Agile Vs Waterfall: Key Difference Between Methodologies

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Agile vs Waterfall are two very popular software development models used in today's corporations and technology companies. Let’s learn about the main differences between the methods.

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For any contemporary software developer and IT start up, blockchain software development is becoming more and more crucial. However, blockchain software production still lacks a disciplined, organized, and mature development process. In this article, we present two methods, agile vs waterfall development, for solving blockchain software development problems. 

Are you aware of the distinctions between agile vs waterfall, and have you thought about which is ideal for your company?

Don’t chase waterfalls—unless you’re looking for a project management approach. The waterfall methodology is a popular framework method that teams have been using for years. But that’s not the only way to do things, and may not be the best way, depending on your team’s needs.

In this post, we will cover the differences between agile vs waterfall methods, including the pros and cons of each.

An Overview: Agile Vs Waterfall Methodologies

What is Agile Methodology?

Surely, many people have heard about the Agile development model, but really do not know how Agile is a development method.

Here, I will explain in detail the meaning of agile development.

The Agile methodology is a way to manage a project by dividing it into several phases. It involves continuous collaboration with stakeholders and continuous improvement at every stage. Once work begins, teams cycle through a process of planning, implementation, and evaluation. Ongoing collaboration is critical, with both team members and project stakeholders.

Therefore, with Agile, the application is released with a few high-priority features in the first iteration. Once released, the end user or customer gives you feedback on the performance of the application. Necessary changes were made to the app along with some new features and the app was released again, this is the second iteration. This process is repeated until the desired software quality is achieved.

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What is the waterfall methodology?

The waterfall method is an age-old technique that has effectively helped develop and deliver a wide range of software projects. It has been in use for a relatively long time and is therefore also known as the traditional project management approach.

We often use the waterfall approach when the scope of the project and requirements are fixed and known before the project starts. Both the customer and the developer analyze the requirements and plan the development process accordingly. Developers follow a guided and fixed software development lifecycle that cannot be changed midway.

The different phases of the software development process here include:

  • Requirements gathering
  • Planning
  • Development
  • Testing 
  • Deployment

The waterfall model focuses only on adhering to predefined timelines. There is no scope for requests for additions or changes. The role of a project manager is to plan and execute a project from start to finish. They are responsible for the related decision-making and successful completion of the project.

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Agile and Waterfall Methodology—Pros and Cons

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Pros and Cons Waterfall Methodology

Pros:

  • Everyone understands the objectives and deadlines.
  • You have a plan, so you won’t have any surprises with the final product.
  • Potential choke points can be researched and taken care of before any programming starts.
  • Defined budget (so no surprise here either).
  • Since all the scenarios are detailed in the documentation, testing is simpler.

Cons:

  • Clients may find it challenging to articulate their needs in terms of a functional specification.
  • Rigidness.
  • Longer delivery time.

Pros and Cons Agile Methodology

The focus of agile, in contrast, is on people rather than the process, software rather than documentation, and flexibility rather than rigidity.

Pros:

  • Flexibility.
  • Accepting uncertainty and understanding that it is not possible to know everything before programming starts.
  • Fast review cycles.

Cons:

  • The majority of individuals are unaware of what it means to be agile.
  • Too much flexibility can lead to anarchy.
  • Not every business is prepared to make the switch to Agile
  • Unpredictability.

7 Key Differences Between Agile And Waterfall

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We will compare the differences between the waterfall vs agile methodologies through the following important parameters:

Flexible

It is important to know how flexible the model you have chosen is and how easy it is to change requirements during development. With waterfall, there is practically no flexibility when the development phase starts, because then you will have to stop and start everything from scratch or redo a lot of things depending on what changes you want to make. 

Meanwhile, the Agile method offers much more flexibility. If the requirements suddenly change, you can deploy them in the next iteration, in most cases. Of course, everything depends on how the requirements change.

Ease Of Setting And Keeping Deadlines

With Waterfall, every deadline is clearly set. This does not necessarily mean that they are always met. But there is definitely more predictability with Waterfall than with Agile. With Agile, it is much harder to set and predict deadlines because you never know exactly how long the project will last, whether new features will be implemented, etc.

Testing

We all know how important software testing is. With Waterfall, testing happens only at a later stage. This often leads to a delay in the final release because at this stage many bugs and issues are identified that require a long fix and lead to delays. With Agile, testing happens in every sprint, allowing for much faster identification and resolution of technical problems.

Predictability

Waterfall and Agile offer different levels of predictability in terms of schedules, resources needed, and more. While unexpected circumstances can disrupt everything and render your predictions worthless, there is no doubt that Waterfall offers better predictability than Agile. It is much simpler to set deadlines and estimate the resources required with the former than with the latter. In most cases, you can never accurately calculate the total number of resources required for an Agile project.

Documentation

Documentation is not required in Agile development, but if it is an effective method of communicating information, documentation should still be created.

In contrast, with Waterfall, a document needs to be created for each process and connected to the next. In addition, documents also serve as evidence of the project after the whole process is completed. 

Quality Of Development

Agile generally provides a much better quality of development as every feature or critical part of the product goes through a complete development cycle with testing, etc. This ensures that every part of the product works perfectly. Unfortunately, Waterfall cannot compete with Agile in terms of quality.

Client’s And User’s Engagement

Waterfall and agile offer different levels of user and customer engagement. With waterfall, customers are involved to a considerable extent before development takes place and after deployment. Users usually only join after the first release. However, with In agile, both stakeholders are heavily involved in the entire process. This allows for better product quality to be achieved, satisfying both the product owner and the user.

Which One Is Better For A Blockchain Business? Agile Vs Waterfall.

There is no clear winner here. Agile cannot be compared to Waterfall, and vice versa. It really depends on the project and the level of clarity around the requirements.

You can say that a Waterfall is a better model if you have a clear picture of the final product. Also, if you know that the requirements won’t change and the project is relatively simple, then Waterfall is for you. This method is a simple, effective process if you are not expecting to deal with change.

Agile is superior when you don’t have a clear picture of the end product, when you anticipate changes at any stage of the project, and when the project is quite complex. Agile can respond to new, evolving requirements at any point in the project, while Waterfall cannot go back to a finished stage and make changes.

Choosing the right blockchain development method for your project varies by use case. We understand that not every project can be developed the same way. Based on the information about Agile vs Waterfall, I think blockchain projects can use the same principles as agile or waterfall projects, depending on the development team or the company. Because PMs can use blockchain when managing digital records and contracts such as contract management, document control, system verification, and more! 

Conclusion 

Agile vs waterfall both have their own perks and boundaries, but they both have their uses in each case. We hope that this article helped you understand the right way to assess what best suits your needs and helps you better manage your projects when collaborating with a development agency to create great products.

 

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