Waterfall and Agile project management practices

Waterfall and Agile project management practices are the two main trends in modern product development approaches.

The approach applied by most Project Managers, to stick to a single methodology while excluding other options, is in my opinion wrong. In project management, one must be flexible and familiar with a wide palette of strategies and methodologies, rather than following strictly imposed laws. After all, it would be in everyone’s best interest to get the job done perfectly. Reference: “Waterfall project management and Agile product management approaches“, https://projectmanagers.wpdevcloud.com/waterfall-project-management-and-agile-product-management-approaches/
Although I lean more towards the Agile concept, I by no means rule out the use of Waterfall when the circumstances warrant it.

Waterfall project management

Waterfall is a conservative linear model for software development and project management. , in the application of which the phases of the project are executed sequentially, i.e. a phase cannot begin before the previous one has ended. Reference: “Agile methodologies and Waterfall project management“, https://projectmanagers.business.blog/2023/01/14/agile-methodologies-and-waterfall-project-management/ This approach is usually used in the implementation of smaller projects. What are its advantages:
-goals and direction are determined
-easy to understand
-easy to manage
-fewer production problems
-more effective budget management

And here are its disadvantages:

-Not flexible:
-unexpected risks are difficult to overcome
-not a good model for complex and long-term projects, More on the topic: “Comparison between Waterfall and Agile project management”, https://scrumtime.org/comparison-between-waterfall-and-agile-project-management/
– it is difficult to meet all requirements on time

Agile project management

Agile, on the other hand, is an approach to project management and software development that emphasizes flexibility, collaboration, and customer satisfaction. It was originally developed for software development projects, but its principles have since been applied across a wide range of industries.

-flexibility: Agile allows teams to react to changing requirements and adjust their plans as needed.
-encouraging cooperation
-customer satisfaction: Agile places a strong emphasis on delivering valuable, working software to the customer as often as possible. This helps ensure the customer gets what they need and keeps them engaged in the process.
-continuous improvement: Agile practices, such as retrospectives and continuous improvement cycles, allow teams to continuously refine their processes and improve their work.

-lack of predictability: Because Agile prioritizes flexibility, it can be difficult to predict exactly when a project will be completed or what its result will be.
-more overhead: Agile requires regular meetings and constant communication, which can increase overhead and take time away from other work.
-requires discipline: Agile requires discipline and commitment from all involved to work. If the team does not follow Agile principles, the process can collapse.
-lack of structure

More comparisons of Agile and Waterfall project management
  1. “Using Waterfall and Agile project management methodologies“, mpmu.org/using-waterfall-and-agile-project-management-methodologies/
  2. “Agile and Waterfall in project management practices and processes“, polyscm.com/agile-and-waterfall-in-project-management-practices-and-processes/
  3. “Similarities and differences between Agile and Waterfall project management”, w-europe.org/similarities-and-differences-between-agile-waterfall-projectmanagement/
  4. Agile vs Waterfall: The Difference Between Methodologies, libraryofmu.org/agile-vs-waterfall-the-difference-between-methodologies/
  5. “Waterfall, Agile, Scrum and Kanban methodologies”, stc-montreal.org/waterfall-agile-scrum-and-kanban-methodologies/
  6. “Agile and Waterfall project management practices“, mstsnl.net/agile-and-waterfall-project-management-practices/
  7. Comparison of Agile, Scrum and Waterfall project management, eduwiki.me/comparison-of-agile-scrum-and-waterall-project-management/
  8. Agile, Scrum and Waterfall project management, ossalumni.org/agile-scrum-and-waterfall-project-management/
  9. “Waterfall and Incremental model in project management“, wikipedia-lab.org/waterfall-and-incremental-model-in-project-management/
  10. Waterfall or Agile? What methodology to choose for your project?, pm.mba/posts/waterfall-vs-agile/
  11. “Waterfall and Agile project management methodologies and when to use them“, agileprogramming.org/waterfall-and-agile-project-management-methodologies/
  12. “Waterfall vs Agile project management methodologies“, dobrojutro.net/waterfall-vs-agile-project-management-methodologies/
  13. “Agile vs Waterfall project management“, pgov.org/agile-vs-waterfall-project-management/
  14. “Scrum vs Kanban vs Waterfall: Differences and when to use each methodology”, managerspost.com/scrum-vs-kanban-vs-waterfall-differences/
  15. “Agile vs Waterfall Methodology – What are the differences“, islandjournal.net/agile-vs-waterfall-methodology-differences/
  16. https://www.businesspad.org/agile-vs-waterfall-difference-between-methodologies/: www.businesspad.org/agile-vs-waterfall-difference-between-methodologies/
  17. Agile vs Waterfall management methodology, http://www.kosovatimes.net/agile-vs-waterfall-management-methodology/

Hybrid model

There is also an option to use a hybrid model. It usually combines several methodologies. His idea is to extract the best from Agile and Waterfall to create an individual approach to the specific project. In the hybrid approach, the project is divided into smaller Agile-style parts, but the overall process is still guided by the sequential Waterfall-style phases. It can offer many advantages, such as the ability to react to changing requirements and incorporate feedback, while providing the structure and predictability of a Waterfall approach. It can also be a good choice for projects that require both the speed and flexibility of Agile and the rigor and structure of Waterfall.

However, it is worth noting that the hybrid approach can also have its challenges. For example, it can be difficult to balance the needs of different methodologies and create a process that effectively combines the strengths of Agile and Waterfall. Additionally, it can be difficult to find the right team members who have experience with both methodologies or to train existing team members in the hybrid approach.

It is extremely important to make the right judgment and make an informed decision based on calculations and analysis before proceeding to adopt a particular methodology. This would guarantee maximum optimization of the project and therefore its success.

Join the Conversation


  1. The waterfall model – is a cascading type of model that follows a linear, sequential formula. It works well for work that has predictable, repetitive processes. Same as in the barracks – make one ice make two, ice make three and finally come see what he did.

    Advantages of the method:

    Requires less coordination due to clearly defined step-by-step processes
    A clear project phase helps to clearly define work dependencies.
    The cost of the project can be estimated after determining the requirements
    Better focus on documenting the design and requirements
    The design phase is more methodical and structured.

    Disadvantages of the method.
    It is more difficult to separate and share the work.
    Risk of losing time due to delays and failures.
    Additional communication costs.

    The Agile model – an iterative approach, creating several incremental steps with regular feedback intervals. This promotes adaptability as the team can adapt throughout the product development process rather than being constrained to a linear path.
    An Agile project is segmented into several incremental steps that include regular feedback intervals. The project requirement is segmented into smaller parts, which are then prioritized by importance. Encourages collaboration, especially with the client. It is adjusted at regular intervals to ensure that the customer’s needs are met. Integrates planning with execution, enabling the team to respond effectively to changing requirements

    Advantages of the method:
    Faster feedback loops
    Identifies problems earlier
    Higher potential for customer satisfaction
    Time to market has been greatly improved
    Better visibility/reportability.
    Flexible prioritization focused on delivering value

    Disadvantages of the method
    The critical path and dependencies between projects may not be as clearly defined as in a cascade
    There are organizational costs along the learning curve.

    Agile empowers teams, builds accountability, and encourages innovation while promoting continuous improvement. Agile enables you to react to change without going off the rails.

  2. There are two fundamental differences between the two models of work on the projects you have fallen into. They can mainly be described as “flexibility” for the Japanese model and lack of flexibility, but exceptional accuracy, documentation and compliance with the expected end result of the Waterfall method.

    The waterfall method is suitable for large, long -term projects that are not expected to undergo significant changes over time as well as in the expected end result. This method of implementing a project may take a long time as each of the stages must be well designed, documented and tested before working at the next stage. In addition, it is very difficult, often impossible to return to a previous stage if work on it is already over. Given all the above, it is clear that the project can be realized for at least six months, and often a year, two – ten or twenty depending on the complexity of the project.
    The logical question you can ask yourself is if you have so much time to realize the project, and after so long whether it will still have benefits from it.
    If the answer is “no”, it is a good idea to stick to Japanese methods.
    They are based on parallel work between the teams in the process completion of the project. It is possible and quickly implementing an initial version of the project and improving it then on the basis of additional desires of the client or eliminating problems that occurred during the implementation process. It can work in parallel at different stages of the project. The flexibility provided, of course, has its defects, which are basically that, given the frequent changes/improvements to the project, the documentation is not decent and detailed (and is there needed?). The implementation of a project by this method in large organizations that need precisely scheduled rules and instructions for work would be complicated and the result is doubtful. The constant communication with the client, as well as the good interaction and work of the teams, are also crucial in the implementation of projects by the Japanese method.
    In a conclusion, if you need the project to be realized quickly, if you make it aware that time will require changes, both at work and after completion – choose the Japanese method.

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