Which project management methodology should you use? When you plan to do any new project, this question inevitably arises. And it’s a question that gets a lot of discussion and debate. The two main methodologies available today are Waterfall and Agile. 

But which one is best? Which should you use? Well, we have over 20 years of experience in project management and we’ve used both. In this post, we’ll share some of our knowledge with you and show you which may be best for your project. 

What Is Agile?

Agile takes an iterative, team based approach to development. It emphasizes cross-functional teams who develop features in sprints with a very high level of customer involvement. These sprints allow the team to develop the product and features in iterative stages. This means the time to market for the product is much faster. 

What Is Waterfall?

Waterfall takes a linear approach to product development. This means the requirements for the product is gathered and documented, the product is designed and developed, tested, and any issues are fixed. After this, the completed product is delivered to the customer. 

Differences Between Waterfall and Agile

Foremost, the way the product is delivered differs markedly between Agile and Waterfall. Being a linear development model, the waterfall method requires that the product is planned, designed, developed, tested, and delivered to the customer. This means that the product has to be planned out to some detail before development starts.

With Agile, the product is delivered in small iterations with additional features and improvements added as the product is built. This means testing of the product takes place concurrent to development. 

Because of this difference, Waterfall is more structured whereas Agile is more flexible in its approach to software development. This flexibility allows Agile teams to make changes to products during the development cycle where Waterfall teams are not likely to do so.

The flexibility Agile offers over Waterfall also comes at a price, though, with product development using the Waterfall method easier to manage

Which One Is Best?

This is, unfortunately, not a straightforward question to answer. Each methodology offers its own benefits, but also has its drawbacks compared to the other. For instance, Agile is more suitable for larger projects, whereas Waterfall is suitable for smaller projects. 

Ultimately, you have to weigh up all the factors to decide which methodology is right for your project. If you need any advice on which is best for your product or project, contact us and we’ll be able to assist.

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