Waterfall vs Agile Methodology paper

Waterfall vs Agile Methodology

In the field of programming or rather software engineering, agile methodology refers to the process by which team members conducting a project break it into several stages or phases. The team members make sure that they deal with one phase or stage at a time. Also, there is continuous improvement of each stage or phase as time goes by(“What is Agile model – advantages,

these two methodologies.


Aspect Waterfall Agile
Feasibility analysis In waterfall methodology, cost-benefit analysis is conducted if the product or project is operationally, technically, and financially feasible. This phase or stage normally takes much time. Same as the case with waterfall methodology, feasibility test is also performed agile conducted for the purpose of finding if the project is worthy to be carried out.
Planning A plan which is more detailed is done or realized. This is for the purpose of making sure that no errors or unwanted results are gotten while during or after the project is completed. A good plan also ensures that a project runs only within its confined budget. Planning also an essential part of any agile methodology. It is done to act as a guideline of the project’s scope. It also helps the team members to be aware of the amount of money they are expected to spend on the particular phases or stages.
Communication Communication forms a very vital or important aspect of any project. The project managers or the project lead team always communicate with the rest of the team on the current state of the project, what is expected from them as well as the what is expected from the project in future or coming days. Regular communication is also done or made in agile methodology. It is always the task or duty of project managers to effectively communicate about the state of the project to members participating in particular projects.
Roles In waterfall methodology, tasks are divided according to the areas of specialization of team members. For, instance, coders are tasked to do programming roles, while software testers are responsible for testing the end products. Also in agile methodology, there different roles assigned to different personnel according to their knowledge and experience. The roles include personalities from fields such as programming, software testing, and solution architecture among others.


Differences between Waterfall and Agile Methodologies

In addition to the above similarities, there also exist some difference between agile and waterfall methodologies. The differences are illustrated in the following table.


Waterfall methodology Agile methodology
The process of software development is divided into different stages or phases. The process of software development in this methodology is segregated into sprints.
Waterfall methodology is a structured one and entails a lot of rigidity. For instance, once a phase is done, it is rare for that phase to undergo changes or alteration(10 Differences Between Agile and Waterfall Methodology, 2019). Agile methodology is very flexible and entails a lot of modification once a phase is completed or done.
In waterfall methodology, as much as the whole project is to be completed as one project, it is always divided into different stages or phases whereby each phase or stage appears only once in the SLDC life cycle. Agile methodology can involve or encompass different many projects, which are iterations of the different stages or phases whose main or major focus is to improve the overall quality of software.
Waterfall methodology does not entail or involve any modification once the stages or phases are completed. This means that before the commencement of a project which uses this model, the project team members have to be sure of all the requirements of the particular project. In the event that they do not know, errors will possibly occur eventually while the project is either underway or when it is completed. This model entails or involves a lot of modification even when the project is still underway. This means that it is not a must for team members of the project or the project team to know what is required from them before embarking on the project. In case they need to make any modification or alteration, they are always at liberty to do so


Beginning with waterfall methodology which is mainly referred to as the traditional one, it has some advantages and disadvantages in terms of execution and planning as seen below.

Advantages of Waterfall Methodology

This methodology uses a clear and vivid structure. In comparison to other methodologies, waterfall uses structures which are very and easy for someone to understand. Its structure is made up of simple steps or stages. The stages or steps are; gathering or requirements as well documentation, design of the system, implementation, testing, deployment or delivery, and maintenance of the system(“Waterfall Methodology: Advantages and Disadvantages, And When to Use It?”, 2019). Another advantage in terms of planning and execution is that the end product is always defined or realized at an early stage. This is because the requirements of the system are always defined before the commencement of projects. This can make it possible for a team to know what they expect at the end of the project.

Disadvantages of Waterfall Methodology

One of the prevailing shortcomings of waterfall methodology is that it is difficult to make changes as the project is underway. This is a methodology which focuses on one stage or steps one at a time and no changes or modification are made once a stage or phase has been completed. As it is well known that human beings are prone to errors, they can make errors which will not be corrected even if it is realized. Hence, the end or final product will not as functional as it was intended to be. Another disadvantage of waterfall methodology is that it excludes the user or clients during the whole process of the project. Clients or users form a very important part of a software development team. In case they are not involved in any way, they might end up building something which is not required in the market by users or clients.

Similarly, there exist some advantages and disadvantages associated with agile methodology as a method of software development as outlined below.

Advantages of Agile Methodology

One of the outstanding benefits which are associated with agile methodology is the fact that interactions and people are emphasized rather than tools and process. This is what makes the plan for this methodology to be one of the best. Testers, coders or, as well as the customers, interact with each other during the whole process of developing or creating the software(“Agile Development – Advantages, Disadvantages and when to use it? – The Official 360logica Blog”, 2019). This makes the end product to fit well the customers’ bill because of the great and much involvement. Also, this model of software methodology entails or involves constant and continuous good design as well as the technical excellence of the entire project. The idea that modification and changes are allowed in this methodology makes it possible for the team members to come up with a fully functional project, which best suits the customers’ requirements and specification.

Disadvantages of Agile Methodology

In the event that some software deliverables are required, more so the large one, it will be very hard or difficult to evaluate the amount of effort which is required at the commencement of the project. The team members of a project which follows the agile methodology are also used to be modifying projects phases and not coming up with a plan of the whole project before commencement, hence it becomes hard for them to estimate or evaluate the energy or effort required for the completion of the project. Another disadvantage of this methodology is that it lacks emphasis on relevant and important documentation.

As a project manager of my firm’s e-commerce site, I would use an agile methodology to manage the project. Apart from this being the modest methodology or model, it has several benefits which are hard to find in other models such as a waterfall. For instance, this model allows programmers and coders to make a modification at any stage of the project. Sometimes, it is not always that a project is altered or modified because programmers or coders made an error somehow, but also modifications are done at times to fit the interest of the clients or customers.

Pitfalls and Misconception about Agile Methodology

One of the misconceptions regarding agile model is that the duty of the management is eliminated. Some people always misunderstand the aspect of flexibility in agile methodology. They always see this as a manner which makes agile methodology to lack management(Verma, 2019). However, agile methodology just like any other still has its project manager in charge of the whole project. To mitigate this misconception of lack of management in agile methodology, as a project manager I would take the following actions to mitigate the risk associated with such misconception. First I will educate whoever might be thinking that way that management is steady and is in charge of the whole project. Secondly, I will explain to individuals who think on that line that by agile model allowing flexibility aspect does not mean that its management is weak.


What is Agile model – advantages, disadvantages and when to use it? (2017). Retrieved from http://tryqa.com/what-is-agile-model-advantages-disadvantages-and-when-to-use-it/

10 Differences Between Agile and Waterfall Methodology. (2019). [Ebook]. Retrieved from https://blog.flatworldsolutions.com/10-differences-agile-waterfall-methodology/

Waterfall Methodology: Advantages and Disadvantages, And When to Use It? (2019). Retrieved from https://lvivity.com/waterfall-model

Agile Development – Advantages, Disadvantages and when to use it? – The Official 360logica Blog. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.360logica.com/blog/agile-development-advantages-disadvantages-and-when-to-use-it/

Verma, E. (2019). Top 5 Misconceptions with regard to Agile Methodology. Retrieved from https://www.simplilearn.com/agile-methodology-5-misconceptions-article






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