Agile vs. Waterfall Development

Software development

When it comes to software development, you may have heard the terms agile vs. waterfall development. Not sure what they are? No worries, because we will cover both methodologies and compare and contrast the two so you can get a better idea of both.

What is the Waterfall Development Methodology?

Also known as Linear Sequential Life Cycle Model, this is a model that only moves to the next step of the development when the previous step has been completed. The team develops and tests each step of the design thoroughly and when the step has thoroughly been completed, the team moves on to the next step. Waterfall methodology is a step-by-step process that ensures quality but at the cost of time. 

What is Agile Development Methodology?

Unlike the Waterfall Methodology, both testing as well as development are worked upon side by side. This model allows for more communication between all the parties involved, i.e., developers, customers, managers, and testers. Furthermore, this model is collaboration-centric, which means that communication is the key here, and the tasks are broken down into smaller tasks which are then given a deadline to finish by. Agile Methodology is more flexible than the former, as it allows for the scope of the project to change once the development has started. 

What are the benefits of Waterfall Development Methodology?

Some of the key benefits of Waterfall Development Methodology are as follows:

  • This method is one of the simplest to use. Each step has precise objectives and an evaluation process because of its nature.
  • It tends to work well for small tasks with simple to understand specifications.
  • Quicker execution
  • The method and output are well recorded.
  • Capable of adapting equipment method
  • This Methodology for managing project constraints is effective.

What are the benefits of Agile Development Model?

  • The customer process is focused on. This ensures that the customer constantly participates during all phases.
  • Agile groups are highly self – motivated so that the development plans can produce a better outcome.
  • This method ensures that development quality is maintained, and the process is based entirely on progress. 
  • The customer and team, therefore, know exactly what is or isn’t complete. In the development process, this decreases the risk.

Drawbacks of the Waterfall Development Method

  • Not the perfect model for a complex project.
  • It’s a less efficient method if the requirement is not clear at the start.
  • Changes in the previous phases are very hard to move back.
  • After the development has ended, the testing process starts. Therefore, there are high opportunities for bugs in development that are costly to fix afterwards.

Differences between both the models


  • Well-known for its flexibility
  • Project development life cycle is broken down into individual milestones
  • Follows a step-by-step approach
  • The entire development can be viewed as an amalgamation of different tasks
  • Is flexible, and can be changed should the need arise
  • The members of the Agile Team work quicker and are thus interchangeable. Project managers are also not needed, because the whole team manages the projects
  • Agile development model works with time & equipment or unspecified funding exceptionally well. In fixed-price scenarios, it can increase stress.
  • Agile incorporates a product perspective in which the software satisfies its customers’ needs and changes according to the requirements of the consumers.
  • This methodology is a repetitive development approach and may be used several times due to these phases of planning, development, prototyping and other software development.


  • Isn’t as flexible and is rigid in nature
  • Each step of the development is broken down into different phases
  • Is a sequential design process
  • The entire development model is viewed as a single complete project
  • Is rigid, and cannot be changed or tweaked once the project has started
  • This model displays a vision of the project and focuses entirely on the achievement of the project
  • Decreases risk in the company’s fixed price contracts by obtaining an initial risk agreement.
  • The Waterfall model once completes all the project development phases such as design, development, and testing.
  • The process is always straightforward in the waterfall method, so the team leader plays a vital part in every phase of SDLC.

Agile vs. Waterfall: The Bottom Line

After deciding between agile vs. waterfall, it can still be a little tricky to assess how well a solution will work for you. Here’s what you can do to make sure you make the best decision. 

  • Use trial versions and explore all the available features.
  • Ask a lot of questions from the sales team and make a list of what you need vs what a particular software has to offer
  • Find software reviews online and see if there are any red flags. Customer reviews are sometimes more informative than the software reviews posted on different websites.

Sunvera can help you implement the right software solution for your business while helping you reduce costs and improve operational efficiency. Contact us for a FREE 2-hour consultation.