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Agile vs. Waterfall Project Management

Last Updated : 25 Apr, 2024
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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.

What is Agile Methodology Project Management?

Agile Project Management 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

Agile can’t process further without the trust among the team members. It needs a better understanding conversation environment with all the team members. Because the conversation is needed regularly for interchanging updates and ideas. That means that the team members need to be confident in their team member’s ability to perform a particular task during those communications.

What is Waterfall Methodology Project Management?

Waterfall Methodology is a sequential project management approach that includes some phases each covering a separate part of product development. As it is a sequential approach, so a 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 Methodology vs Waterfall Methodology

Agile Methodology vs Waterfall Methodology in Project Management:

Agile Project Management Waterfall 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.
The 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.

Agile Methodology principles:

Below are Agile Methodology Principles:

  • Agile is meant to be several steps that need regular feedback.
  • In a project that is divided into smaller parts which is easy to handle by the way of need, which is important.
  • It promotes regular collaboration with the customer who requires better results.
  • Agile principles will be regularly updating the things that help to meet the customer requirements.
  • At the end of the execution, the team will be able to make and respond to any requirements.

Advantage of Agile Methodology Project Management:

  • 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.
  • Agile has a faster feedback cycle.
  • Agile will identify problems early.
  • Agile has a higher potential for customer satisfaction.
  • Agile has better visibility and accountability.
  • Agile makes the dedicated teams to make productivity better time by time.

Disadvantages of Agile Methodology Project Management:

  • 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.
  • Critical path and inter-project dependencies will not be mentioned in Agile which present in waterfall
  • True agile execution has many more dependencies and engineering costs.

Advantage 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.
  • The Design phase is more methodical and well-structured before any software works on the same.
  • clear project phase helps to clearly define the dependency of the team’s work.

Disadvantage of Waterfall Methodology:

  • 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.
  • Risk of time waste due to transition.
  • Extra communication meets overhead during the phase transition.
  • as compared to agile product ownership and engagement may not be as strong.


Agile Project Management is not only beneficial for Software projects it is also for all purposes. Using Agile will help meet the customer requirement at the time of the development lifecycle, Agile allows the team to get a higher quality product that meets the customer needs. Agile will help for improvement as per customer requirements to build accountability and encourage innovation. Agile will give you the ability to respond to any change in any situation and that is the best part of Agile.

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