Waterfall and Agile project management

What is Waterfall Project Management

The methodology of this model, which is also known as the sequential linear life cycle model. The waterfall model follows in sequential order, so the project development team only moves on to the next phase of development or testing if the previous step is completed successfully.

What is Agile

Agile methodology is a practice that helps to continuously iterate development and testing in the software development process. In this model, the development and testing activities are parallel, unlike the Waterfall model. Reference: Waterfall and Incremental model in project management, wikipedia-lab.org 2019 This process allows for more communication between customers, developers, managers, and testers.

Advantages of Waterfall & Agile

Waterfall
  • This is one of the easiest management models. Due to its nature, each phase has specific results and a review process. Reference: Waterfall or Agile? What methodology to choose for your project? PM.MBA 2019
  • It works well for smaller projects where the requirements are easy to understand.
  • Faster project implementation
  • The process and results are well documented.
  • Easily adaptable method for changing teams
  • This project management methodology is useful for dependency management.
Agile
  • This is a focused customer process. So, it ensures that the customer is constantly involved at every stage.
  • Agile teams are extremely motivated and self-organized, so it is possible to provide a better result from development projects.
  • The flexible software development method ensures that the quality of development is maintained
  • The process is based entirely on gradual progress. Therefore, the client and the team know exactly what is complete and what is not. This reduces the risk in the development process.

Limitations of Waterfall & Agile

Waterfall
  • It is not an ideal model for a large project
  • It is very difficult to go back to make changes in previous phases.
  • If the requirement is not clear at first, this is a less effective method.
  • The testing process begins after the development is completed. Therefore, there is a good chance that bugs will be found later in development, where they are expensive to fix.
Agile

Agile is not a useful method for small development projects. Reference: Agile Project Management agileprogramming.org ISSN 2652-5925 Vol 1, 2020
Requires an expert to make important decisions at the meeting.
The project can easily come out if the project manager is not clear about the expected results.

Main differences between Waterfall and Agile

  • Waterfall is a model of a consistent linear life cycle, while Agile is a continuous iteration of development and testing in the software development process.
  • Agile methodology is known for its flexibility, while Waterfall is a structured software development methodology.
  • Agile follows an incremental approach, while the waterfall methodology is a consistent design process. Agile performs testing at the same time as software development, while in the Waterfall methodology, testing comes after the “Build” phase.
  • Agile follows an incremental approach, while the waterfall methodology is a consistent design process. Agile performs testing at the same time as software development, while in the Waterfall methodology, testing comes after the “Build” phase.
  • This is not a useful method for small development projects.
  • Requires an expert to make important decisions at the meeting.
  • Requires an expert to make important decisions at the meeting.
  • The project can easily come out if the project manager is not clear what result he wants.

Main differences between the two project management models

Waterfall

  • The software development process is divided into separate phases.
  • Waterfall is a structured software development methodology, so most times it can be quite rigid.
  • The software development will be completed as a single project.
  • There is no possibility to change the requirements once the project development begins.
  • The test plan is rarely discussed during the test phase.
  • The method is ideal for projects that have certain requirements and no changes are expected at all.
  • In this methodology, the “Testing” phase comes after the “Creation” phase
  • This model shows the attitude of the project and focuses entirely on the implementation of the project.
  • Reduces risk in fixed price fixed contracts by reaching a risk agreement at the beginning of the process.
  • Team coordination/synchronization is very limited.
  • A detailed description should be applied of the software development approach with this methodology.
  • With the waterfall method, the process is always easy, so the project manager plays a significant role during each stage of the SDLC.

Agile

  • Divides the entire life cycle of the sprint project
  • Agile methodology is known for its flexibility. Embracing Agile, HBR.org 2016
  • Agile can be seen as a collection of many different projects.
  • Agile is a fairly flexible method that allows changes to be made to the requirements for project development, even if the initial planning is complete.
  • The test plan is reviewed after each sprint
  • Agile is a process in which requirements are expected to change and evolve.
  • In the Agile methodology, testing is performed simultaneously with software development.
  • Agile introduces product thinking in which the software product meets the needs of its end customers and changes according to customer needs.
  • Agile works extremely well with time and materials or with non-fixed funding. This can increase stress in fixed cost scenarios.
  • Prefers small but dedicated teams with a high degree of coordination and synchronization.
  • The description of the project details can be changed at any time during the SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle) process.
  • Agile team members are interchangeable, as a result they work faster. There is no need for project managers because the projects are managed by the whole team

Conclusion

Basically, both methodologies are tested and applicable in a wide range of services, each of which has its pros and cons depending on the wishes of the client and the specifics of the contract. The Agile methodology allows the customer to monitor the process of operation and testing of the product after the changes/additions of new functionalities in the product, while Waterfall offers testing after the creation of the product. Reference: Waterfall, Agile, Scrum and Kanban methodologies, stc-montreal.org 2020

Agile’s flexibility is preferred by many customers as it allows the customer to focus on the work process and implement changes in the work process even after negotiation.

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