Organizations often deal with a common question- agile vs. waterfall methodology; which one to choose? While one of the methods typically focuses on multi-year projects, huge teams, and multiple business units, the other takes care of adaptability, scalability, and quick value realization. In this article, you will learn why the agile approach is better than the waterfall methodology. Keep reading this write-up from tip to toe, thus uncovering a lot of potential insights related to the topic. Delve deeper without any further ado.

Waterfall is a traditional software development process in which systems development is seen as a linear sequence of tasks from requirements gathering to deployment. When we use this approach, sometimes it feels like the project only moves forward once every issue is resolved, and no problems are found during each phase.

Now, let’s take a look at the Agile model. The Agile approach comes with iterative and incremental cycles where developers try to deliver new features regularly and work on some features simultaneously with others so they can progress in developing an application or system.

What is the Agile Approach?

It is one of the most used project management frameworks that tend to break down the project into dynamic phases. These phases are also referred to as sprints. It is an iterative methodology. The Agile project plan template consists of the following steps:

  • Plan
  • Design
  • Develop
  • Test
  • Deploy
  • Review

Take a quick look at the four pillars of Agile:

  • Individuals over tools and processes
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Responding to change by following a plan

Check out the Agile principles stated below in this article at a quick glance:

  • Satisfy your consumers via continuous, early delivery and improvement
  • Welcome different changing needs and requirements, even if the project is a late one
  • Deliver value on a frequent basis
  • Consider breaking the silos of the given projects into several parts
  • Build your projects around a motivated person
  • Try to communicate face-to-face since it is the most effective process
  • The primary of progress is a working software
  • Try to maintain a working space that is extremely sustainable
  • Through continuous excellence, you will be able to enhance your agility
  • Simplicity is essential
  • Form a self-organizing team so that you can generate the most value
  • Adjust and reflect on your work on a regular basis, thus boosting the effectiveness

Check out the benefits of Agile methodology:

  • These methods are extremely adaptable
  • Agile tends to foster collaborative teamwork
  • It focuses on customer requirements and needs

Go through the Agile methodologies:

  • Kanban
  • Scrum
  • Extreme Programming
  • Adaptive Project Framework
  • Extreme Project Management
  • Adaptive Software Development
  • Dynamic System Development Method
  • Feature Driven Development

What is the Waterfall Approach?

The waterfall approach also referred to as the Waterfall model, is a development procedure that is sequential in nature. It tends to flow like a waterfall via different phases of a project, such as analysis, development, design, and testing. Thanks to the Waterfall software, you can now carry out the following tasks:

  • Organize tasks
  • Structure the procedure
  • Take care of project progress
  • Set up schedules and charts

The common stages in a Waterfall procedure are:

  • Requirements
  • Design
  • Implementation
  • Testing or verification
  • Maintenance or deployment

Some of the crucial perks of the Waterfall Model include the following:

  • The needs are stated accurately and clearly
  • Detailed documentation
  • Transparency and easy control
  • Careful planning of the development structure

Difference between Agile and Waterfall

Take a look at the table given below:




Life Cycle

Continuous iteration life cycle model

Linear sequential model


Highly collaborative

Least flexible



Rigid structure


Divided into sprints

Broken down into phases


Changes can be incorporated later

Room for changes are less

Software Development

Collection of several projects

Single project


It is performed in the same iteration as building or programming

Building phase is followed by the testing phase


Agile is best for those projects that involve changes and requirements

Suitable for projects that come with well-defined requirements


It focuses on paving the way toward easy approach for both customer satisfaction and team interaction

It focuses on processes and products

Customer satisfaction

It involves customer participation

Doesn’t involve customer participation

Reasons to choose Agile Over Waterfall

Hopefully, you are now quite aware of both Agile and Waterfall methodologies. Let’s hop into the main discussion of the topic now. Explore the reasons stated in this article:

  • Agile is less prone to error

Waterfall methodology relies on initial requirements. If these needs are not documented precisely, it can make the overall process extremely difficult. This is why professionals choose Agile over Waterfall. Here, the needs and requirements are confirmed and cross-checked throughout the process.

  • It paves the way toward a predictable end product

In the Waterfall methodology, the product is tested at the project’s end. Failure to capture the customers' requirements in the initial stage of the process can pave the way toward major risk factors. It might persuade you to make arrangements for an extra budget. This is not the case with Agile testing. Here, the customer gets the scope of checking the product. By using Agile, you can now finish your project right on time.

  • More flexible

In Waterfall methodology, making changes after the completion of the project might look like a real task. On the other hand, Agile focuses on constructing a working version of the project. It enables the customers to witness the working version. In Waterfall, the customer is required to outline their preferences upfront.

  • More customer involvement

Agile considers their customer to be an important part of its implementation team. On the other hand, Waterfall spends a lot of time with their customers at the beginning of the process.

  • Faster feedback

In the Agile framework, frequent demonstrations and check-ins are involved. By boosting the overall pace of the process, smaller teams can now get faster customer feedback. As a result, implementing the new changes and satisfying the needs and requirements of their clients is extremely easy. Since Waterfall doesn’t involve customers, there is less possibility of getting feedback.

In this present scenario, Agile project management is typically preferred over the Waterfall project management process. If you currently own a small business or a start-up, opting for Agile will be your best bet. Since it prioritizes customer satisfaction, you can rely on this process with your eyes closed. According to research, it is quite evident that nearly 57% of agile projects have led to generating higher customer satisfaction.