Agile vs Waterfall

One of the first decisions that has to be made when beginning a project is which Development Methodology should be used, which will suit the project best? Development Methodology is the way the Web Development process is organised and the way the process is done. The two most popular methodologies are Agile and Waterfall.


What is Agile?

Agile – in Web Development is a way of working flexible. The idea of Agile, is that everyone involved in the project (- including the Client and Business team), stay involved from start to finish. This way, any problems or bugs can be dealt with as soon as possible. By working Agile, weekly meetings take place where tasks are discussed for the following week. Tasks can then be ordered by priority and tasks are time estimated so important bugs and fixes can be looked at whilst developing the site. A testing phase should still take place at the end of the Development phase.

One of the most popular ways to do things the Agile way is the Scrum framework. This framework defines roles, responsibilities and meetings that can take place throughout the process.  Scrum is best known for it’s fast-paced sprints. Another way of working Agile is Kanban. Kanban allows you to work through the whole process, while visualising the process. This can be done in programs such as Jira or Trello.


What is Waterfall?

The Waterfall Method, follows a strict process, where each stage is finished before the next one will begin, and all bugs and fixes would be looked at towards the end of the process. By working waterfall, some Bugs and Fixes were looked at that late in the process, that some projects were seriously delayed. A benefit of working Waterfall is that almost all decisions from the client and developers, are agreed at the beginning of the process meaning planning and designing can be more straight-forward and this can create clear deadlines throughout the process.

A con to the waterfall method is that the Client doesn’t always really know what they are wanting. As all requirements are needed to be gathered at the start of the process, this can be risky as clients may want changes to the project which can cause problems for the Waterfall method.


Which is Best?

Only you can decide this. Which would suit your Project, Team and Clients the best? The choice between them can be summed up as Flexibility vs Stability. Agile is best if you want to gather requirements as you work through the process – working flexible, and don’t want to follow strict deadlines. Waterfall is best if you would prefer to follow Strict Deadlines – with stability, the client knows exactly what they want and the defined requirements are not likely to change.