From few basic principles to a complete body of knowledge, project management has evolved significantly over the past decade. Ask any project manager who have managed projects over the course of the decade and they will tell you that project management has come a long way and they have witnessed it all.
When managing projects, one of the first question that pops up in your mind is which project management methodologies you should choose? With so many of them around, the choice of project management methodology usually depends on the nature of the project.
In this article, we pit two of the most popular project management methodologies agile vs waterfall and help you in identifying which ones you should choose for your project.
Difference Between Agile vs Waterfall
Agile Project Management Methodology
Agile project management is an iterative, team-based approach to software development that has trickled down to project management. It focuses on rapid delivery of output and is great for dynamic teams. Agile methodology focuses on bringing continuous improvements and gives flexibility to make changes during the project.
Advantages of Using Agile Project Management Methodology
Here are some of the advantages of using agile project management methodology.
- Flexibility to change
- Predictable Cost
- Continuous Revenue Stream
- Feedback at Every Iteration
- Client engagement and satisfaction
Time is one of the major constraints in project management. Agile help you get up to speed with project delivery cycles. Thanks to its iterative nature, you can get ahead of the schedule with regular releases. Moreover, you can deliver a prototype and improve on it.
Flexibility to Change
The biggest advantage of using agile project management methodology is that it helps you make changes even if you are in the middle of a project.
You can reap the benefits of stakeholder involvement which leads to better visibility and transparency. This way, client knows what to expect from the project and does not set unrealistic expectations.
With agile project management methodology, you can implement new changes without spending too much. Even if the scope of the project blows out of proportion, the project costs remains fixed, which is a big plus of using agile project management methodology.
Continuous Revenue Stream
Unlike other project management methodology, the iteration-based model followed by agile ensures continuous cash flows for companies.
Feedback at Every Iteration
Regular feedback on each iteration is a hallmark of agile project management methodology. Due to this, you can make continuous improvements on every iteration thus, helping you deliver a refined final product.
Client Engagement and Satisfaction
Client get a sense of ownership when they are deeply involved in a project. This automatically increases client engagement and client satisfaction level.
Disadvantages of Using Agile Project Management Methodology
Here are some of the disadvantages of using agile project management methodology.
- Agile is not an ideal choice for busy clients as it demands their constant involvement in the process which they can not give.
- Agile methodology works best when all members of your team are located at the same physical location. It is not a great choice for remote teams.
- Constant changes to the projects can lead to changes in scope which makes the project harder to complete within the specified deadline.
- With shorter cycles and iterations, there are chances that you won’t be able to deliver the output in allocated time.
- Less attention to planning and testing phase could lead to bugs and errors slip through to the final release undetected.
Waterfall Methodology Model
Waterfall model is a linear software development model that comprises of seven different phases.
- Requirement gathering
Advantages of Using Waterfall Methodologies Model
Here are some of the advantages of using waterfall model methodologies.
- Measuring project progress is easy.
- Customer involvement is not required except for reviews, approvals and status meetings.
- Easy transfer for information.
- Determine the end goal early.
- A clearly laid out structure.
Disadvantages of Using Waterfall Model
Here are some of the disadvantages of waterfall model.
- Waterfall model don’t allow you to make changes once the phase is over.
- Delay in testing after completion of the phase.
- Lesser client involvement required.
- Exclude the end user from the process.
Which One You Should Choose?
After telling you about pros and cons of both, you can easily decide which project management methodology your must choose. It usually comes down to the nature of the project. For instance, if you have to complete a project inside a tight deadline and a low budget and the clients are asking for changes in the middle of the project then agile project management methodology might be a better bet. On the other hand, if your project has a set pattern and revolves around milestones then waterfall model might be a good option.
Which project management methodology would you choose and why? Feel free to share your answers with us in the comments section below.