Waterfall and Agile methodologies such as Scrum

Waterfall and Agile methodologies such as Scrum are popular work models. While Waterfall is a project management methodology, Agile models like Scrum and Kanban are not. They are frameworks.

In this article, we will give a brief description of Waterfall and Agile and the differences between them.

Here is a brief definition of the two methodologies:

Waterfall project management

The project is considered as a whole, certain phases are followed (such as requirements collection, analysis and design, development and testing, system and user tests, implementation) in project management in a specific sequence, which runs linearly and sequentially, each phase of the project ends and only then begins the next one based on the results of the previous one, once in the project the requirements are defined, the client/guarantor of the project sees the finished product only at the end of the project and in strict compliance with the methodology. requirements after their initial definition. Reference: “Agile vs Waterfall Project management and software development with Scrum

Agile methodologies like Scrum

The project is broken down into a set of many smaller projects, each of the smaller sub-projects ending with a working product, which is a demo version of the final product; Reference: “Agile vs Waterfall project management“, https://pgov.org/agile-vs-waterfall-project-management/

Leading in the project management are the people and their commitment to the project, not the processes and deadlines as in Waterfall, at any time the requirements can be defined or changed, the client/sponsor of the project sees after each “sprint” – so call sub-projects – a working demo version of the product and can, based on what he sees, actually, judge whether he likes it or not and make adjustments to the requirements. Reference: “Agile vs Waterfall Project Management”, https://pgov.org/agile-vs-waterfall-project-management/

Here are the main advantages and disadvantages of both methodologies.

Advantages of Waterfall

  • Good structure
  • Easy traceability and easy deadlines
  • Detailed documentation
  • Detailed testing of all aspects of the finished product

Disadvantages of Waterfall

  • Lisa of flexibility
  • It is impossible or expensive to change the requirements
  • In general, the project lasts longer than, for example, the Agile project
  • In general, the project is more expensive than the Agile project Reference: “Agile vs Waterfall Methodology – What are the differences“, https://www.islandjournal.net/agile-vs-waterfall-methodology-differences/
  • Development results are seen at a very late stage

Advantages of Agile

  • Flexibility in a dynamic environment
  • The adequate response to consumer needs
  • Greater employee engagement, part of the project teams
  • Higher efficiency than Waterfall
  • Better opportunity to optimize costs from Waterfall Reference: https://www.businesspad.org/agile-vs-waterfall-difference-between-methodologies/
  • In case of project failure – or elimination of the necessity or applicability of the product – this can be realized at a much earlier stage with much smaller financial losses

Disadvantages of Agile

  • Risk of chaos, difficult traceability
  • Requires greater client/guarantor involvement throughout the project as opposed to Waterfall
  • Probably not the same testing of all functionalities – the last ones added will probably be the least tested
  • Probably not the same documentation of all functionalities
  • It requires closer interaction between people from the teams, which is not always feasible

There is no right or wrong methodology. As you have seen from the above – both methodologies have advantages and disadvantages. It is a matter of choice which is more suitable for our project. Reference: Agile vs Waterfall management methodology, https://www.kosovatimes.net/agile-vs-waterfall-management-methodology/

The Waterfall Methodology is usually preferred for large projects that are difficult to divide into sub-projects, for projects where funding is not critical, and for those where the requirements are clear and unlikely to change during development. Reference: “A Management Educational Library“, https://customessaysonline.net/

Accordingly, Agile is preferred for projects that could be broken down into sub-projects, where customer/sponsor feedback is important at every step and where changes in requirements are very likely to be met to respond to changing customer needs. Reference: Agile, Scrum and Waterfall project management, https://ossalumni.org/agile-scrum-and-waterfall-project-management/

Also, this methodology would be appropriate if there is a risk of project failure because the product is not profitable or there is no need for it as the realization of this can happen at a very early stage in the project with minimal financial losses. Reference: Agile, Scrum and Waterfall project management, https://ossalumni.org/agile-scrum-and-waterfall-project-management/

In my previous e-mail, in which I sent you a written life cycle of the project, I assumed that the project will be conducted entirely on the Waterfall methodology, and I set a small “escape” to Agile, with my proposed step – Creating a prototype of the innovative washing machine before deciding which requirements to keep and which to drop. Ie in our case, although I suggest using Waterfall – we still have a slight advantage from Agile that it is possible to see a working prototype of the product at a relatively early stage of the project and to make adjustments to business requirements. Reference: Agile Project Management includes different subjects and many Agile and Scrum practices as well, but we will discuss here several major topics… https://agileprogramming.org/agile-project-management/

However – there is a risk during the development, which lasts 6 to 12 months, the market will change a lot and customer requirements as well.

When I received the assignment from you, it seemed quite strange to me that even at this early stage the exact requirements for the future innovative product are already known without surveying consumer opinion, what exists in the market, etc., which also carries some risks. Reference: Comparison of Agile, Scrum and Waterfall project management, https://eduwiki.me/comparison-of-agile-scrum-and-waterall-project-management/

It is really good to discuss this before the Board of Directors so that we know what is best for the company and how to present our opinion to the Board. Reference: “MuzoNet, Management and Business“, https://www.muzonet.com/

About the author

I am Amanda Koper and I am a certified project manager, as well as a communications chief in need of information exchange and responsible for stakeholder satisfaction.

I am highly organized and oriented for the benefit of the client, so you can share with me all your exciting questions and ideas, discuss them and improve your quality of work. Reference: “Agile and Waterfall project management practices“, https://mstsnl.net/agile-and-waterfall-project-management-practices/

I can offer my competent opinion on the project and help the work of the teams involved in the development. I would like to organize short meetings after each step to discuss our progress to date, possible problems, or improvements.

I try to make all teams well acquainted with the details of the project so that they can be complete in their ideas and work. The rest of the time, anyone can come to me or call for an opinion or help with a decision. If necessary, we hold our meetings more often. Reference: Waterfall or Agile? What methodology to choose for your project?, https://pm.mba/posts/waterfall-vs-agile/

Each of our teams or yours can count on me to update the progress we have made on the project and, if necessary, provide detailed information, we hope that we can count on you in case of any questions from us.
Most often our needs will be:

  • Additional information about your requirements.
  • Priorities.
  • Contacts of persons participating in the project on your part.
  • Regulated access to systems and technologies.
  • Third parties you work with will benefit us as well.
  • I also suggest that our communication is by e-mail so that we have everything recorded and, if necessary, find it.

One thought on “Waterfall and Agile methodologies such as Scrum”

  1. Scrum is not so much different that Waterfall. You would say I am stupid. But you work to release an “increment”. Stakeholders have plans, you follow product backlog items that are prioritized. The work follows a waterfall approach. Think about it.

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