The waterfall method is a sequential software development model first described in 1970. This method has its roots in the manufacturing and construction industries, where it is necessary to complete each phase in its entirety before moving to the next step. Its straightforward and systematic approach is often considered to be its great strength. The waterfall sequence has six well-defined stages in the following order: Requirements, Analysis, Design, Coding, Testing and Operations.
The problem with this method was, businesses in the real world move at a rapid pace. Some functionalities may turn obsolete within months, or few overlooked defects can cause disaster on software release. The waterfall method was not designed to handle quick changes to the code.
Developers came together in 2001 to introduce agile methodology. It was a more “lightweight” approach to software development. Coders and Testers worked together in incremental cycles until the functionality provided enough value to end-users on release. A high level of flexibility, collaboration and rapid feedback loops became the defining features of the agile movement. Today, it is estimated more than 71% of organizations use some form of agile methodology.
Nevertheless, the Waterfall approach is still relevant. Each development project is unique, and it depends on what is important to you. Software development is both art and science, and there can never be a correct answer. We present you with a detailed comparison to help decide which method best suits your needs.