Agile and Waterfall are the two distinct methods of software development. As the Waterfall method employs a sequential design process, it is a linear model for software development. The major development stages are conception, initiation, analysis, design, development and testing. On the other hand, the Agile method is an incremental and iterative approach to software design. The limitations of the Waterfall were kept in mind while developing the Agile method. The designers work on the individual models of the design process.
There is no pre-determined action plan for the Agile method. The designers can respond to the changes and make the changes as the project development takes place. Agile is a new player in the industry, but has gained substantial popularity in the last few years.
Before starting the development process, you should think of the software design. Then, you should determine which method is right for you and your project. Do some research and understand the benefits and limitations of each approach. Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of the Agile and Waterfall methods of software development.
Agile provides a flexible design model and promotes adaptive planning and development. It is considered to be freeform software design model that allows the software developers work on smaller modules at a time. If you’re working on projects that have no definite end-goals of the project, Agile can be beneficial. If you have been working with a client whose goals are not well-defined or confusing, you can consider Agile method. The client’s requirements would get clearer as the project progresses. The development can be adapted to meet the new, evolving requirements of the client. Agile is an excellent option for experimental software design.
The main emphasis of the Waterfall lies on the project plan. Hence, before beginning the development process, there has to be a clear plan and a clear vision. The Waterfall method requires upfront, extensive planning. The timetables and budgets can also be estimated accurately that helps to please the clients.
Agile doesn’t have a structure and hence, it becomes difficult to predict the timelines of the project. The budgets cannot be predicted when Agile methodology is used for the software development. Everything remains vague with the use of such method.
As it involves active user involvement, it can be time consuming as compared to the Waterfall method. The designers need to be committed for the duration of the project. If the designers leave the project in the midst of the development, it can be risky as the project is plan-based.
The Waterfall method of software development is considered to be inflexible and rigid. The project design cannot be altered once a stage is completed. So, if you’re planning to use Waterfall, you need to be sure that you gather all the requirements before project initiation.
So, what’s better?
Each method has its uses. Waterfall is preferable for static projects while Agile is a good option for smaller projects in which changes are likely to be made. Though, remember that these are just a few guidelines and suggestions. Choosing the right method for your project is completely your choice. You should understand the pros and cons and select the best one that suits your project requirements.
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