2nd, Nov 2020

Agile or Waterfall: Which Development Method Is Better

No matter whether you are developing a house or manufacturing a car, you need to pick the right project management method to ensure the success of your project. Similarly, when it comes to software development, choosing the proper development method is essential to ensure success briskly.

However, there are numerous methods to create software. Among these methods, the most remarkable methods are Agile and Waterfall. Agile is preferred for its flexibility, while the Waterfall is known for its rigidity in structure. Each of these two methods has unique features. Hence, it is not about determining which one is the best method; instead, it’s all about deciding which one is suitable for meeting your requirements.

In this blog, we’ve discussed the key benefits and loopholes of both the Waterfall and Agile model so that you can make the right decision before consulting a renowned software development company in India.

Waterfall Method

The Waterfall is a sequential software development method in which each phase needs to be approved by the project stakeholders before the next step starts. In this method, the progress heads downwards in one single direction. That’s why this method is known as Waterfall. The flow goes this way:

  • System and software requirements
  • Analysis
  • Design
  • Coding
  • Testing
  • Operations

Key Benefits of Waterfall Method:

Clear framework

This model provides a clear insight into the project goals, deadlines, and deliverables. The development team leads this whole project.

Documentation

As this method engages meticulous planning, record keeping, and advanced documentation, there are fewer chances of misunderstanding and shortcuts.

Progress Measurement

Each of its phases has a lucidly defined beginning and ending. Hence, it becomes easier to record activities and progress details in each step. This way, resource shortage can be eliminated.

Hands-off Approach

Once the preliminary design and project plan is on the right track, there are fewer chances of any requirements emerging for customer supervision until the review phase.

Now, let’s have a look at some limitations of the waterfall method:

Limitations of the Waterfall Method

Limited scope for creativity

Waterfall depends on initial documentation and stringent processes. It becomes harder to implement new ideas if the development team experiences a roadblock, leaving little creativity scope.

Last-minute testing

 The final testing of the software happens at the end of the project. Therefore, if errors are detected late within the work process, it may increase the risk. In such a situation, complete rework is needed, which is quite expensive and time-consuming.

Less customer engagement

The hands-off approach looks beneficial. But some companies need customer engagement. Since the hands-off approach is not flexible for boosting customer engagement, it may cause a problem.

Agile Methodology

Agile was designed to address the shortfalls of the waterfall model. Software developers felt that they required something different from the waterfall method to balance the continuously changing software industry. That’s why they created the agile methodology. It is collaborative and iterative software development. It engages sprints.

Agile mainly highlights incremental development, not a linear one like the waterfall approach. It depends on the customers’ current inputs in every phase of the process, including planning, designing, developing, testing, and releasing. It promotes flexibility and enhances customer satisfaction.

Key Benefits of the Agile Method:

Stakeholder engagement

The agile method enables continuous interaction between business stakeholders and development teams throughout the entire project. It instills trust in everyone engaged in the process.

Adaptability

As customers are allowed to share feedback in each iteration, identifying and fixing issues become hassle-free.

Flexible in delivery

The incremental and iterative agile structure encourages changes, implement new ideas, and reprioritize deliverables. The Agile model allows the customers to release the basic software instead of the full solution.

Faster time-market

Agile focuses on delivering the work with each sprint. It promotes time-to-market and brings success to businesses.

Teamwork

The agile model enables cross-functional teams to help the team members to work as a unit at software development.

Limitation of the Agile Method

Though agile is a much-advanced method, it is not above flaws. It also has some limitations: less predictability, need for full commitment, and certainty of rework.

Bottom Line

As has been stated earlier, both the Waterfall and Agile method has some unique features. You need to understand which features are suitable for your project. Considering your requirements, pick a technique, and consult an experienced software development company in India about this.