20+ Differences Between Agile and Waterfall

Both the Agile and Waterfall methodologies are standard ways to manage project delivery. Even though they are both quite common in the field, different activities bring out the best in each.

The primary distinction between Agile and Waterfall is that the former promotes the team working concurrently on different project stages.

At the same time, the latter is a linear style of working that demands the team to finish each project phase before moving on to the next.

Comparison Between Agile And Waterfall

DefinitionIn contrast to Waterfall’s strict regimentation, the more flexible Agile methodology was developed. Therefore, it is a more adaptable method of handling projects. Agile was designed to be a malleable process that can accommodate late-stage course corrections and consider stakeholder input at any point.In projects where the final product is known from the start, the linear approach of the waterfall methodology works best. All previous deliverables must be completed successfully to move on to the project’s next phase.
Categorization“Sprints” are shorter time periods that are used to split the whole of the project’s life into manageable pieces to manage the project more successfully. This is done to complete the project.At each stage of the process, the many processes that go into software creation are completely unique and have no parallels with any other processes that have come before or will come after them.
ApproachThe process is carried out in phases, and each one calls for an extraordinarily high degree of care and specific attention paid to the particulars of what is being done at that stage.The output that is eventually created by the Waterfall design method may be developed using a sequential design process, leading to the development of that output. This is because the sequential design process leads to the development of that output.
MethodologyIt is common knowledge that the adaptability of a system is given a large amount of weight in the assessment process when the agile approach is used.It is possible that the Waterfall technique, which is a methodical approach to software production, could be perceived as being excessively prescriptive at certain points in time. This is because the Waterfall technique is quite systematic. This is because one of the methodologies that might be used is the Waterfall approach.
Project typeIn business, the phrase “agile” most often refers to a collection of diverse business processes that, despite their autonomy, are related to one another. This is the case regardless of whether or not the processes may be considered autonomous from one another.As a component of the overall plan, it is envisaged that the development of the program would occur simultaneously over a considerable number of sessions. The overall strategy will do this.

What Is The Difference Between Agile And Waterfall?

What exactly is Agile⚡?

During developing software, an agile approach is a collection of methods that encourages fast iteration.

In this paradigm, the process of development and testing happens continuously rather than in a sequential manner, as it does in the Waterfall model.

Because of this strategy, more open lines of communication can exist between all relevant parties, including the consumers, the programmers, the managers, and the testers.

Key Difference: Agile

  • Each sprint ends with a review of the test plan. The requirements are subject to change and evolution during the agile development process. 
  • Agile ushers in a new way of thinking about products, one in which the final software release adapts to the preferences of its target audience. 
  • Favors tightly knit, tightly coordinated, and highly focused small teams. The product owner and their team should prepare requirements daily for the project. 
  • The QA/QC team can easily take part in the requirements rework. Changes to the project’s description can be made at any point in the software development life cycle (SDLC). 
  • As a result of the team’s collaborative efforts, individual project managers are unnecessary. Projects are developed in “sprints” or time periods. It’s done in stages. 
  • The Agile methodology is highly adaptable. Agile can be thought of as a large number of smaller projects. Testing is done at the same time as development.
  • Agile is a highly adaptable process that permits alterations to project development requirements after the initial planning has been finalized. 
  • Due to the iterative nature of the agile development process, phases such as planning, development, and prototyping may reappear in subsequent software releases.
Features Of Agile Methodology

What exactly is Waterfall🌊?

One common method for handling projects is the Waterfall Model, often called the Linear Sequential Life Cycle Model. Another name for this model is the Analytic Hierarchy Process (Agile) Model.

The Waterfall Model stipulates that to proceed to the next stage of a project, each preceding stage must first complete its own set of development tasks and tests before moving on to the next stage.

Key Difference: Waterfall

  • During the testing stage, discussions about the test plan are uncommon. Once work on a project has begun, no modifications can be made to its specifications. 
  • This approach shines in situations with well-defined needs; no room for scheduling maneuvering is anticipated. 
  • Following the “Build” phase is the “Testing” phase in this methodology. This model exemplifies a project mentality by concentrating solely on the task. 
  • This method, which involves obtaining a risk agreement at the outset, mitigates risk in firm-fixed-price contracts. There is a severe lack of sync among team members. 
  • Before a project’s kickoff, business analysis gathers and documents the necessary requirements. The test makes it hard to initiate new requirements. 
  • With the waterfall approach, every step of the software development life cycle (SDLC) is easily understood and managed by the project manager. 
  • The stages of developing software are clearly defined. The Waterfall method is a sequential approach to developing a product. 
  • Since Waterfall is a structured approach to software development, it is oftentimes quite rigid. The software development process will be managed as a unified whole. 
Features Of Waterfall Methodology

Contrast Between Agile And Waterfall


  • Agile – Throughout the SDLC phase of any project, the Agile approach advocates for constant communication between the development and testing teams.

    In contrast to the sequential nature of the waterfall paradigm, testing and development in an agile environment happen simultaneously.

    Customers, programmers, testers, and managers can all work together effectively because of the agile methodology’s emphasis on open dialogue. The Agile technique divides the work into smaller “iterations for big projects.”
  • Waterfall – When it comes to managing models, this strategy is among the ones that have been around the longest and have shown to be the most trustworthy.

    As a direct outcome of the sequential structure of the process, the completion of each stage of the development process is marked by an evaluation of the work that has been completed up to that point. When needs are straightforward and straightforward, the waterfall technique shines.

✔️ Pros:

  • Agile – Specifically, this is a client-centric procedure. In this way, the customer is always kept in the loop. Because of their high motivation levels and autonomy, agile teams are more likely to provide superior results in software development.

    Using an agile approach to software development guarantees that standards will be kept high. The method relies entirely on small, steady improvements. Because of this, both the customer and the team are aware of the status of each task.
  • Waterfall – Because of how simple it is to use, it is a popular model. Each phase includes defined deliverables and a review procedure because of the nature of the work.

    It is most effective for projects of a manageable scale with straightforward criteria. Reduced time needed to complete the job. There is a clear record of the procedure and the outcomes. The approach is flexible enough to accommodate changing tea.


  • Agile – For less substantial construction jobs, this strategy is not practical. Having an expert present at the meeting to make crucial choices is essential. Compared to other development approaches, the cost of adopting an agile approach is minimal.

    Lack of clarity on the part of the project management on the desired objective increases the likelihood that the project may veer off course.
  • Waterfall – This paradigm is not optimal for a substantial-scale project. A less efficient strategy is one in which the necessity is not obvious from the outset. Modifying earlier stages requires a lot of work and effort.

    After development is completed, testing may begin. Therefore, it’s likely that flaws may be uncovered late in development when fixing them would be costly.


  • Agile – Due to the adaptability of the Agile methodology, it is possible to adjust the requirements for the project’s development after the project’s basic planning phase has been completed.

    This can be achieved since Agile is an iterative style of project management.
  • Waterfall – When work has already begun on a project, it is no longer possible to adjust the requirements that need to be satisfied or the constraints that regulate the effort because these aspects are no longer up for negotiation.

    This is because once work has begun, these aspects are no longer subject to negotiation. This is because there is no longer any option to make these modifications, which is why this situation has arisen.

🛠️ Development approach:

  • Agile – Because the Agile software development process is an iterative one, certain stages, such as planning, development, and prototyping, may go through multiple iterations over the course of the lifetime of a software project.

    This is because some of these stages, such as the development of the software, are iterative in nature. This is a result of the fact that each stage was designed with the goal that it would progressively become more effective.
  • Waterfall – The Waterfall technique calls for just one round of review to be performed at each stage of the development process of a project.

    In contrast, various approaches may be used, some of which may need many rounds. This incorporates several stages, some of which include the planning phase, the phase of coding, and the phase of testing, among others.
Comparison Between Agile And Waterfall

Read More Related Articles.. 👇

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. Which method, Agile or Waterfall, is more effective?

If the timeframe for the project is set in stone and cannot be altered, the result of a waterfall project will be more predictable.

Agile is the best option in this situation since it emphasizes taking action and constructing things rather than following strict procedures, which is essential if you have limited time to complete the project.

Q2. Is Scrum a waterfall technique or an agile methodology?

When it comes to putting Agile into reality, one of the most popular process frameworks is known as Scrum. Additionally, it constitutes a subset of the Agile framework.

It is a paradigm for creating iterative software incorporating incremental methods into a larger framework.

These procedures are a component of a larger framework that uses multi-functional teams to achieve goals and respond to changes in conditions.

Q3. What exactly is Agile, and how does it function?

Regarding project management and software development, the iterative approach known as “Agile” allows teams to deliver results to customers more rapidly and with fewer complications.

The Agile Software Development Group developed agile. A “big bang” launch is not the only option for an agile team; rather, they release their work in incremental steps that are manageable and not overwhelming.

Q4. Are there any notable distinctions between the iterations of Waterfall and Agile?

One of the most common blunders that agile teams make is that they end up transforming each Scrum sprint into a miniature version of a waterfall.

This is a risk that is often associated with agile teams. To put it another way, they accept work but postpone testing until the conclusion of the Sprint, which often results in a greater amount of carryover than work that is really performed.

Q5. What is the one rule that must be followed absolutely no matter what in a scrum?

Collaboration is seen as the most efficient technique to produce the highest quality result that can be created in Scrum. Therefore, working together and being honest is really important.

Scrum team members are expected to be transparent about their progress and any obstacles they may face rather than nervously trying to play down any issues that may arise.

Differences Between Agile And Waterfall Model

Similar Posts:

Was this article helpful?

Leave a Comment