THE KEY DIFFERENCES BETWEEN WATERFALL AND AGILE


Which do you feel most comfortable working with? Agile is not about tools or terminology – it is about communication and consistent, incremental improvement of both process and product. Any methodology, even Waterfall, needs to be customised to work with your team.


Some key differences between Waterfall and Agile are outlined below:


Waterfall

  • Requirements are detailed upfront and then work is completed for each phase.

  • Project phases are usually long-term therefore not permitting unplanned changes.

  • Everything is set on what was agreed at the start of the phase which creates an inability to respond to change.

  • Upholds goal-driven behaviour.

  • Suitable for work environments that are stable and predictable.

  • Has rigorous adherence with command, control and power being key features.

  • Teams tend to be mid to large in size and as a result have reduced coordination.

  • Customer participates at selected milestones throughout engagement.

  • Contracts are fixed-priced and binding therefore appear to reduce financial risk to client, however this is misleading as a product will be produced but likely at a higher cost than the contract, and not actually what the client needs at that point in time.

Agile

  • Communication and collaboration are key and a vital focus.

  • Is flexible, dynamic and phases are short-term (incremental) – plan changes are welcomed daily with emphasis on continuous improvement which is particularly suitable for plans when scope is not known upfront.

  • Boosts creativity and innovation.

  • Upholds purpose-driven behaviour.

  • Suitable for both predictable and unpredictable environments.

  • Is fast and dynamic – undertaking a daily scrum facilitates this.

  • Tasks are prioritised by business value and delegated.

  • Teams are small, coordinated and self-managed.

  • Customer participates continuously throughout engagement.

  • Contracts are not fixed, decreasing financial risk to client.


So again we ask, with which work environment do you prefer to work?


Image Source: © AGILITYINSIGHTS