Agile vs Waterfall vs Scrum - Major Differences You Should Be Aware Of!

6 minutes read
Last updated
May 10, 2022
project management methodology

We are not aware of many project management methodologies, so we cannot tell the difference between them. As we are not mindful, we cannot tell the difference between Agile and Waterfall methodologies. In the same way, we cannot tell the difference between Agile and scrum board. There are so many similar topics and words that do not match each other for project management. We will discuss today Agile vs Waterfall vs Scrum.

We cannot deny the advancement from these methodologies that we get for our works. We can see the flowchart and then discuss with the team about the position and then understand where we are. That is why we need to understand Scrum, Waterfall, and Agile software development life cycle.

What is Agile?

Unlike Waterfall, Agile software development has an incremental iteration approach. Agile uses a flexible approach and can perform change or iteration as needed. Almost every part of a project requires different requirements, so less extensive planning is needed prior to starting. Agile uses user feedback to adjust its products to the changing needs of each product and provides continuous updates on new products. The development team is arranged into cross functional teams that develop iteration at different stages and aim to produce each iteration a working product.

Pros of Agile

Agile is defined in many ways – flexibility, speed – a fundamental element in Continuous Improvement. Because the pre-construction plans are lighter, this enables team members to be free to adapt and change according to a specific situation, if necessary. Whenever a process is flexible the ability to develop new ideas can lead to creative possibilities. Development teams can improve and prioritize the backlog and therefore can easily apply changes.

Cons of Agile

Aiming to be agile is seen to be less of an advantage for people enjoying flexibility. Basically, these disadvantages are easily eliminated if one keeps things in logical order. Planning a project prior to starting any physical construction is not as detailed as waterfall methods which can raise a certain issue regarding keeping track of the final goal. Those who have heard about it consider it a good idea and a bad idea. If one preferred concrete deadlines and timetables then it would be intuitive to think Agile's fluid nature was just another disadvantage.

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How to Estimate Budgets in Agile?

Many Project Management Professionals are uncertain as to the cost of implementing a successful Agile project unless the project manager is fully prepared. Estimating the project costs at the start is often a difficult task no matter what method the project uses. Similarly, in an Agile Project you can match the duration of a project with their costs. Create a burn down graph then determine how long the sprint is going. Calculate the team's total price according to hourly wages and salaries. Multiplier the rates for the individual worker with their hours of work each day and multiply this by the time of the sprint.

What is Agile Development?

Agile software development can be defined by describing the practices that a company uses based upon the principles and values in its Agile manifesto. Software developers are advised on the importance of using agile principles and values to determine the correct steps for a particular project. Agile software development process is mainly focused on a collaborative and autonomous team structure. But this does not indicate that the managers aren't there – it simply means that team members can decide their own way forward for certain activities. It is a clear indication of how agile teams have cross-functional roles. Manager roles remain confined to agile systems.

Advantages of Agile Software

It evolved from various lightweight software techniques over the 1990s and is largely based on project managers dislike of rigid linear methods such as waterfalls. It is based upon flexibility, constant development and speed. This list of the best advantages of Agile.

Disadvantages of Agile Software

While agile is typically flexible it also has certain trade-offs. Delivery dates are usually hard to establish, documentation is sometimes ignored, and final products might differ from original intentions in many respects.

What is Scrum?

Scrum is a subgroup of Agile that is considered a widely used framework for implementing Agile. Scrum is just the latest tool related to agile. It primarily uses iterative software engineering to manage complex software development. Sprint versions are designed to allow developers to release a new application at a regular interval, allowing stakeholders to create new plans at the end of each of their sprints, strengthening their performance. Show some good scrum skills and reasons for their importance to you.

Pros of Scrum

Scrum provides an additional level of structure within the Agile framework, which defines rules with responsibility. The result is continuous improvement. The team meeting is geared towards the progress of work and will plan for the coming day. Consequently, transparency in projects is improved and problems can immediately be notified, unless they have not been addressed. When everyone's on the same page it creates an atmosphere that encourages proficiency to flourish. Scrum teams do not have a project director or a Scrum master and instead take collective decisions from team members.

Cons of Scrum

Despite having a number of positive effects, Scrum has downside problems. Scrum requires extensive experience from a team member, so a project is susceptible to scope creep.

What is Waterfall?

Waterfall is a development methodology that emphasizes strict progressions and a linear approach to software development. In waterfall, each phase of the project must be completed before moving on to the next phase. This approach is often criticized because it does not allow for much flexibility or adaptability if changes need to be made during the development process. Despite its flaws, waterfall remains one of the most popular development methodologies due to its simplistic and straightforward approach.

Pros of Waterfall

The waterfall model is a sequential design process, often used in software development, in which progress is seen as flowing steadily downwards (like a waterfall) through the phases of conception, initiation, analysis, design, construction, testing, deployment, and maintenance.

The main advantage of the waterfall model is that it is very simple and easy to understand and use. The waterfall model works well for many projects, especially smaller projects where requirements are very well understood.

Another advantage of the waterfall model is that it makes it easy to manage risk because each phase of the project has specific deliverables and a review process. Phases can also be staggered which means risks can be identified and managed early on in the project.

Cons of Waterfall

There are a few potential drawbacks to using the waterfall model for software development projects. One is that it can be difficult to make changes early on in the project. Once the project moves from one phase to the next, it can be hard to go back and make changes. This can lead to problems later on if unforeseen issues arise. Another potential drawback is that the waterfall model can be inflexible. This is because each phase of the project must be completed before moving on to the next phase. There might be situations where it would make more sense to complete certain tasks out of order, but this isn't possible with the waterfall model.

Agile vs Scrum

In the Agile methodology Scrum is not merely about picking the best approach but rather about whether it is appropriate to use Scrum as your Agile framework.

Can you be Agile without Scrum?

Yeah! Scrum is a widely used Agile framework, however you can be Agile with no rules in it. You could consider using other frameworks to make your organization more collaborative and flexible, such as kanban. Agile may be the same without a Scrum master, daily standing-up sessions or biweeklies sprints. There are some good practices to follow to facilitate a smooth workflow.

Agile vs. Waterfall

Considering advantages and weaknesses in any method should be easier to select for your team’s needs. Let us see!

When to use waterfall vs. Agile?

Most team members have the potential to use either waterfall or agile methodologies, but if you are looking for a better method to implement them... The sequential process is not completed if one phase has not yet been completed. It's important to control this problem in a tight way. I like the clarity of planning. Before launching your project, you should understand all phases of development life cycles. You want it to be functional, rather than quickly delivered. Try Agile methods if possible. It's best for iterative processes. You're looking at getting a quicker result even when that will require improvement later. You have to be very fast to move.

Agile vs Waterfall vs Scrum

There are significant differences between these three project management methodologies. They have their project management methodology, making the project done correctly. These help the manager to discuss with the team and run structured communication. For implementation, we have a lot of things in common.

In the main differences between Waterfall vs Agile vs Scrum we will discuss.  We also have to have knowledge of agile vs scrum, waterfall versus scrum & waterfall vs kanban.

agile vs waterfall vs scrum

We will today discuss the best practices they have for project implementation. The differences between them might be minor, but they are unique in their place. Now we will discuss how they become unique and become a help to us. We have to follow both Agile and Waterfall methodologies.

What Makes Waterfall Unique

In Waterfall, we break the project into linear and sequential stages where each part needs to be appropriately managed to get the project completed, where it has two unique things. There are similarities between prince2 and waterfall.

Discrete Terminal Phases

Waterfall management is suited for both the construction and manufacturing phases. Each part should be completed before starting another one; you cannot do the next one before the last one is finished. For example, you cannot begin roofing before finishing the construction of columns. Its emphasis is on these types of liner completion first.

Similarly, it uses distinct phases too, where you will finish each stage, and then the next step will begin. In this case, you cannot go back to the last task. When you need to revise any part, you have to restart from the start. In another sense, it requires less flexibility.

Thorough Documentation

As we cannot go back to the previous part, we must complete each element with clarity. It needs detailed documentation to mention every information in the document; it is a necessary part of this project management comparison method. And this document should be accessible to the team members at any time.

Also, the team members do necessary documentation; they continue tasks without hampering workflow.

What Makes Agile Unique

Generally, the Agile method is used in software development projects; they are self-organizing, collaborative, and cross-functional to meet the requirements. It is a distinct methodology where it has included Scrum UML and Kanban.

But there is a lot of difference between PMP Vs Agile, Agile and Waterfall. Agile is focused on Simultaneous and adaptive workflow that is far away from the linear nature of Waterfall. In agile project management with scrum, it works like this:

Simultaneous Incremental Work

We have to think deeply about talking about the comparison of Waterfall and agile methods. In Agile methodology, we break the tasks into smaller parts in a shorter time, where it takes less time for testing and revision. 

Read also: The Phases Of Agile Software Development Life Cycle & Workflow And Project Management


In the Agile method, teamwork in adaptive approach, they adjust their process with minor frequency. On the other hand, Waterfall uses a set of inflexible processes that is much different from agile. From adaptability, we should avoid alterations, and Agile tells us to follow an approach to compensate them.

What Makes Scrum Unique

Scrum is another agile methodology that is an incremental approach to work, where we complete work quickly. It generally manages complex knowledge works, where we develop software. Scrum is the only process where we work for more tasks to be done faster.


We divide the task into shorter times; those are called sprints, where we finish studies in two weeks or one week. Tasks are divided into shorter times, like 15 minutes to 2 days. The team has distributed the task, and each task has a responsible person to finish a task.

Some tasks are kept in the backlog, from where we bring them in planning, and some are done, tested, and verified before passing. Weekly there is a short meeting to know updates and plan for the next week.

Scrum Master

The team leader works as the scrum master, defines the task & assigns them to the team members. When there are any blockers, they help to remove and eliminate the issues.

The scrum master is not a traditional project manager; he has both to run tasks and manage tasks. The team is responsible for managing his responsibility; where necessary, the scrum master assists. It also uses charts where each job is done, and the task is marked as done.

Tell me the waterfall Methodology?

The waterfall methodology divides each work into different stages moving into the stages sequentially. The phases cannot start until the phases are completed. Usually all phases are completed with a milestone which means next steps can begin. Each stage in the waterfall process depends upon exactly what your team has created, but they typically look similar to these: requirement phase often separated from analysis phase system design phase implementation phase also known as development phase or code phase—depending upon what you do.

Tell me the Agile Methodology?

Agile methodology in project management refers to processes by which teams divide projects into various phases. The methodology requires constant collaboration between major stakeholders and continuous iterations and improvements throughout the process. The agile approach begins with clients defining the goal of end products and the problems it's going to solve. Customers expectations are expressed for project management. Once a project is completed, teams are expected to undertake an initial plan implementation, review, and evaluation process. These steps may change the end results for the clients in the most effective way.

Tell me the Scrum Methodology?

Scrum methodology provides an intuitive framework to facilitate team collaboration on challenging projects. The program has many benefits but mastering the program is often challenging and difficult. Scrum concentrates on project managers. The method puts considerable pressure on the accountability because it involves iterations towards a clear aim. Everyone works hard to get quick adoption. In scrum the company's product owners collaborate on determining system functionality in close collaboration with the team. Then there are products whose backlog includes everything that is needed to create a functioning software system.

Which Project Management Methodology Should You Use?

We are always in tension about what kind of methodology we should follow in our team? It is controversial. If we are in a construction or any general project, then Waterfall is the proper process; conversely, if we are developing software, we will follow the agile and Scrum methods. We will assess first from Agile vs Waterfall vs Scrum.

Which Methodology Will We Stick To? 

The nature of methodology is based on the type of our task. As we know, all project methodology does not support all kinds of tasks. So, we have to align the task with the method. Then we better focus on the task, then the methodology. From Scrum vs Agile, or Waterfall vs Scrum, we can choose anyone.

As we have discussed a lot about the project methodology and its use of them in our task. They are good to manage tasks, so we should use these methodologies here.


Among Waterfall methodology vs Agile & even Scrum, we have got the correct type of idea to use one of them in our task. These methods are so much help to make our business one step ahead. So, why do not you use them too?

What is difference between Waterfall vs Agile vs scrum?

What is difference between Agile and scrum?

What are 3 main differences between Agile and Waterfall methodologies?

Is Agile better than Waterfall?

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