Contrary to the linear waterfall model, agile is quite flexible which facilitates innovated methodologies which possesses insufficient successful outcomes. While waterfall is rigid in its lifecycle and only condones modifications at the sixth phase; the agile philosophy permits sprints or iterations to access flexible scope requirements that adapt to changes. This customer centric structure’s main focus is geared towards abbreviated work cycles towards the purposed product.

Agile vs Waterfall

The initial phase consists of a vision for the application. This means distinct phases are demolished to allow the output of each iteration within the project to progress and transform in accordance to the end user’s specification. Teams are compiled to work mutually with the investor to ensure the prototypes. Proof of concept, and/or additional visual resources align. Specifications for requirements for iterations, development of code, defines and run incorporated test scripts, and the users results authentication are collectively determined by the team to deliver what the customer wants. Instead of verifying in the fourth phase as waterfall does, verification within agile occurs within the iteration. This allows fine tuning early in the production to eliminate unnecessary steps and ensures precision within the design plan.

Once the project is approved, Pre-Iteration Planning ensues. Teams create an overall goal for the iteration bases upon a range of features. The highest priorities are nominated from the release plan in which lower priority features can be selected for a later iteration. Ideal man hours (story points) determine the rate in which work is completed. If a team planned for 50 ideal man hours to complete a project, however, only successfully worked 40 hours, then 40 hours will be considered the current rate for hours worked for the next iteration. When prior rates estimations are matched to actual numbers, they define the future rate which is beneficial to iteration levels, feature level, and task levels. Investors or customers will deliberate features with the team and answer any questions the team may have in regards to the project.

Once the features have been defined, the team will then break each feature into tasks for teammates to do. Then, developers recruit for tasks and define their estimation of ideal man hours which can span a few hours to a few days.

Iteration adjustments are in order if any remaining time is permitted once the features have been released. Investors/customers can isolate any further features to be included to the iteration. If it becomes apparent not all features can be included, then collaboration on which features can be postponed or divided in accordance to its value by the deadline.

Copyright © 2014 Margaret Hillary. All Rights Reserved.

Agile Waterfall


Changing requirements. Linear – No leeway for change
Scope Change Flexible scope requirements that adept to changes Intractable scope requirements
Experience Better for new requirements, technology, or even a new company Better for tried and true processes/protocols.
Resources/Dedication All resources (people) are accountable for their own work Dedication is not necessary
Resources/Physical Location local Local and/or distributed network
Customer Involvement Customer involvement Not very involved
Timelines Flexible constricted
Documentation Streamline Needs to document everything
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