michaela-damm.jpg
blocshop
September 07, 2021
0 min read

What are the differences between Agile and Waterfall?

What are the differences between Agile and Waterfall?.png

These days, most software development teams choose Agile methodology to organize their work. The Agile vs. Waterfall debate still rages, though. Many people question whether Agile works better than Waterfall in all circumstances. Does Agile deliver great ROI? Does Agile help teams work faster? Let’s take a close look at both Agile and Waterfall. We will examine the merits and drawbacks of each approach. 

Waterfall Methodology

Waterfall methodology takes a linear path. Teams using Waterfall plan each step of the software development project in detail. Each step in the Waterfall model relies on the previous step’s completion. Organizations in manufacturing and construction first started using waterfall. It helped them to keep costs down with thorough planning. Design changes late in the manufacturing process prove prohibitively expensive. By using Waterfall, they ensured that they faced no big expensive surprises.

Waterfall made its first appearance in software development in the 1950s. Herbert D. Benington described the process in a paper presented at the Symposium on Advanced Programming Methods for Digital Computers on June 29, 1956. The term Waterfall did not appear until 1970. Winston W. Royce diagrammed a process known as the “waterfall model.” Royce laid out five steps to add to Benington’s process. He had concerns that the lack of testing during the development process could cause trouble for the teams.

Waterfall begins with the team gathering and documenting requirements. During this process the Customers and Stakeholders have input. Next, the developers design the solution that meets the requirements. Next, they write the code and test. Finally, the team fixes any errors or bugs and delivers the finished project to the Customer. Each of these steps stands alone. The software development team must not jump ahead. They must finish each step before beginning the next.

Advantages of Waterfall Methodology

  • Waterfall offers extensive documentation

  • All steps in the project have detailed documentation to eliminate misunderstandings

  • Teams know the scope of work because of thorough requirements gathering

  • Customers involvement not necessary during the project, only at the beginning and end

  • Great for managing dependencies

Disadvantages of Waterfall Methodology

  • Ineffective if requirements gathering has flaws or gaps

  • Testing only happens at the end of the project, bugs may prove expensive to fix

  • Customer expectations may shift during development

  • Difficult to revisit a complete step

  • Slow

Agile Methodology

Agile Development came about as a response to teams feeling slow and constrained by Waterfall. Waterfall methodology, while simple, is highly regimented. Developers wanted a more nimble, user-focused model. They wanted to make changes and create software that met stakeholder requirements quickly and precisely.

Agile development focuses on the needs of the customer and end-users. The development cycle is a transparent process. The process fosters stakeholder involvement and participation at every step.

The Agile method is different from traditional team organization. Where a traditional team may have several projects at once, an agile team focuses on one project at a time. They give all their attention to a single goal. Agile team members do not have rigid job roles and titles. Instead, the team members are valued for their skills and contributions to the project.

Agile and Scrum

Agile development works as an iterative process. The software develops incrementally rather than as a big package as in Waterfall. Many teams use a special type of Agile process known as Scrum. Scrum works as a framework using Agile principles. Scrum uses Scrum Teams and Scrum Masters to develop their project. Each Team organizes their work using User Stories and Sprints. Daily Standup Meetings help the team focus and communicate. Agile works more as a philosophy. Scrum is how that philosophy works out in the real world.

Advantages of Agile Methodology

  • A customer-focused approach, User Stories mean the team works on what matters for end-users

  • Self-organized team work collaboratively

  • Continual testing during the process finds bugs and problems early

  • An incremental approach keeps Stakeholders involved in the whole development cycle

  • Less time spent documenting, more time implementing

Read more in Advantages of Agile development article.

Disadvantages of Agile Methodology

  • Customers might have time or desire for involvement

  • Teams must avoid scope creep and adding extra work to Sprints

  • Not as simple or predictable as Waterfall

Both Agile and Waterfall work well as project management systems. They differ in important ways. These differences help teams decide which method will work best for their project. Agile is incremental and iterative. Waterfall works sequentially. Agile Scrum uses Sprints for organizing projects. Waterfall uses project Phases. Agile focuses on customer needs. Waterfall just focuses on finishing the project. Agile teams can work without a project manager, Waterfall teams require a project manager.

Differences between Waterfall and Agile Methodologies

Waterfall

Agile

Breaks projects into Phases

Uses Sprints to organize projects

Complete project delivered at the end of development

Incremental approach, teams deliver work as they complete it

Sequential and linear

Incremental and iterative

Highly structured

Flexible (and Agile!)

Change not possible after the start of the project

Changes allowed throughout planning, teams can put changes in future Sprints

Project-focuses

Customer-focused

Testing only at the end

Testing throughout

Works well for projects with strong and easy-to-understand requirements

Allows for flexibility and change of requirements

Extensive requirements gathering limits risk

Risk mitigated by testing and Sprint Retrospective meetings

Which one is better for your project?

Waterfall works well for teams that do not have a customer available to provide feedback and support. If they only have the voice of the customer available in a limited amount, Waterfall can work. Waterfall also works well for small, well-defined projects. Agile functions well for complex and large projects. Agile allows for flexibility and change. Agile has an unstructured approach. Waterfall has a rigid structure. Using the Scrum framework, Agile projects move faster than Waterfall projects. So as you can see, Agile tackles projects with unknowns and complexity. Waterfall favors simple, small and well-defined projects.

Here at Blocshop, we harness the power of  Agile and Scrum. We organize our teams to deliver the best of what they offer. We complete our projects on time and under budget. If you would like to learn more, please do get in touch.


Learn more from our insights

roro665_depict_a_data_sample_thta_completely_changes_its_form_725a4f20-ea40-4dd1-a68d-5c4327c9bf24_1.png
June 20, 2024

Generative AI used for data conversions and reformatting

How to use generative AI for data conversion, addressing integrity, hallucinations, privacy, and compliance issues with effective validation and monitoring strategies.

DALL·E 2024-05-30 09.37.01 - An illustration suitable for an article about ISO 20022. The scene should feature a modern, sleek representation of the ISO 20022 logo in the center. .webp
May 28, 2024

ISO 20022 Explained: A Comprehensive Guide for Financial Institution Managers

What is ISO 20022? How does it affect companies and institutions in the fintech and banking industry and how to prepare for its adoption? All explained in this article.

DALL·E 2024-05-22 20.55.08 - A detailed and high-quality DSLR photo of a person using a laptop to shop online, showing personalized product recommendations on the screen. The back.webp
May 16, 2024

Key AI Trends in E-commerce and Overview of AI integrations for E-commerce Platforms in 2024

Transform your e-commerce platform with AI tools for personalization, analytics, chatbots, search, and fraud detection. Boost sales and improve customer experiences.

eIDAS mark.png
May 09, 2024

Digital Identity and Payment Services in the EU in 2024: Key Updates

eIDAS 2.0 and PSD3 are set to enhance how digital identities and payment services are managed across the European Union in 2024. Here’s an overview of how each framework contributes to the digital landscape of the EU, what to expect, and how to prepare.

eIDAS 2 in fintech and open banking EU market.png
May 06, 2024

What is eIDAS 2.0 and EU Digital Identity Wallet and how will it change the EU digital market

Learn how eIDAS 2.0 and the EU Digital Identity Wallet will transform digital transactions and identity management across the European Union.

best large language models for ERP systems.png
March 31, 2024

Language Models Best Suited for Integration into ERPs

Four prominent large language models stand out for their compatibility and effectiveness in ERP system processes and automation. See what they are.

PSD3 in open banking Blocshop.png
April 23, 2024

PSD2 vs. PSD3: The Evolution of Payment Services Regulation

What is PSD3 in open banking? See how PSD3 compares to PSD2 and what should banks and fintech businesses do to ensure regulatory compliance in the EU market.

roro665_hands_working_with_a_laptop_in_a_modern_office_there_is_20dca307-c993-4539-99d7-fd5ca264248c.png
April 14, 2024

Enhancing ERP Systems with AI Chatbots

Explore how AI chatbots can transform ERP systems, enhancing efficiency, decision-making, and user interaction.

eIDAS in fintech and open banking EU market.png
April 29, 2024

eIDAS: The regulation helping secure Europe's digital future

See how eIDAS enhances EU digital transactions with secure identity verification, supporting e-commerce and public services across Europe.

hybrid ERPs.png
March 21, 2024

Hybrid ERP: An Innovative Approach to Enterprise Resource Planning

Hybrid ERP is a blend of cloud and on-premise solutions. With expertise in both, Blocshop is uniquely positioned to help you with hybrid ERP development and implementation.

0-4 cover.png
October 03, 2023

IT Staffing: Individual Hiring vs. Specialized Developer Teams

Should you hire individual developers or go for a specialized, custom-built developer team?

chatgpt-35-limitations.jpg
July 17, 2023

ChatGPT-3.5: An Overview and Limitations

In this article, we'll take a closer look at the capabilities and limitations of ChatGPT-3.5, providing you with a comprehensive overview of what it can do and what its boundaries are. So, let's delve into the inner workings of this large language model.

gpt4 vs gpt3-5 and the key differnces.png
June 15, 2023

A Deep Dive into GPT-4 vs GPT-3.5 Differences and Ability to Revolutionize Software Development

There are key differences between ChatGPT-3.5 and ChatGPT-4 that software developers and companies procuring software solutions alike should be aware of. Let's see how these differences affect the output generated by these models on specific examples.

ai-development-cto-2023.jpg
May 09, 2023

AI-powered software development: What CTOs need to know in 2023

As technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace in 2023 and beyond, CTOs must stay ahead of the curve by utilizing predictive analytics, automated testing processes, and deployment solutions.

ai-web-development.jpg
May 05, 2023

How Artificial Intelligence is changing web development

AI technology is now being used in many different industries, including web development. It’s important to understand the impact that AI can have on web development as it can help companies to create more efficient and user-friendly websites.

cto-ai-software-development.jpg
May 05, 2023

How AI-powered software development is changing the role of the CTO

As AI-powered software development becomes increasingly commonplace, CTOs must prepare themselves to take on a new set of responsibilities that require more than just technical know-how.

build-mvp.jpg
April 17, 2023

How to build a minimum viable product (MVP)

The MVP is the version of a new product that allows Blocshop and your team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least amount of effort. The essence of your core idea is delivered as a barebones solution. The solutions is, however, sufficient for usage by early adopters. As a product, it has tangible qulities that express a look and feel.

ai-tools-developers.png
March 21, 2023

10 AI tools for developers you should know about in 2023

For developers, programmers, and data scientists, AI coding solutions can free up thinking time, allowing such professionals to focus on the fundamentals of their projects, and complete such projects much faster.

web-app-ideas.png
February 14, 2023

17 Ideas for Web Apps in 2023

Gazillions of web apps and ideas for web apps are floating around the metaverse - so creating one that properly represents a unique brand is a huge challenge. Our list provides a number of areas of simple app ideas to help businesses transform their online presence through a web app.

Top 15 micro-SaaS ideas for your startup in 2023.png
December 06, 2021

Top 15 micro-SaaS ideas for your startup in 2022

What exactly do we mean by micro SaaS? Micro Saas solutions use a web browser or mobile app interface. Micro SaaS solutions usually come about through the effort of an individual or very small team. It aims to solve precise problems. Micro SaaS projects have small budgets and overhead. Customers use Micro SaaS solutions on a monthly or yearly subscription basis. Micro SaaS projects target a small niche of the consumer market.