Why Waterfall is Better Than Agile for Certain IT Projects

Explore why Waterfall can outperform Agile in certain IT projects. Learn the best scenarios to implement Waterfall for optimal project success.

Agile is King in the IT project world. But the most crucial question sounds like this: Is agile adequate to manage every IT project? Why are most IT Project Managers using Agile every day, and why should they use Waterfall in some projects? There are many questions and big controversies, but in this post, I will try to explain why the waterfall is better in some IT projects and how to decide which methodology is used in a new project.

When using the agile model

Most IT projects are like never-ending stories. The client comes with some ideas and wants from an IT team to build applications that help him achieve his goals. The biggest problem is that he doesn’t know what it should be like. So, the IT team will build version 1.0 of these applications. Then the client will give some feedback, and Developers will build version 1.1, and so on so far.

These journeys probably never end. It’s highly probable that after some time, the client will demand new functions in the application or ask to rebuild something that works fine now.

For these kinds of projects, the Agile model is super useful. It helps reduce costs and gives clients a chance to have a big impact on the application. In the beginning, neither the Client nor the IT team knew what they were building exactly. But this was no problem because every iteration, they spoke to each other, and they set the next step.

Why waterfall model fail in these types of projects

We can consider why the waterfall model is called waterfall. The conclusion is simple: the waterfall model is called waterfall because there is no way to turn back projects managed according to the waterfall methodology. In the waterfall model, each step should be set and well described before we start the project. This means we need to know exactly what kind of product we will have at the end of the project. Of course, we can make some changes to the final product, but we aren’t able to start the project if we don’t know the final product.

So, you now know why the waterfall model is not used in most IT projects and why it will fail. But there are also many IT projects where we exactly know what the result should look like. In these kinds of projects, the agile model will fail. It makes no sense to use agile when we know the result. What will we improve in the next iteration? Nothing, so in these kinds of projects, waterfall is better than agile.

Waterfall when use

Okay, so now you can be curious about which kind of project is good for the waterfall model. What type of product exactly did I have in mind when I said that the waterfall model is best?

Let’s look closer at website projects. Most of these projects start with graphics models. When we work on these models, of course, the agile model will be best. Usually, we barely know what the final model will look like. But this is only the first step in the project. What’s more, each stage in the project could be driven in agile, when the whole project is in waterfall methodology. It’s funny because it doesn’t work in the opposite direction.

After we get the graphics model, there are three next steps: getting graphics and text, building website code, and testing the website. That’s all. In most cases, after these steps, the project ends. We release the product and never come back to it.

Here, the waterfall is much better than agile. Of course, if the client wants to improve the webpage after some time, agile will be better than waterfall because we have again a situation where we don’t know how the final product should look.

Where waterfall is better than agile

After you read this post, I think it is obviously for you, but let’s make some summary. If you can define the product very well before the project starts, then the waterfall methodology is better than agile. But, if you don’t know exactly what the final product should look like, then agile methodology will be better.

There is no reason to use agile methodology in every IT project. Sometimes, the old waterfall fits better.

If you are wondering which project management tool to choose, check out the following articles:

Share the Post:
Cover of book AI in Project Management

“AI in Project Management”

Krzysztof Nyrek

What's inside

Explore the transformative power of AI in project management with Krzysztof Nyrek’s “AI in Project Management.” This essential guide offers in-depth knowledge on automating routine tasks, optimizing resource management, and utilizing AI for risk estimation and decision-making. Learn how to implement AI tools for improved project efficiency, cost reduction, and enhanced quality management. Ideal for project managers and IT professionals, this book provides actionable insights and practical examples to harness AI technology effectively. Enhance your project outcomes and stay ahead in the digital era with this indispensable resource.

Embrace the future of project management with AI-driven solutions that save time, reduce costs, and boost project success.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.