Comparing Agile vs Waterfall Model

The starting point for any project development is to determine how to manage the project as a team. Taking such decisions can be difficult as there are two major project development methodologies already being used. The two main development methodologies are agile and waterfall models. They are applied to the software development cycle and help in the overall project management process.

The primary difference between agile and waterfall is that waterfall uses a sequential flow to define; build; test and release project deliverables whereas agile works in iterative work cycles called sprints.



Breaks the process into sprints Breaks the process into phases
Project Requirements Agile gives room for project requirements to evolve Waterfall works towards the completion of the project.
Approach Follows incremental approach Follows incremental approach
Flexibility Known for its flexibility Sequentially designed thus quite rigid
Perspective Can be broken into many different projects Considered as one single project
Open to Feedback  Flexibility gives room for change to the initial requirements. No changes can be addressed to the primary requirement.


Top 6 Phases Of The Waterfall Model

The waterfall model can be divided into the below mentioned seven phases. this model follows a sequential approach, that is only if phase one is complete we can move to phase two.

• Conception: This is the first step of the waterfall model, here the developers decide what they want to design and build and what the main purpose of it. This stage defines the main goal of building the product.

• Initiation and Analysis: This step helps the project team to analyze and focus on requirement gathering and how-to documents the fixed requirements. 

• Design: In this stage, the designers brainstorm new ideas and work on designing the project and also determine the important phases of the product designing.

• Construction and Coding: Depending on the software architecture planned in the design phase the development team now starts with the closing each and every unit of the application. 

• Testing: This step involves all the necessary testings that need to be carried put to know the validity if the product developed. It may include UAT, bug testing and also helps the team to go back and fix the errors. 

• Implementation: In this stage, the final product is delivered to the client 

Application Of Waterfall Model In The Healthcare Industry

In the healthcare industry, the use of the waterfall model is most appropriate when it requires healthcare professionals to follow a sequential approach to their day-to-day activities. This model is helpful if they have a clear picture in mind about the project deliverable and to visualize the entire summary of the project. This gives them an understanding of how long each of the project phases would take depending on the tasks laid out on the Gantt charts.

Advantages of the Waterfall Approach

• Define framework: Waterfall model project timeline and deliverables before the project begins.

• Document: The documentation phase acts as written proof of the requirements and also helps to wave off any shortcomings that are coming in the way of the project delivery. 

• User hands-off: once the project plan is fixed, then very less customer engagement is required until the project is delivered. 

Potential Drawbacks of Waterfall Model

Having read the benefits of the waterfall model lets take a look at the potential pitfalls it has. So for the waterfall model to be successful, it needs the team to have a clear picture of the requirement to deliver the project as expected, but most of the time the stakeholders are not clear about their requirements and keep on changing their needs frequently. So this leads to a repeat of all the process from designing, development, and testing and also leads to wastage of time and efforts. Let’s explore the few drawbacks to the waterfall approach:

• No stakeholder engagement: In most of the projects the stakeholders will want more involvement as the project progress. They won’t be in favor of the hands-off approach that the waterfall model gives as it’s not best suited for all product developments.

• Few Changes: In this model, changes can be implemented only when the development team faces any roadblock as this model follows a sequential approach and a fixed timeframe incorporating changes in between developments is difficult.

• Eleventh -hour testing: since the waterfall model is not a time-bound model, the development of the project is often replayed leafing to the user testing phase and a very incorrect product. 

Application of Agile Model in Healthcare Projects

The healthcare professional can adopt the agile model if they have short timelines and when the end project deliverable is still not confirmed. It is the most suitable model which can be used when the project involves unexpected requirement changes and frequent stakeholder involvement with regards to implementing changes in every phase of the project.

So the Agile model helps the healthcare professionals to

• Provide constant feedbacks in every iterative cycle thereby ensuring a quality product is delivered and that too on time.

• This model helps to analyze, develop solutions, and perform testing in each of the phases until the desired project outcome is achieved.

• Agile helps healthcare professionals to incorporate continuous improvements by involving the stakeholders at every stage of the product development, this leads to happy end-users as it gives them the feeling of being a part of the project at every stage and getting done what they want as per their expectations.

So we can say that the Agile Model helps the healthcare professionals to be more proactive with regards to adapting the changing customer needs without incorporating a full-scale restructure and reallocating of resources and thus innovate and lead. 

Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in Agile, Performance, Project Management, Team

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