• Waterfall vs Agile Methodology

    While you are thinking about moving forward with development, we can assist you in this important journey of your project.

As a Business Analyst, while working on the Software development project, it becomes a mandate to follow a structured process-oriented approach. The project goal cannot be achieved by scattered processes, teams NOT in co-ordination, Gaps, and miscommunications around, NO Roadmap or NO defined dependencies across the team(s).

Here Waterfall vs Agile Model Software Development Life Cycle – WaterFall vs Agile Approach

Waterfall Model

  • Each phase is the resultant of the previous phase and is completely dependent on the previous one
  • Until the first phase is completely finished, team cannot move on to next phase
  • Scope of changes in the requirements in middle
  • Every stage produces a definite output in terms of either documentation/ Code/Test Cases/Test results etc.
  • Model is well fitted for small projects where the requirements are small and clear at the start as a
  • Any changes in between have to be started from the first phase, hence are costly.
  • Stakeholders can review/view the project only after it’s completed

Agile Model (Scrum)

Agile is a project methodology and approach that is derived using Lean thinking. Agile projects apply “Lean” concepts in the information technology environment. It is the proven project management methodology that encourages the following key concepts:

  • Frequent inspection and adaptation
  • A leadership philosophy that encourages team work, self-organization, and accountability
  • A set of engineering best practices that allow for rapid delivery of high-quality projects
  • A business approach that aligns development with customer needs and company goals

Some of the foundations of agile include the following:

  • Empiricism – Ability to perform, stop, reflect, improve, and continue in a step-by-step process in efforts to increase productivity
  • Prioritization – Deliver work based on value to the business
  • Self-Organization – The team knows best how to deliver the work based on the resources and constraints
  • Time-Boxing – The team is required to complete the assigned tasks within the defined timelines.
  • Collaboration – The team commits to delivering the final products within the given timelines, which will encourage cross-team collaboration and ingenuity in completing the tasks.

Key aspects of the agile project include the following:

  • The Overall Team – Team, Scrum Master, product owner
  • Product Backlog – the ongoing, prioritized list of “to do” tasks and features that are defined by business customers
  • Sprint Planning and Backlog – planning session at the beginning of a sprint to determine the items that the team agrees to take on and deliver as the output of a sprint
  • Stories/Story Board – collection of collective elements, functions, or “features” that are to be delivered within a sprint
  • Daily Standup – daily discussion on what was accomplished, what remains to be done, and obstacles
  • Sprint Burndown Chart – artifact showing progress and work remaining in a sprint
  • Sprint Demonstration – demonstration conducted at the end of the sprint to show product(s) delivered
  • Retrospective – team discussion following the sprint to identify successes and improvement opportunities

Evaluation Criteria to Determine the Best Approach for Your Project

When the project management office is faced with the business case of a project and needs to decide on which project methodology is best to use, there are key areas that need to be evaluated in making this recommendation and some of the key areas to review include:

Project Characteristics:

  • Requirements – how rigid and defined are the requirements?
  • Effort/duration – How long is the planned project duration? >6 months, >12 months, >18 months?
  • Interfacing systems – How many interfacing systems are in scope? How complex are these interfaces?
  • Regulatory compliance – Are there any compliance requirements that provide restrictions or additional requirements for the project team?
  • Project inter-dependencies – How many other projects are running concurrently? What is the impact to the key decision-makers? Are they any overlaps with project resources?


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