How Agile Development is Different from Traditional Development?


Traditional development method or most well-known as Waterfall method, is linear and sequential way of software development. In this method of software development progress of a project flows in downward direction, like a waterfall, through the various phases of the software development process. This is the reason its named as the “Waterfall” method.

These phases include requirements gathering, design, implementation, testing, and maintenance. Each phase must be completed before the next one can begin and there is little to no overlap between the phases.

Overview of Agile Method

Agile development method, on the other hand, is a flexible and iterative approach that emphasizes collaboration, adaptability, and rapid delivery. Agile development is typically done in short sprints, with regular meetings to assess progress and adjust as needed. The Agile approach allows for changes and new requirements to be incorporated throughout the development process, rather than waiting until the end.

The Agile method is based on the Agile Manifesto which is a set of guiding values and principles for Agile development. Agile methodologies include Scrum, Kanban, Lean Development and XP (extreme programming).

There are various reasons that made Techies to move forward to Agile method as it help delivering clear goals within managed time-frames.

Some of the Drawbacks of Traditional or Waterfall Method

The traditional development method, also known as the Waterfall method, has several drawbacks that can hinder the success of a software development project. Some of the cons include −

  • Lack of flexibility − The Waterfall method is a linear and sequential approach, which means that once a phase is completed, it is difficult to make changes or incorporate new requirements. This can lead to delays and increased costs if changes are required later in the development process.

  • Limited customer involvement − In the Waterfall method, the customer is typically only involved at the beginning of the project during the requirements gathering phase. This can lead to a disconnect between the customer's expectations and the final product.

  • Limited testing − Testing is typically done at the end of the development process, which means that any issues or bugs may not be discovered until it is too late to make changes. Lack of progress visibility: The waterfall method does not provide a clear view of progress and therefore it is difficult to track progress, predict completion date and adjust resources accordingly.

  • High risk − Due to the lack of flexibility and limited testing, the Waterfall method can be high-risk, as any issues or bugs that are discovered later in the development process can have a significant impact on the project's success.

  • Hard to adapt to change − The waterfall method is based on linear progression, where each phase must be completed before moving to the next one, this makes it hard to adapt to changes that may happen during the project.

To cover all this Agile method was purposed and highly used to deliver the projects with more effectiveness.

Why Agile Method is Preferred over Traditional Method

Agile development method is preferred over traditional project management for a number of reasons, including −

  • Flexibility and adaptability − Agile development is a flexible and iterative approach that allows for changes and new requirements to be incorporated throughout the development process, rather than waiting until the end. This makes it easier to adapt to changes in the project scope, requirements, or environment.

  • Customer involvement − Agile development emphasizes collaboration and regular communication with the customer, which helps to ensure that the final product meets their needs and expectations.

  • Faster delivery − Agile development is done in short sprints, which allows for rapid delivery of working software. This allows customers to see progress and provide feedback throughout the development process.

  • Continuous testing and improvement − Agile development includes regular testing and integration, which allows for issues and bugs to be discovered and addressed early in the development process. This improves the quality of the final product.

  • Better progress visibility − The Agile method provides clear visibility of progress and predictability of completion date, which helps to adjust resources and make better decisions.

  • Lower risk − Agile development's iterative and incremental approach allows for early identification and mitigation of risks. This reduces the overall risk of the project.

  • Better team collaboration − Agile methodologies such as Scrum and Kanban promotes team collaboration and self-organization, which helps to improve the overall efficiency and productivity of the team.

Summing up

The transition to Agile development is driven by the need for a more flexible and adaptive approach to software development. The traditional Waterfall method is linear and sequential, which can make it difficult to adapt to changes in the project scope, requirements, or environment.

As a result, many organizations have turned to Agile development methodologies as a way to improve flexibility, adaptability, and rapid delivery of working software.

The Agile approach has proven to be more effective in delivering quality software that meets customer needs and adapts to changing market conditions.

Updated on: 28-Feb-2023

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