Before beginning any development project, the most crucial decision to create is how to reach the project as a team. Formulating this decision can get active due to the two main development procedures at play. In simple words, a development methodology infers how the real tasks of a project are overseen and acted on.
Agile and Waterfall
The two central development methodologies are agile and waterfall. They are generally applied to software development, and hence, project management as well. The fundamental difference between agile and waterfall is that waterfall projects are done sequentially, on the other hand, agile projects are completed iteratively in a cycle.
Both the agile and waterfall processes take their own set of benefits and drawbacks. Overall, both can be useful to a software development team. Which one to select is highly dependent on the type of project and situations.
Let’s move further to understand the differences between agile vs waterfall. We’ll move forward to the pros and cons of each approach, and examine why more companies are using the agile methodology today.
The waterfall method to software development is highly sequential and can be halted down into seven various phases. There is a fixed-line of phases, each following the other, that requires to be finalized one by one. The second phase cannot be begun until step one has been finished.
The phases of the waterfall method are as follows:
Conception: It is the idea stage when creators decide what they need to design and why.
Initiation & Analysis: This stage includes collecting and documenting what the software development project will need. It includes requirements of system and software for the product or project.
Design: In this phase, creators determine how they want their piece of software to function and determine which pieces are essential to code.
Construction & Coding: This stage encompasses coding each unit of the software and checking it along the way, as well as integrating units according to the software architecture from the design level.
Testing: This includes testing the software system-wide, it may comprise testing of user and bug, and going back through to rectify any particular issues.
Implementation: In various cases, this means providing the ‘finished’ product to the consumer or rolling out the system-wide software.
Benefits of the Waterfall Methodology
- There is a precise and clear understanding of the project timeline and deliverables before the project starts. The entire scope of the project is agreed upon by the development team and their consumers in advance.
- Each phase of the method is reported in detail to eradicate any misunderstandings or shortcuts.
- It does not always take all of a development team’s time and attention. Relying on the phase, individual team members can concentrate on other elements of their work.
- This approach enables a more hands-off strategy from the customer. Once the first design and project plan is in place, there is a small requirement for ongoing consumer existence until the review phase.
There is no solitary approach to software development that will function every time, for every team. There are some drawbacks to the waterfall approach that are given below:
- A hands-off strategy is not acceptable for every type of product. Some consumers will like more involvement as the project proceeds. If there is not a framework for that interest, the waterfall approach could run to frustration on both ends.
- The full point of the waterfall method is that it follows clear steps and a fixed timeframe. Once these components are in place, it can be tough to make modifications once the development team meets a roadblock. Adaptability is a significant part of software development to consider, especially since it can be difficult for consumers to have a full understanding of the project before it starts.
- Furthermore, one of the drawbacks of waterfall vs. agile is that it is not time-bound. While this can frequently create an effective project, more often than not development projects begin to move behind schedule. The ultimate testing phase hence gets rushed, which could lead to extremely buggy code.
The primary difference between agile vs. waterfall might be summed up by explaining that the waterfall method supports planning, while the agile method supports involvement and adaptability.
There are numerous different flavours of agile advancement that all share some fundamental similarities. These include:
- Extreme Programming (XP)
- Lean Software Development
Agile Unified Process
The agile method has two core components i.e. teamwork and time. Rather than building a timeline for one huge software development project, agile breaks the project into single deliverable pieces. These ‘time-boxed’ stages are named ‘sprints’ and last barely a few weeks. Once each sprint is finished, the feedback from the prior phase is utilized to plan the following one.
Now let’s look at the core beliefs of agile development. With this team and time-sensitive technique, there are various core principles that any agile development project will pursue.
Agile development emphasizes the significance of being able to improve design, requirements, architecture, and deliverables along the way.
Because of the continual modifications in design and deliverable units, agile software development needs a close alliance between the customer and the development team.
Agile development values creating the end product as modest as possible. If the same end outcome can be attained with two steps rather than five, agile development will design the software consequently.
As we comment above, agile values teamwork nearly above all else. Teams must frequently examine how they can become more helpful and regulate the agile project as they go. Extreme Programming claims that developers function in pairs on the belief that two heads are favourable than one.
Agile development takes a very distinct method to time during projects, breaking projects into very minor units of time.
Instead of pushing for quicker deadlines in exchange for an incomplete project, agile development sets value on setting a sustainable rate for software development.
Unlike waterfall approaches where there is a different testing stage, agile approaches demand testing through every stage of the project.
Agile Development Benefits
The advantages of agile development have everything to do with consumer satisfaction and the conclusion of the development project. The agile method can be an adjustment, but that function probably is worth it for the right development team.
- Taking an agile method to develop enables and encourages consecutive engagement between the development team and the consumer.
- Agile allows stakeholders to fix deliverables by order of significance. In other terms, if a consumer likes to release the vital software before the entire suite, this is exactly what agile permits.
- We spoke of adaptability above as an important element of agile improvement, and it is also one of its crucial advantages. As consumers get a better idea of what they desire out of the software, the development can modify planned sprints accordingly.
- Since clients can give feedback after each sprint, products developed utilizing the agile method frequently end up being very user-friendly.
Like any solo method to development, agile may have disadvantages for certain settings. With planning and a devoted team, these added challenges can be conquered.
- Unlike waterfall, agile development only functions well when the whole development team is dedicated to the project for the duration. This may be a challenge for some development firms that have a ton going on at once, and may even substantiate challenges for particular developers.
- While time-boxed sprints enable planning, it is often possible that few deliverables will not be attained on time. It’s a modest truth of development projects. Building the essential additional sprints may mean a higher project cost for the consumer.
- Since agile expects a high level of collaboration, development projects utilizing this method will also need a high level of communication.
So, these were the significant differences between agile and waterfall in terms of benefits and drawbacks.