Demystified: The Key Differences Between Agile And Waterfall Methodologies

Agile and Waterfall are two important Software Development Life Cycle models, and one may require them during the software development phase. However, these two models are different from each other in various ways. For their optimal use, one needs to know every advantage and shortcoming. Before we learn about the difference between Agile and Waterfall methodologies, let us know what they are by their definition.

Agile Testing 

Agile is a testing methodology that follows the algorithm of Agile software. It can be operational at the start of the project with the rapid integration between testing practices and development procedures. 

The agile test plan covers the many testing types conducted during that iteration, including test data requirements, infrastructure, test environments, and test outcomes. Some standard components of agile test plans are testing scope, testing levels or types based on the complexity of the feature, load and performance testing, infrastructure considerations, risk mitigation or risk plan resourcing, and deliverables.  

Waterfall Testing 

When we want to know the difference between Agile and Waterfall methodologies, it is crucial to learn their definitions beforehand. 

The waterfall project management approach emphasizes a straight line from start to finish. Engineers often use a method that places a strong focus on meticulous planning, thorough documentation, and deliberate execution.

The waterfall test covers all the stages, such as requirement gathering and analysis, system design, implementation, testing, system deployment, and maintenance. 

Difference between Agile and Waterfall Methodologies 

Here we will see how these two methods differ from each other. For a successful implementation of these methods, one needs to know profoundly about Agile vs. Waterfall methodologies. 

1. Agile Testing uses an incremental approach as opposed to the sequential design process of Waterfall.

2. In contrast to Waterfall, which is a Linear Sequential Life Cycle Model, Agile is an iterative process for development and testing.

3. A significant difference between Agile and Waterfall methodologies is that the Agile technique is renowned for its flexibility. At the same time, Waterfall is a regulated approach to software development.

4. While Waterfall is a sequential design process, Agile uses an incremental approach.

5. Agile permits adjustments to project development requirements, while Waterfall forbids such changes after project development has begun.

6. Another difference between Agile and Waterfall methodologies is that testing occurs after the 'Build' phase in the Waterfall process. In contrast, Agile executes software testing simultaneously with software development.

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Key Differences Between Agile And Waterfall Methodologies

Agile vs. Waterfall: Pros and Cons

After learning about their fundamental differences, one needs to know about Waterfall and Agile project management, and we can understand it only after we know their merits and demerits separately. So, here are they:

1. Agile Methodology


  1. It provides attention to individuals over tools. 
  2. The agile methodology approach often requires real-time issue resolution over ongoing documentation.
  3. Rather than altering objectives to achieve anticipated outcomes, it more consistently sticks to the set of goals.
  4. Instead of discussing the terms of their contract or the delivery of promised materials under an agile project management model, a team working on a project may opt to interact with other departments or companies.
  5. Agile project managers often favor change responses above rigid adherence to a plan, preferring not to amend contract terms.
  6. Timely delivery is ensured in this method. 
  7. As agile is very adaptable with various product delivery, it is super easy for collaboration. 
  8. The activity is quite transparent and helps to monitor the increased performance. 
  9. Your team will have continuous improvement and reap higher profits.


  1. It may take some time for everyone to become used to the new responsibilities and project management procedures when a whole department shifts from one management style to another.
  2. The agile technique prioritizes numerous objectives at once; therefore, specific goals may not get as much attention during the project.
  3. Documentation is less prioritized in the agile methodology system than responsive planning and advancement. Due to this, specific documentation tasks, such as maintaining records, billing records, etc., may take longer to perform than other tasks.
  4. Since agile methodology strategies focus more on reactive improvement than stages of documented development, recorded success and calculated methodology strategies may not be relevant for the course of the project.
  5. It could be challenging to lead the whole team toward a single objective since the agile technique entails changing emphasis depending on whatever aspect of a project needs the most attention.
  6. Since agile manufacturing relies on continual innovation and customer feedback, the methodology may not be able to predict profits before production begins.

2. Waterfall Methodology


  1. This paradigm is straightforward, understandable, and practical.
  2. The model is consistent, and each phase provides a set of deliverables and a review mechanism to make it simple to implement.
  3. Each stage in this model is completed independently. 
  4. The waterfall model can be a successful testing strategy for smaller projects with well-defined needs.
  5. Since technical documentation is a prerequisite for the initial requirements phase, everyone knows the project's goals. Even during the maintenance period, new programmers might rapidly become proficient.
  6. After defining the criteria, it is possible to predict costs with high precision.
  7. Even before software development begins, the design is worked out in great detail, making the requirements and desired outcome evident to all parties.
  8. Before any programming is complete, potential development difficulties may be investigated and dealt with using this methodology.
  9. Waterfall testing reduces the likelihood of unpleasant surprises in the finished product.


  1. Once an application is in the testing stage, it is pretty challenging to go back and change anything that wasn't carefully considered at the concept stage.
  2. Any useful software isn't produced until the conclusion of the life cycle.
  3. There is a lot of uncertainty and risk.
  4. It is unfit to serve as a design model for complex and object-oriented projects.
  5. Not suitable for projects where there is a high to the moderate likelihood of requirement changes.
  6. After the first consultation, there may be problems with the model's ability to adapt to new developments or changes in needs.
  7. Projects may take longer to complete when employing Agile or other iterative approaches.

To conclude, your company and initiatives will be successful if you choose the proper strategy for the correct assignment and the suitable personnel. Consider your goals and consider if each tactic would help you finish your project. Also, ensure you have comprehensive knowledge of the difference between Agile and Waterfall methodologies to implement the right one in your strategy. 

Also Read: Load Testing In Software Development