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Agile vs Waterfall- what should a startup choose?

Mobile applications are becoming  part of our lives and we simply cannot ignore its importance in many ways. We get loads of information, tips & tricks, along with simplifying our daily work like making payments, checking out the share market and many more through mobile applications.

And this is the reason, there are millions of applications available in the app store making lives simpler, better and more organized. Seeing such potential of mobile applications, if you are also planning to start your own venture by developing an application, make sure you are thoroughly done with each and every challenge you might face through your mobile app development phase.

Knowing the right tech stack, cost of developing an app, finalizing the app development company are a few of the things but understanding and finalizing the right development methodology you should use for your mobile application is still a task.

Here in this article, we will try to help you by providing you a concrete difference between two popular methodologies for developing applications. And going through the same can make you understand what should you choose. Without further ado, let’s get started-

There are two types of methodologies generally used for developing applications- Agile and Waterfall. Knowing the core function of these two methodologies along with understanding their plus and minus points can make you choose between these two.

The waterfall is the traditional approach whereas Agile is newer than Waterfall often implemented using Scrum.

A waterfall is a linear approach to software development and the sequence of events in this methodology took place something like-

  1.       Gathering the documents
  2.       Designing
  3.       Coding and unit test
  4.       Performing system testing
  5.       Performing user acceptance testing (UAT)
  6.       Fixing bugs and issues
  7.       Delivering the finished and final product

With it, Waterfall also comes up with its own plus and minus points, so let us check them out one by one for more clarity-

 Pro of Waterfall

  •  As developers and customers both agree upon what will be delivered early in the development cycle, hence there are no chances of chaos and any other disturbances. And the whole makes  planning and designing more straightforward.
  • Apart from reviews, approvals, and status meetings, the client’s presence is not necessarily required.
  • Faster delivery of the project as everything planned prior.
  • It is a well-documented process and the results are exact.
  • Developers can measure  progress and move accordingly to the next step.

Cons of Waterfall

  • Gathering the requirement on each step is a task and a lot more time-consuming. However, it is also difficult to assume things about the product early that makes the end product a bit flawed or different from the expectations of the users.
  • As things are not made according to the expectations of the users, the slightest change in the app can cause you to spend more. In short, the process will be expensive.
  • Risk is higher with this methodology, as fixing the mistakes can be harder. Developers need to start from the very beginning to catch out the leak and then fix it. And thus, the overall process can again incur you a good amount of money.

These were the pros and cons of the Waterfall method, now let’s get started with Agile also to decide which methodology is the apt choice for your mobile app development project.

Agile is an iterative, team-based approach for developing mobile applications. The approach basically emphasizes the rapid delivery of the application in complete functional components.

Compared to the Waterfall, instead of creating tasks and schedules for developing the application, the Agile methodology is divided into different phases called “sprints”. And each of the sprints carries a defined duration with a running list of deliverables that are planned at the beginning of the sprint.

The process is divided into a few steps-

  1.       Planning
  2.       Building
  3.       Launching
  4.       Learning
  5.       Repeating

 Pro of Agile methodology

  • Clients can check out the work at any stage of the project along with requiring changes as per the needs.
  • The customer is the one who owns the strongest ownership by working directly with the developer’s team.
  • The quality of the project is clearly maintained.
  • There is low risk as the output developers provide is thoroughly reviewed by the client itself. The practice of reviewing saves money and time from unnecessary expenditures.
  • By breaking down the project into pieces, developers learn from each iteration.  Though it is trial and error based thing, you will still be focusing more on high-quality development.

Of course, Agile is not a methodology that is just perfect and thus it also comes up with its own cons.

 Cons of Agile

  •  In order to make the project just flawless, it is mandatory for the team to pay attention to the project equally. Everyone is required to  involve that too equally for making the best of the project. Because agile is all about quick delivery along with meeting deadlines on time.
  • Though the approach might seem simple but it is hard to execute. It requires a commitment to the project.
  • As documentation can be ignored in this method that ultimately makes it difficult for the developers to make the project as per the decision. Due to this, the end result looks far more different than earlier planned.
  • As things and steps can be prioritized at any phase of the project, thus meeting the deadlines becomes difficult.

So, this is about the pros and cons of Agile and there are many more on the list.

Now, the question arises here is how to decide which one is best as both come up with their weak and strong points. Let us summarize the whole concept to let you decide-

  • Waterfall suits those projects where changes are not required in the project whereas Agile is great where there are chances of frequent changes.
  • Waterfall is manageable and easy and on the other hand, Agile is flexible while allowing you to make changes as per the requirements and change in the trend.
  • Waterfall is defined once and Agile is to cater to frequent changes.


So, this is all about Waterfall and Agile and if you want to create an app for your business, make sure you are choosing the best mobile app development company that can ensure you to offer you nothing but the best and timely delivery of the project.

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