Waterfall vs. Agile (Part 3): Pros and Cons of the Agile Approach - Sevaa Group

Part three of our software development methodologies series highlights the pros and cons of the Agile model. Last week, we talked about the details of the Waterfall approach. This method follows a strict process and has a clear set of parameters.

On the other hand, the Agile approach is a team-based method that is much more informal. This approach offers an alternative to the Waterfall method using a process that is organized into “sprints.” While there are set goals to be completed within each sprint, the timeline is much more flexible. Any uncompleted goals can simply be transferred to the next sprint.

The Agile approach is based on a set of four priorities; each priority is divided into a left side and a right side (the left side is the most important). These ideas are considered the Agile Manifesto:

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
Working software over comprehensive documentation
Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
Responding to change over following a plan

Because this approach is pretty relaxed, every Agile-based development has a slightly changed version of the Manifesto.

Circular diagram to illustrate Agile method.

Pros of the Agile Approach

High Level of Customer Interaction

  • The laidback nature of the Agile method allows for constant revisions and change without consequences. With this approach, the client can watch the progress of the development along with the team members. The client also has the power to make revisions that satisfy their needs. Daily builds and constant checkups with the client ensure that team completes each step correctly.

Client Ownership and Closure

  • Since the client has the ability to make changes to the process, they feel a sense of ownership and control. This reassures the client that their project is going as planned and the end product will be exactly as they expect. This minimizes any client frustration.

Higher Quality

  • Sprints are manageable segments that make it easy to produce a high-quality product with more efficiency. Without the strict deadlines, the development team can relax and complete the job without being concerned about making a mistake and disturbing the timeline.

Reduced Risks

  • Because of the consistent check-ins and editing sessions with the client, less time is wasted if changes need to be made.

 

Cons of the Agile Approach

Effects of Flexibility

  • While the relaxed nature of the Agile method is highly beneficial for both the client and the development team, it can encourage negative behaviors like procrastination. Additionally, the priorities of the Agile Manifesto might become disconnected. The client may have power, but their wishes should always be the first priority in the Agile approach.

Lack of Predictability

  • Clients like to have a set game plan and timeline for their project. However, with the Agile approach, it’s important to be okay with uncertainty. This is necessary because it allows for adaptation to change easily.

Easy to Fall off Track

  • With the minimal planning that goes into the Agile methodology, it’s easy to lose sight of the end product. Assuming that the client will make many changes, there’s a lot of flexibility in the development process, but that can lead to misunderstood goals based on the revisions made throughout the project timeline.

The Agile approach offers a more flexible development process that nurtures independence and creativity. However, this requires a level of self-discipline from project managers and developers. The client can be more involved in the process, and collaboration won’t affect the timeline.

Sevaa Group fosters a close relationship with each of our clients. We keep you in the loop for every step of your project and tailor our solutions to your needs. Talk to us about working on your next project.

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