Agile vs. Waterfall: Which is the best methodology for software development?

Varun Bhagat

Which methodology is the best fit for your business? Agile or waterfall? Before you make a decision, consider each of these development methods to see which one will be the most beneficial to your company's goals and help you stay on track with your projects. Check out our infographic here to learn more about how each method works and when it might be appropriate to use each type of process in order to avoid costly missteps that can cause your business problems down the road.

What are Agile & Waterfall Models?

The Agile & Waterfall Models are two types of models that help you plan out your software development process. Both models have their own advantages and disadvantages, but both are very different from each other. With each model, there are benefits that can help speed up production, but it’s still important to have your project management organized so you can effectively follow one model or another.

Advantages of Agile Model

The Agile Model focuses on bringing products to market quicker and with greater value, which ultimately leads to better customer satisfaction and retention. Agile helps software developers on hire handle changes more effectively and easily than other models and allows for increased focus on feature prioritization, continuous improvement, and sprints. The fast-paced nature of agile development also keeps your team motivated and passionate about their work, which translates into top-notch quality products.

With each release cycle being no longer than a month, teams are able to measure outcomes every step of the way, making it easy to take action in response. It’s an optimal model for start-ups that need quick feedback from users—and are willing to make necessary adjustments or pivot along the way—which can dramatically reduce risk when compared with waterfall projects. And because user data is readily available in agile environments, it can be helpful in closing knowledge gaps between business stakeholders and customers at all stages of product development.

Disadvantages of Agile Model

Although Agile has some good points, it also has some drawbacks too. To begin with, it can be difficult to see where you are in relation to your deadline since many iterations are done during a sprint. Another drawback of agile methodologies is that they sometimes fail to use documentation effectively and as result decision-making may be flawed. Finally, customers can become frustrated if their input isn’t valued or taken into account by developers using agile techniques.

Advantages of Waterfall Model

What are some of the advantages of waterfall methodologies? One main advantage of waterfall methodologies is that they make it easier to separate out different groups involved in a project; because tasks are laid out in a linear fashion, it’s easier to see who’s responsible for which step. Another big benefit of waterfall methodologies is that they help keep projects on schedule; since everything happens in order, you can easily set deadlines and keep track of how much time you have left to complete your project or research paper.

Disadvantages of Waterfall Model

The main disadvantage of using a waterfall approach for developing software is that it doesn’t offer much flexibility in dealing with changes that often occur throughout an application’s lifecycle, especially when many iterations are involved. It can also be difficult to get everyone to follow strict processes when there are lots of meetings and document-signing processes to deal with each time there’s a change order.



Over time, both Agile and Waterfall have proven to be successful in their own right, so choosing one over another boils down to your unique project needs. If you’re looking to build a large-scale application that requires months or years of upfront research, it might make sense to go with a waterfall approach—and vice versa. Or if you’re building an app in which design has been hammered out beforehand, Agile might be better suited to meet your goals—and that’s OK! There’s no need to rush into making a decision because ultimately what matters most is choosing a process that works for you.

For better guidance, you can also consult a software consulting company. They are equipped with a professional setup, the latest infrastructure, and the latest technology to provide you with the best services.

Varun Bhagat
Zupyak is a free content platform for publishing and discovering stories, software and startups.