Difference Between Agile and Waterfall (Full Details)

The methodologies of agile and waterfall are two different ways to finish tasks or projects. Agile is an iterative methodology with a collaborative and cyclical process. Although tasks are typically completed in a more linear way, waterfall is a sequential methodology that can also be collaborative.

Agile and Waterfall

What is Waterfall methodology?

The sequential-linear approach to software development serves as the foundation for the Waterfall methodology, which is a software development methodology. The Requirement Gathering & Analysis, System Design, Implementation, Testing, Deployment, and Maintenance stages are the ones used to categorize all software development activities in the Waterfall paradigm. Each of these steps is carried out in the specified order.

Advantages of the Waterfall Approach

  • It is one of the simpler models to operate. Each phase has particular deliverables and a review procedure because of the nature of the process.
  • It works best for smaller projects with clearly defined criteria.
  • Quicker completion of the project
  • Results and processes have been well-documented.
  • Simple technique for switching teams
  • For managing dependencies, this project management methodology is useful.

Disadvantages of the Waterfall Approach

  • It is not an effective strategy for small development initiatives.
  • To make significant decisions at the meeting, you need an expert.
  • When compared to other development methodologies, the cost of implementing an agile process is slightly higher.
  • If the project manager is unclear about the results that are desired, the project may quickly go off course.

What is the Agile methodology?

Agile methodology is based on an incremental-iterative process in which the needs of complicated projects are broken down into smaller iterations involving cooperation between the various project stakeholders. A deliverable is created, examined, and shown to the client during each iteration.

Advantages of Agile Model

  • It’s a client-centered model.
  • Improve the outcomes of development projects
  • Assist in maintaining development’s quality
  • Lower the development process’s risk.

Disadvantages of Agile Model

  • For small development initiatives, not recommended
  • Require professionals to make important judgments
  • The cost of implementation is rather high.
  • The project frequently veers off course.

Comparison Table (Agile vs Waterfall)

Basic TermsAgile MethodologyWaterfall Methodology
Project ScopeChanges are simple to make within the allocated time and budget.Changes can be challenging because of the contract limit.
TeamworkRequires a small to medium-sized team to work together very well.Engage huge teams, which lowers the coordination level.
End UsersCustomers are involved at every stage of the projectAt each milestone’s completion, clients are welcome.
Key FeaturesFeatures are given first priority, and problems can be fixed quickly.Features are not prioritized, which results in total failure.
FeasibilityHeavily reliant on feasibilityindependent of feasibility
FundingIncreased funding will make the strategy effective.The strategy is successful because of reduced fixed funding.

Key Differences Between Agile and Waterfall

  • While waterfall divides the project into milestones, agile divides it into sprints.
  • While waterfall approaches use a sequential design process, agile approaches use an incremental technique.
  • While waterfall is a systematic process that is typically rigid when it comes to making adjustments, agile is highly adaptable.
  • Agile project descriptions can have their specifics changed during the SDLC process, however waterfall project descriptions used for software development cannot.
  • For easier coordination, agile methodologies typically call for small teams, whereas waterfall methodologies call for huge teams, which raise the chance of failure.
  • While waterfall testing occurs after the achievement of a certain milestone, agile involves testing during software development.
  • In comparison to waterfall development, the test plan can be easily reviewed when using the agile methodology.
  • While waterfall initiatives followed a defined plan, agile projects often use an iterative development method.
  • While waterfall is better for smaller projects, agile is better for larger projects.
  • While the agile methodology is extremely effective, the waterfall paradigm is less effective.
  • Implementing the agile paradigm costs more money than using the waterfall approach, which is less expensive.
  • It is difficult to scale large projects using the waterfall methodology. While scaling up projects is simple when using the Agile approach.
  • While waterfall models only test once at the beginning, the agile model tests continuously.


Why Agile is preferred over Waterfall?

Flexible. Agile is flexible and welcomes adaptation, experimentation, and changes in course—even in the project’s later stages. The budget is typically more adaptable as a result. Waterfall is best suited for projects with a clear end objective because it is a linear project evolution.

What are the disadvantages of Agile?

5 Key Disadvantages of Agile Methodology

  • Poor resource planning. …
  • Limited documentation. …
  • Fragmented output. …
  • No finite end. …
  • Difficult measurement.

Why waterfall model is best?

Teams must follow a set of stages in a waterfall process, never going on until each phase is finished. Smaller projects with clear-cut deliverables from the beginning are best suited for this structure.


When it comes to software development, both the agile and waterfall methodologies are beneficial. The little variations have no impact on how they function.

The waterfall approach is most appropriate for projects with a well defined plan that don’t include any adjustments throughout the process.

The agile technique, on the other hand, encourages project detail changes that can take place concurrently with development.

Please share with us your preferred methodology for software development in the section below.