Waterfall Project Management methodologies versus Agile methods and practices

What are Waterfall and Agile? What about Six Sigma and Scrum? Waterfall vs Scrum methodology.

The waterfall model is the earliest methodology developed to manage software product development projects. Waterfall methodology is characterized by the fact that activities take place in a process in which the software development phases follow a specific order:

  • Requirements analysis;
  • Software architecture;
  • Implementation and integration;
  • Testing;
  • Implementation;
  • Support.

The waterfall is linear and sequential

The processes in this model are linear and sequential. The progress of the software project is seen as ongoing downstream (like a waterfall) phases of software implementation. Each of the stages in the development process begins only when the previous phase is fully completed. In strict adherence to the methodology, it is not allowed to return to the previous phase of product alteration due to changing requirements.

Advantages of Waterfall Project Management

  • The principles of action of the model can easily be explained to the user;
  • There is a structured approach to development;
  • The various stages and activities within them are well defined;
  • Planning the project and executing it on schedule is easier;
  • Testing at each stage ensures early detection of errors as well as avoiding deviations from the scope of the project due to a misunderstanding of a certain
  • part of the client’s requirements;
  • There are specific results in each phase.

Disadvantages of Waterfall

  • The system is assumed to be “frozen” and the client’s requirements and desires will not change, which is difficult to achieve in the real world;
  • It can be extremely difficult to bring a team back to a previously completed stage;
  • There is too little flexibility to regulate the scope of the project and any change to it is laborious and expensive

What is Agile

Agile is designed for small, multifunctional teams that collaborate on the development and maintenance of a software product. The ability of teams that deploy Agile to break a task into smaller parts gives them an edge, especially with larger projects.

Compared to other organizational methodologies such as Waterfall, Agile tends to favor projects that are much better synchronized. Read about Agile Project Management. Agile requires more discipline because an Agile project is subject to continuous review and can undergo significant changes, from the planning process to the final product.

The development of the work process is monitored by well-defined stakeholder representatives who provide feedback on its progress and other details.
In this case, Agile is a generic word for both approaches and their accompanying software frameworks. Scrum is a kind of Agile framework that is applied to extremely complex projects. In addition to Scrum, Agile has other approaches: Lean programming, extreme programming, hybrid methodologies, and more.

What is Six Sigma

Six Sigma is a quality management strategy based on the concept of a process aimed at reducing production defects by reducing variation. There are two main options:


  • Define – Define
  • Measure
  • Analysis
  • Improve
  • Control


  • Define – Define
  • Measure
  • Analysis
  • Design – design of details
  • Verify – verification

Six Sigma is a statistical method for improving the quality of processes and possible defects (by analyzing them) from a consumer perspective. It determines service levels and measures deviations from them. The projects go through five phases: definition, measurement, analysis, improvement, and control.

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