Comparing Waterfall and Agile approaches

Understanding the differences between Waterfall and Agile project management approaches can help you choose the right method for your projects and demonstrate your project management knowledge in interviews.

Waterfall:

  • Project Manager's Role: Active leader, prioritizing and assigning tasks.
  • Scope: Well-established and documented early on; changes require formal requests.
  • Schedule: Linear path through project phases.
  • Cost: Controlled through upfront estimation and monitoring.
  • Quality: Defined criteria at the beginning.
  • Communication: Continuous updates from the project manager to stakeholders.
  • Stakeholders: Managed engagement throughout the project.

Agile:

  • Scrum Master Role: Facilitator, removing barriers.
  • Scope: Planned in shorter iterations, adaptable to feedback.
  • Schedule: Organized into sprints with set durations and deliverables.
  • Cost: Flexible, changes with each iteration.
  • Quality: Ongoing stakeholder input and feedback.
  • Communication: Continuous, customer-focused interaction.
  • Stakeholders: Frequent deliverables and feedback loops.