue solver, the scrum master keeps an eye on the development process, works to prevent blockages, and enforces the agile method of doing things. 

Stakeholders  

Anyone with a stake in the product is referred to as a stakeholder. Customers, end users, salespeople, legal agents, etc., are examples of this. Stakeholders are essential in defining the project’s requirements during the development process. 

The Backlog 

Requirements are constantly being added to the queue. It’s not a to-do list but rather a prioritized list of features requested by the stakeholders for the product. 

An informal, all-inclusive explanation of a software feature from the end-users viewpoint is called a “user narrative.” 7. It aims to explain how a software feature will benefit the end-user. 

Burndown and Burnup 

A burndown chart is a visual representation of how a project progresses over time. A burnup chart illustrates the total amount of work that has been completed. These charts are a must when it comes to motivating the team and providing a realistic timeline for the project’s completion. 

Features Creep 

Adding additions after development is known as “feature creep,” even though it is expected and even encouraged in the agile manner of working. Features creep and difficult-to-use software are possible outcomes of adding too many features early in the development process. 

Timeboxing 

When you use timeboxing, you’re doing the same thing as when you use time blocking: setting a deadline and sticking to it. Timeboxing’s defining characteristic, on the other hand, is that work comes to an end when the timebox expires rather than when the task is completed. Using this method can be incredibly beneficial in productivity and project management. 

Sprint 

One week to one month is considered a sprint in software development. Using sprints, projects are less likely to become overwhelming, and feedback can be given at key points along the way. 

The Most Important Factors in Adopting Agile Methodology 

  • Agile Scrum Methodology 
  • Lean Software Development 
  • Kanban 
  • Extreme Programming (XP) 
  • Crystal 
  • Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM
  • Feature Driven Development (FDD) 

What Is the Difference Between Agile and Waterfall Models? 

Waterfall ModelsAgile Models
Each stage of the product’s lifecycle is completed sequentially in the Waterfall model. Flowing like a waterfall, the project progresses through various stages. The iterative nature of agile methodology is at the heart of the model.   
One-time huge entire delivery is the guiding principle of this design.   The final product is delivered at the end of the software development lifecycle (SDLC).   
This model is based on the idea that multiple small deliveries are made at regular intervals.   Each sprint concludes with the delivery of an MVP (Minimum Viable Product).   
It’s a stale, out-of-date strategy. It’s a new and cutting-edge way of doing things. 
A single release and one cycle. Multiple iterations and releases are common in this process. 
It’s a phase-based approach to software development. Software development is broken down into sprints by this method. 
Scale for long-term planning. Scale for short-term planning. 
A considerable distance separates customers and developers. A short distance only separates the client and the developer. 
Finding problems is a lengthy process. As soon as there is an issue, it is discovered. 
There is a significant danger to the project’s schedule. Low risk of project delays. 
agile vs waterfall comparison table

The Differences Between Agile and Waterfall Testing 

Waterfall Agile 
Preparation is completed only once, and that is before the testing step.   A lot of the time, planning takes place before and during a project. 
A single test case tests all of a product’s features. Each sprint has a different set of functionalities that need to be tested. 
During the project, the test plan is rarely revised. After each sprint, the test plan is re-evaluated. 
For the testing team, proposing changes in the requirements might be a difficult task. Involvement of the test team in the development process is encouraged. 
After a release, the client conducts one round of acceptance testing to ensure everything works as it should. There are several ways to perform acceptance testing, including by a business analyst or the test team. 
A clear line of demarcation exists between the development and testing teams, and all contact between them is strictly formal. The testing and development teams work together as a single team, and there is a constant exchange of information. 
Test documentation that is both lengthy and comprehensive.   Only the minimum amount of test documentation is completed.   
agile vs waterfall comparison table

Conclusion 

Agile and Waterfall software development and testing methods have been contrasted in this article, with a comparison table detailing the advantages and disadvantages of each methodology. 

We may select the best software development life cycle model for the application by examining all of the elements given in this article. Using Agile techniques instead of the Waterfall approach is a no-brainer. Most firms prefer and follow the Agile methodology when developing software. 

All projects can benefit from the Agile methodology. Only a tiny percentage of businesses use the waterfall approach. This approach is only appropriate for small and straightforward applications and for which there are no modifications to the need. 

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