Project Planning In Software Development: Agile vs. Waterfall

In the world of on-premise or outsource software development, agile vs waterfall methodology has remained a topic of debate. . However, it is equally acceptable that no matter the project timeline, conditions, requirements, or development limitations, there is always a methodology to work with. To choose either model, it is essential to objectify your priorities and expectations from the software development project.

Introduction To Agile Methodology

The Agile method of software development refers to the practice of continuing the development iteration and conducting testing throughout the process. In Agile, the activities of developing and testing are concurrent, unlike Waterfall. An added benefit is fluent communication among the remote or outsourcing software development services providers, developers, clients, etc.

Agile software development process accommodates the incremental throughout the project. If you are not sure about the final product and if you need to make further adjustments later, then this is your best option. It is a segment of the rapid application development cycle and newer conventional methods (Waterfall).

It has an array of advantages such as:

  • This process is entirely client-focused, and clients are involved throughout the project development stages
  • The team is self-organized, highly motivated, and determined to provide outstanding results for the project
  • This methodology is based on the project’s incremental progress
  • It assures maintainance of the quality of project development

Introduction To Waterfall Methodology

The waterfall method of software development projects refers to following a  sequential order only. It is also known by the name Linear Sequential Life Cycle Model. It is called this because the project team only moves to another level of the development phase if the previous tasks are completed successfully. It can be considered as a step-by-step process.

The waterfall software development process operates under the label of ‘inside vacuum’. It is because as a developer, you can enter the details of the requirements of the project and await the outcomes. If you are sure that there will be no  change to the final project later and follow a highly-disciplined process, then Waterfall is highly reliable. It is often referred to as a traditional or conventional approach towards the software development process.

Its advantages are:

  • It is effortless to manage and implement because of its simple nature
  • Every stage or phase software development project has its specific review and deliverables
  • It is fast and has quick adaptability with the shifting
  • It works well for small scale projects because of their faster understandability

Of course,both of these methods have certain disadvantages.  Like for Agile, the iterative nature can often lead to several refactoring issues. Similarly, the Waterfall is not sufficient for large-scale projects.

Agile And Waterfall In A Nutshell

Agile and Waterfall are exceptionally different methodologies for the software development process. Each one of them caters to meet the unique requirements of the project based upon the priority and its features. In most cases, it means that both the solutions are mutually exclusive of one another. This is crucial when you’re  hiring outsource software development teams for your project. Based upon this co-relationship, they are categorized under the below-mentioned parameters for a better understanding:

  1. Based Upon The Project Size
  • Agile: Agile software development methodology emphasizes on excelling in the project on a large scale. In this model, the huge project is segmented into smaller chunks, and it increases drawing to all the parts. It ensures the quality of the final project.
  • Waterfall: This model is suitable for smaller projects because it has a structured process that is specially designed for easy-to-understand and simple projects.
  1. Based Upon The Quality And Delivery Time
  • Agile: It extensively emphasizes on the quality of the project development life cycle. But it is done at the expense of time. The project timelines are usually derailed along with extending the project stretches.
  • Waterfall: This model is strict with the timeline, and very often, it is done at the expense of quality. Waterfall sticks to the project timeline at any cost.
  1. Based Upon Involvement And Autonomy
  • Agile:As Agile allows for a higher level of involvement, it is categorized as more involved. The clients or developers looking for frequent feedback prefer this method.
  • Waterfall- This methodology requires minimal feedback at every stage of the software development project cycle. Hence it is categorized as autonomous. It is suitable for the client or developers seeking minimal involvement.


Technically, the selection of either Agile or Waterfall method is referred to as organizing the work model for software development projects. None of these options is entirely advantageous or fruitful over the other for choosing outsourcing software development services. Your choice will depend upon the circumstances and your requirements.