The Waterfall methodology is a software development methodology that is based on the sequential-linear approach of software development. In the case of the Waterfall model, all the software development activities are divided into different phases namely – Requirement Gathering & Analysis, System Design, Implementation, Testing, Deployment, and Maintenance. All these phases are performed sequentially in the given order.
Agile Methodology is based on an incremental-iterative approach where the requirements of the complex projects are divided into smaller iterations involving collaboration between the different stakeholders of the project. In each iteration, a deliverable is developed, tested, and demonstrated to the client.
Difference between Agile and Waterfall
|The waterfall methodology is sequential and linear.||Agile methodology is incremental and iterative.|
|Requirements have to be frozen at the beginning of SDLC.||Requirements are expected to change and changes are incorporated at any point.|
|The working model of software is delivered at the later phases of SDLC.||The working model is delivered during the initial phases and successive iteration of the model is delivered to the client for feedback.|
|It is difficult to scale-up projects based on waterfall methodology.||Scaling up of products is easy because of the iterative approach.|
|Customers or end-user doesn’t have a say after the requirements are frozen during the initial phases. They only get to know the product once it is built completely.||Frequent customer interaction and feedbacks are involved in agile methodology.|
|Waterfall requires formalized documentations.||In agile documentation is often neglected and a working prototype serves as the basis for customer evaluation and feedback.|
|Testing is performed once the software is built.||Continuous testing is performed during each iteration.|
Key Differences Agile vs Waterfall
1. Waterfall follows a sequential approach while Agile follows an incremental approach to software development.
2. Requirements are required to be frozen before development whereas requirements are expected to get changed during the course of development.
3. Testing is performed after the development phase in Waterfall while it can be performed concurrently in the case of Agile.
4. The project is divided into different phases in the Waterfall model whereas the same is divided into different sprints in the case of Agile.
5. Waterfall model brings a project mindset with a focus on successful project delivery whereas Agile brings a product mindset with a focus on product and customer satisfaction.
Choosing between Agile and Waterfall for your Project
There are different factors like customer availability, team size, the anticipation of change, etc which should be considered while selecting the right methodology for your project.
This completes our tutorial of the difference between Waterfall and Agile methodology. You can also refer to our other related tutorials on Agile.
Kuldeep is the founder and lead author of ArtOfTesting. He is skilled in test automation, performance testing, big data, and CI-CD. He brings his decade of experience to his current role where he is dedicated to educating the QA professionals. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.