February 21, 2018


Project management advice, tips, tools and recommended resources for existing and aspiring project managers.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Agile vs Waterfall

By Kevin Lonergan

Agile and Waterfall are two very different project management methods.  They both have clear pros and cons.  Some people argue that you can mix the two but others say: “you can’t be half Agile” and I have a lot of sympathy for this view.

Waterfall projects cascade through a series of phases with a requirements phase very near the start.  Developers then take this ‘statement of requirements’ and go through design and development.  Waterfall projects are usually delivered in a ‘big-bang’ way.

Agile is different. For more on Agile, read the Guide to Agile Project Management.

Agile does not attempt to define requirements in one go.  Instead, Agile produces the deliverable on an incremental basis and confirms the detail of the requirements around each increment.

Agile-Project-ManagementAgile encourages many practices that are really useful on projects, like:

  • face-to-face communication
  • constant involvement of users in the project
  • close co-operation between developers and users

Some of these things could potentially be used on virtually any project but not every project can produce the end-product incrementally.

To read the full article that expands on these statements and provides a detailed explanation of the most important pros and cons, read the Comparison of Agile versus Waterfall methods.



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