The waterfall methodology is more traditional for development but it’s losing its popularity. This is because Agile model is now being increasingly adopted by companies worldwide. Innovation is usually attainted through agile method. The most innovative tech companies today Netflix, Uber, Airbnb, IBM, etc use agile methods in the development of their products. “According to a survey sponsored by CA Technologies, companies that have implemented Agile principles into software development and throughout their company have reported a 60% higher revenue” (1) The greatest advantage of agile is that it’s flexible, centered around and focused on improving the quality and gaining feedback from users. Agile allows changes in the project development requirements, even after the planning has been completed.
However the waterfall method does not, it’s linear and rigid, this approach does not require participation of users. It makes sense that agile is the more adopted methodology among top companies. The greatest disadvantage of waterfall is that there is no room for error. Within this method development couldn’t jump between stages. If there is a problem or an unexpected issue in a completed part of the project, you cannot go back and fix it. The whole project would have to start form the beginning, which is extremely difficult time consuming, and expensive.
It is smarter and more agile to test and adapt along the way, instead of waiting until the whole product is finished and adapting. I think of it as being proactive vs reactive. : Agile software development is designed to thrive within even the most dynamic business and technical environments. In fact, according to an article on the Web site of Martin Fowler, a well-known Agile industry leader, the name “Agile” was chosen because its founders viewed “adaptiveness and response to change” as the most essential concept of the methodology.” (2)
- In what circumstance or project would you use the waterfall method for and why?
- Can you think of any major advantages that the waterfall methodology has that agile does not?