A Crash Course in the Difference Between Agile and Waterfall Methods

As a developer, you need to select the right development methodology if you want your project to go smoothly. There are two primary options you may wish to implement: The Waterfall methodology and the Agile methodology.


The Waterfall methodology is the traditional approach to development, while Agile is a newer form of project management that has brought some positive changes, but can also have some downsides as well. If you’re trying to decide which methodology to use, it’s important to understand how each work and the pros and cons of each different approach. Here are the basics of what you need to know:

  • The Waterfall method takes a linear approach. The project begins by identifying requirements, then moves into the design phase. Code and unit testing come next, followed by system testing and user acceptance testing. Issues are fixed after the testing phase and the finished product is then delivered.
  • Advantages to the Waterfall method include early agreement on deliverables so the design process is straightforward; no requirement for the customer to be present and involved throughout development; and a complete understanding of requirements from day one. Disadvantages include the possibility that initial requirements won’t be comprehensive enough; and the possibility of a customer being dissatisfied when the entire project has been completed.
  • The Agile approach is a project management approach that focuses on rapid application development. It’s team-based and involves completing different sprints to complete specific functional components. Deliverables are prioritized in accordance with the needs of the customer, and the deliverables are identified at the start of each sprint. Work is reviewed as completed, and customers are engaged throughout the whole process.
  • Advantages of the Agile method include the opportunity for frequent customer feedback; a greater investment by the customer through team interaction and a more user-focused development process. Disadvantages include the potential for too many demands to be placed on the customers time; and the possibility that deliverables won’t be finished on time.

Technology Partners provides assistance to developers in developing their project management methodology and offers help throughout the entire development process. To find out more about how our project implementation experts can help with all your development needs, give us a call today.


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