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Agile vs Waterfall Project Management

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Project Management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements. In this article, we will see the difference between Agile and Waterfall project management.

Agile Project Management:

Agile is a repetitive project management approach for building software and applications. This method is quick and easy for both small and large projects and includes customer satisfaction in its priorities. This management approach is mostly used in cases when client requirements change frequently. The three main pillars of this approach are as follows:

  • Adaptation
  • Collaboration
  • Customer Satisfaction

Waterfall Project Management:

This is a sequential project management approach that includes a number of phases each covering a separate part of product development. As it is a sequential approach so new phase cannot be started before completing the previous phase and due to this it is really hard to implement any changes after the phase has been completed so it is not suitable for complex projects.

 Agile vs Waterfall Project Management


Difference between Agile and Waterfall Project Management:

Agile Project ManagementWaterfall Project Management
Client input is required throughout the product development.Client input is required only after completing each phase.
Changes can be made at any stage.Changes cannot be made after the completion of a phase.
Coordination among project teams is required to ensure correctness.Coordination is not needed as one team starts the work after the finish of another team.
It is really useful in large and complex projects.It is mainly used for small project development.
The testing part can be started before the development of the entire product.Testing can only be performed when the complete product is ready.
A Small team is sufficient for Agile project management.It requires a large team.
The cost of development is less.The cost of development is high.
It completes the project in comparatively less time.It takes more time compared to Agile.
Agile Method is known for its flexibility.The waterfall Method is a structured software development methodology so it is quite rigid.
After each sprint/cycle test plan is discussed.Hardly any test plan is discussed during a cycle.

Pros and Cons of Waterfall Methodology:


  • Easy to Understand: The waterfall methodology is easy to understand as it follows a linear sequential process that makes it easy for the team to understand the project requirements.
  • Predictability: The waterfall methodology provides predictability, as the project’s scope, budget, and timeline are determined at the beginning of the project.
  • Documentation: The waterfall methodology requires extensive documentation of the project’s requirements, which can help in future maintenance and updates.


  • Lack of Flexibility: The waterfall methodology is rigid and lacks flexibility, making it challenging to make changes in the middle of the project.
  • Inefficient: The waterfall methodology is inefficient, as each phase must be completed before moving on to the next one, which can cause delays in the project’s delivery.
  • Client Involvement: The waterfall methodology does not involve the client until the end of the project, which can lead to misunderstandings and dissatisfaction.

Pros and Cons of Agile Methodology:


  • Flexibility: The Agile methodology is flexible, allowing the project team to make changes and adjustments to the project in the middle of the project.
  • Efficiency: The Agile methodology is efficient, as it allows the project team to deliver working products in small, incremental stages.
  • Client Involvement: The Agile methodology involves the client throughout the project, which can lead to better understanding and satisfaction.


  • Complexity: The Agile methodology can be complex, requiring skilled and experienced project team members.
  • Lack of Predictability: The Agile methodology lacks predictability, as the project’s scope, timeline, and budget are not determined at the beginning of the project.
  • Documentation: The Agile methodology requires less documentation, which can make future maintenance and updates challenging.
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Last Updated : 19 Apr, 2023
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