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Agile vs Waterfall - Difference between Agile and Waterfall Model

These two terms are widely used in the field of software engineering. There’s a bit of confusion among those attempting to grasp the two terminologies. To clear up the confusion, we will try to explain each terminology in detail in this blog.

Below is a list of topics, and we will elaborate on each of them:

To understand the distinctions between Agile and Waterfall, watch this video:

Waterfall vs Agile

The Waterfall approach and the Agile model of software development are compared in this article. By reviewing this study, you may be able to determine which model is best for your own software development project.

Software development, like any other business activity, has certain objectives that must be met within a specific time range.

These software development objectives can be attained in a number of ways. The two most well-liked software development methodologies are “Waterfall” and “Agile.”Let’s dive deeper and examine each software engineering concept individually.

What is Waterfall Model?

The Waterfall Model was the initial Process Model that was presented. Another name for it is the “linear-sequential life cycle model.” It is really simple to understand and utilize.

A waterfall model has no phase overlap; each stage must be accomplished before the next one can begin. The waterfall model serves as the initial iteration of the SDLC for software development.

A waterfall model is a sequential approach to software development, as the name suggests.

Similar to how water gradually descends from a higher elevation to a lower one in a cascade, the production cycle advances sequentially from one stage to the next.

The Waterfall model was first proposed by Winston W. Royce in 1970 as a viable approach to software engineering.

The Waterfall model specifies the number of concurrent phases that must be completed one after the other.

The transition to the next stage only takes place after the previous phase has been completed.

The waterfall approach is very important when working with large systems since it is predictable and meticulously develops the architecture and structure of the software system.

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What is Agile Model?

Agile is a software development methodology that uses brief iterations of one to four weeks to build software progressively while aligning the development process with evolving business needs.

Agile embraces a process of regular feedback where a usable product is delivered after 1 to 4 weeks of iteration.

As Agile is quite different from a single-pass development of 6 to 18 months when all the requirements and hazards are anticipated in advance.

In order to reduce the issues associated with traditional software development techniques, agile software development methodologies were established.

Software development projects use a variety of Agile methodologies, including Scrum Master, Extreme programming, and Kanban.

Agile methodologies emphasize cooperation between clients and developers and promote self-organization in development teams. Different Agile practices can be used by teams in their projects to accomplish this.

Compared to a plan-driven approach, agile software development is a more flexible method of developing software. The capacity to modify requirements during any stage of the software development cycle is an example of this flexibility.

Agile methodologies emphasize cooperation between clients and developers and promote self-organization in development teams.

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Difference Between Agile vs Waterfall

Let’s compare agile vs waterfall comparison in-depth to have crystal clear knowledge in their respective arenas.

Requirements definition    Complete requirements specified as the design develops.    Specified conditions prior to beginning design or development, defined.
Planning ApproachWith a heavy emphasis on upfront planning.    The waterfall model uses defer planning approach for as long as possible.  
Scope controlExpected scope change and expansion to address user needs.    Controlling scope is crucial for keeping costs and schedules under control.
Project Mgt ApproachEmphasis on flexibility and adaptability to satisfy business needs.    Emphasis on control of cost and schedules.    
Development ProcessThe project development lifecycle is divided into sprints.The process of developing software is broken down into various stages.

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Agile Advantages and Disadvantages

Every entity in this world has both a positive and a negative side, so we must choose carefully by weighing their advantages and disadvantages in accordance with our needs.


Let’s give a glimpse at the benefits of Agile that will help you comprehend the many aspects this methodology offers:

  • Flexibility/Adaptivity

An Agile/Scrum approach is ideal for situations when it is highly challenging.

If not impossible, to precisely describe the requirements and design for the solution in detail before the project begins we use Agile.

  • Creativity/Innovation

An Agile/Scrum strategy prioritizes creativity and innovation over planning and control.

Agile tends to hinder creativity and innovation, in order to optimize the business value of the solution.

  • Time-to-Market

An Agile/Scrum strategy usually leads to a quicker time-to-market because of reduced startup times and an incremental development effort.

It will allow early delivery of at least a piece of the solution without having to wait for the solution to be fully developed.

  • Greater Quality

In an Agile/Scrum project, quality is a continuous process rather than a separate step. Quality is not “someone else’s duty,” according to the developers.

  • Employee Satisfaction

Since they are more driven to take ownership of their roles as members of an empowered team, an Agile strategy should result in better employee satisfaction from all participating workers.

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Let’s lookout for some drawbacks of Agile that will help you to understand the various cons provided by this methodology:

  • Training and Skill Required

To successfully deploy an Agile/Scrum approach, a significant amount of training and expertise is needed.

Many project teams try to implement Agile/Scrum mechanically without fully comprehending the underlying principles.

Since they don’t fully appreciate the requirement for training and expertise, which is often ineffective.

  • Organizational Transformation

In order for an Agile/Scrum approach to be successful, there may need to be some organizational transformation.

It calls for the development team and business users to collaborate in a spirit of trust and partnership. That might necessitate removing some organizational obstacles that prevent or make it difficult to achieve that.

  • Scalability

Scaling an Agile/Scrum strategy to big, complicated projects is challenging. Scrum-of-Scrums, LeSS, and SAFe are a few models for doing that, but none of them is a cookbook solution that is simple to adopt.

  • Project/Program Management Integration:

There are various methods to construct a hybrid strategy that combines a traditional plan-driven approach and an Agile/Scrum approach in the proper proportions to meet the scenario.

An Agile/Scrum approach may not be entirely ideal for projects that require a more plan-driven approach.

Waterfall Advantages and Disadvantages

We must carefully pick by balancing the advantages and disadvantages of many options in light of our needs because everything in our world has both good and negative sides.

We’ve seen the benefits and drawbacks of Agile; now is the time to learn about the Waterfall approach, which will make it simple for you to distinguish them apart.


We should now move further to comprehend the range of characteristics that this technique offers, and look at the benefits of the waterfall model:

  • Each stage of development must be finished before moving on to the next one.
  • Fits smaller projects where the prerequisites are clearly stated.
  • Before finishing each stage, they should conduct quality assurance tests (Verification and Validation).
  • Every stage of the software development cycle involves extensive documentation.
  • With minimal client involvement, the project is entirely dependent on the project team.
  • Any software modifications are made during the development procedure.


In order to better grasp the numerous downsides offered by this methodology, let’s look at some of Waterfall’s disadvantages:

  • Error can only be corrected during this phase.
  • It is not a good idea for complicated projects where the necessity is always changing.
  • The testing phase begins rather late in an evolutionary process.
  • Developers and testers spend a lot of time on documentation.
  • It is not possible to incorporate client comments into the ongoing development phase.

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We hope that this blog helped you understand the main differences between these common techniques. Although the Waterfall model vs. Agile model is not a “magic bullet” or a fix for every issue you might encounter, if it is used wisely in the appropriate circumstances, it provides significant benefits that can easily exceed the drawbacks.

If you have any doubts or queries related to Agile, get them clarified by industry experts in our Community!

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