Agile vs Waterfall… Which is Best for Your Business?
Oct 24, 2022
With 89% of enterprises already adopting a digital-first business strategy (or preparing to), the ultimate question for teams is: which strategy should they use to deploy and streamline each solution? And while there are multiple methods for businesses to choose from, it often comes down to two main contenders—agile development and the waterfall methodology.
Agile vs Waterfall: What’s the difference?
Alright, agile vs waterfall… let’s get straight to the point. While similar in the sense both map out projects in clearly defined stages and help teams reduce IT burnout, the two methods have distinct differences worth noting…
Agile Development: Agile Development is an iterative (continuous), cost-effective approach to technology development that quickly and thoroughly nurtures applications' delivery from start to finish—including applying updates, integrating legacy systems, and monitoring vulnerabilities. Workflows typically consist of these stages…
• Planning project requirements/sprints
• Developing the solution
• Testing and monitoring software
• Planning and delivering project iteration
• Reviewing and implementing feedback
Rather than just following task timelines, agile development places projects into “sprints,” each with a defined duration and a running list of deliverables planned and prioritized by value. The scrum approach is perhaps the most common type of agile development as it provides repetitive updates and repairs through specialized scrum teams.
5 Business Benefits of Agile Development:
1. Transparency/Engagement: Agile development teams collaborate closely with businesses by providing detailed daily reports and incorporating staff in every sprint step. Updating, monitoring, and giving feedback increases staff engagement and trust to deliver more secure, high-performing software.
2. Faster Delivery: Using time-fixed schedule sprints, agile helps update and deliver legacy and new technologies quickly and securely. This allows teams to release and beta test software earlier and measure business value to see if it is worth further investing.
3. Cost-Effective Projects: Since agile sprints follow a fixed duration, the cost for every project step is more predictable than most models. Combined with accurate estimates provided before each sprint, teams can easily understand the cost of features.
4. True Business/User Value: By allowing teams to determine project priorities, specialists apply what is essential and deploy the most valuable features first. Staff can also review user history to define product features and focus on real users' needs.
5. Secure By Design Solutions: By continuously updating, testing, and monitoring applications and technologies, agile teams help provide businesses with clarity on any security holes or vulnerabilities within their infrastructure.
Why Choose Agile?
More businesses are switching to an agile methodology for clear client involvement. As sprints are finished, staff can review updates daily. Agile also helps teams deal with the many negative aspects of project planning (e.g., budget, scheduling & project scope). By restructuring and monitoring new solutions and legacy systems, agile streamlines objectives in a business-focused manner.
The Waterfall Methodology: Compared to Agile and other methods, waterfall is a more linear, traditional approach to software development that works in several defined stages…
• Collect and record requirements
• Design the solution
• Coding and unit testing
• System performance testing
• User Acceptance Testing (UAT)
• Review results and fix issues
• Deploy finished solution
Each development phase in the waterfall approach typically finishes before the next one starts. There is also generally a stage or “break” between phases for staff to review and approve future processes.
5 Business Benefits of the Waterfall Methodology:
1. Straightforward Project Structures: The waterfall approach uses clear, defined steps to allow straightforward, cost-effective models. The fact teams must complete steps before moving on helps fully develop each phase and prevents zero roadblocks.
2. Intuitive, User-Friendly Systems: Unlike most methods, waterfall allows staff to freely access and supervise systems. Waterfall’s accessibility makes it one of the most intuitive, user-friendly systems available, especially since its structures promote team consistency.
3. Strict Project Timelines: Waterfall’s development cycles follow strict project deadlines. Every phase provides a clearly defined start and ends for teams making it easier for supervisors to manage progress and ensure tasks are completed as anticipated.
4. Reinforced Testing/Security Habits: Waterfall’s secure model uses an outlined strategy that includes scheduled testing steps. These tests allow teams to understand and structure best practices into solutions before work starts and create an organized, disciplined approach that reinforces proper security habits.
5. Clear End Goals: One of the key benefits of using the waterfall approach is that it follows pre-established goals that teams strive to achieve. These clear end goals mean teams focus on the details of daily activities as each step evolves.
Why Choose the Waterfall Methodology?
Many companies choose waterfall project management because it's structured, often predictable, and clearly describes how projects move through each phase. Managers like the waterfall approach for smaller projects because it provides minimal unforeseen complications, and it allows them to quickly communicate the project's state.
In Conclusion: Waterfall vs Agile – Which is Best for YOUR BUSINESS?
By choosing the agile route, teams can have full transparency on every implementation stage and can rest knowing they have the support they need to keep networks up to date 24/7. For shorter, more clearly defined projects that require little upkeep, teams can look to the traditional waterfall approach, where they can also have clarity on sprint progress and deadlines.
Whether a solution needs constant monitoring can be difficult for businesses to determine. And while in the past it’s worked launching new technology and letting it run on occasional updates, our new digital environment has made constant surveillance of networks and specific solutions necessary, especially for cybersecurity’s sake. For assurance on which solutions need monitoring and which are prone to future vulnerabilities, consulting with an expert before deploying is suggested.