Every web project is different – very different. In an effort to maintain a process and keep things on track, developers will follow one of two popular methodologies: waterfall or agile. The methodology your developer takes should depend on your project needs and goals. However, some developers will choose the approach that best fits their personal needs. We recommend against this. At Informatics, we take the time to learn about your project before implementing waterfall or agile methodology. To help you better prepare for your next web project, start thinking about which approach best suits you.
The Waterfall Methodology
The Waterfall Methodology, or the traditional approach, is defined by Segue Technologies as a “linear approach to software development”. In other words, developers follow steps in a specific order, moving from top to bottom (hence the name waterfall). There are typically distinct stages of development in this approach wherein each stage finishes before the next one can begin.
The stages may look similar to this:
- Discovery & Requirements Gathering
- Testing (Multiple forms)
One major advantage to the Waterfall Methodology is that it provides a straightforward plan of action and understanding of deliverables. A disadvantage is that the Waterfall Methodology requires specific details upfront which can sometimes be difficult to gather and intimidating for the client.
The Agile Methodology
Segue Technologies defines the Agile Methodology as an “iterative, team-based approach to development”. This approach relies on a high-level of customer involvement as deliverables are being completed, reviewed and evaluated by the developers and client on an ongoing basis. This approach entails a lot more back-and-forth between the team and client.
An advantage to Agile Methodology is that the customer has the opportunity to work directly with the project team, continually providing feedback and seeing updates in near real-time. However, customer involvement can also be a disadvantage when the customer does not have the time or interest to be involved at such a high level.
Which One is Right for You?
If your company would like to be directly involved in the web project, continually providing feedback, reviewing builds and suggesting updates, then the Agile Methodology of development is for you. On the other hand, if you do not have a team member dedicated to this level of involvement, the Waterfall Methodology may be best. In this case, you will be heavily involved upfront and can be looped back in whenever deadlines are met and deliverables are provided.
Contact Informatics for your next web project and we will work with you to determine which approach is best.