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What differentiates Agile from the Waterfall methodology?

What differentiates Agile from the Waterfall methodology?

The Answer

Agile and waterfall are two distinctive methodologies of processes to complete projects or work items. Agile is an iterative methodology that incorporates a cyclic and collaborative process. Waterfall is a sequential methodology that can also be collaborative, but tasks are generally handled in a more linear process.

1. Agile

  • It separates the project development lifecycle into sprints.
  • ‌It follows an incremental approach
  • ‌Agile methodology is known for its flexibility.
  • ‌Agile can be considered as a collection of many different projects.
  • ‌Agile is quite a flexible method which allows changes to be made in the project development requirements even if the initial planning has been completed.
  • ‌Agile methodology, follow an iterative development approach because of this planning, development, prototyping and other software development phases may appear more than once.
  • ‌Test plan is reviewed after each sprint.
  • ‌Agile development is a process in which the requirements are expected to change and evolve.
  • ‌In Agile methodology, testing is performed concurrently with software development.
  • ‌Agile introduces a product mindset where the software product satisfies needs of its end customers and changes itself as per the customer's demands.
  • ‌Agile methdology works exceptionally well with Time & Materials or non-fixed funding. It may increase stress in fixed-price scenarios.
  • ‌Prefers small but dedicated teams with a high degree of coordination and synchronization.
  • ‌Products owner with team prepares requirements just about every day during a project.
  • ‌Test team can take part in the requirements change without problems.
  • ‌Description of project details can be altered anytime during the SDLC process.
  • ‌The Agile Team members are interchangeable, as a result, they work faster.
  • ‌There is also no need for project managers because the projects are managed by the entire team.

2. Waterfall

  • ‌Software development process is divided into distinct phases.
  • ‌Waterfall methodology is a sequential design process.
  • ‌Waterfall is a structured software development methodology so most times it can be quite rigid.
  • ‌Software development will be completed as one single project.
  • ‌There is no scope of changing the requirements once the project development starts. 
  • ‌All the project development phases like designing, development, testing, etc. are completed once in the Waterfall model. 
  • ‌The test plan is rarely discussed during the test phase.
  • ‌The method is ideal for projects which have definite requirements and changes not at all expected. 
  • ‌In this methodology, the "Testing" phase comes after the "Build" phase 
  • ‌This model shows a project mindset and places its focus completely on accomplishing the project. 
  • ‌Reduces risk in the firm fixed price contracts by getting risk agreement at the beginning of the process.
  • ‌Team coordination/synchronization is very limited.
  • ‌Business analysis prepares requirements before the beginning of the project.
  • ‌It is difficult for the test to initiate any change in requirements.
  • ‌Detail description needs to implement waterfall software development approach.
  • ‌In the waterfall method, the process is always straightforward so, project manager plays an essential role during every stage of SDLC.