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Agile vs Waterfall management methodology

Agile and Waterfall project management methodologies and systems have been around for decades. Numerous discussions related to the choice of an appropriate methodology for product development or project management lead to an analysis of both approaches.

The article briefly outlines the main advantages and disadvantages of both systems, although disadvantages should not be taken as a literal feature that is not well developed in the system, but rather refers to a poor application in a particular case.

What is Agile methodology?

Japanese terminology is more focused on the way project managers think than on the processes themselves. What you need to know about the two concepts “Waterfall” and “Agile” is their essence, pros and cons.

Their names describe the process of work they represent. The “Waterfall” concept comes from programming and is a step-by-step, linear execution of the steps in the project process. It cannot move to the next level of development if the current stage is not fully completed.

What is Waterfall project management

Depiction of a traditional “Waterfall” concept.

Pros of Waterfall project management are that Waterfall is one of the easiest processes to manage, works great for small projects helps to speed up the project, the processes are well documented, easy reassignment of people in teams.

Unfortunately, the Waterfall methodology does not give good results when larger projects are developed. If there is a need to rework a step, it is very difficult to go back because the process is linear.

Unlike this concept, “Agile” is the joint development of the project, ie at all stages work simultaneously and coordinate their actions. Allows simultaneous development and testing, which in turn eliminates the need to go back to fix bugs. Agile encourages constant communication between the customer and the team as well as communication between developers.

The advantages of Agile methodologies

  • It focuses on introducing the client to the process.
  • The teams working on this structure are highly motivated. They usually give good results.
  • The teams focus on the iteration process, which means that the production practices are repeated until the stage is completed. This gives constant information (feedback) the client and the team know how far they have come, what has been done and what lies ahead.
  • All stakeholders are informed about the progress of the project

Cons of Agile

Impossibility to implement in small projects, there is a need for an expert in the role of a Product Owner to make important decisions for the project. The cost of implementing this method is higher.

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