Agile vs Traditional (waterfall) Project Management: Pros & Cons

Waterfall vs Agile

What are the differences between an agile and waterfall approach?

Traditional “waterfall” approaches tend to consider scope as the driving force and calculate follow-up time and costs. “Agile”, on the other hand, commits resources committed over a limited period of time to deliver a product that is developed in a series of cycles.

Agile and waterfall approaches to project management consist of a set of techniques that should be adopted according to the goals of the project and the organizational culture of the delivery environment.

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Traditional (Waterfall) Projects: Pros & Cons

Traditional (Waterfall Projects)



Works best when requirements are defined

Requires investment to establish scope and schedule before work begins

Great for stable environments

Scope changes can be slow and negative effects increase over the lifecycle

Teams are distributed so control can be managed through defined deliverables, milestones and dependencies

The risk of not showing anything until the end for money

Best for limited skills and resources

Change increases effort and risk, so a rigorous change control process should be put in place to avoid scope creep.

The plan is reproducible on similar projects


Agile Projects (Pros & Cons)

Agile Projects



Useful when detailed requirements are unknown or subject to change

No advantage for projects where the scope and detailed requirements are well understood and change can be controlled

Allow flexibility in appropriate courses. Requires regular feedback from stakeholders

Uncertainty about scope and schedule can unnerve stakeholders

Teams are co-housed, multifunctional, and capable of collaborative collaboration

If the “team” is scattered, the effect is weak

Early return on investment through regular delivery

Requirements management and backlog prioritization

Don’t Miss the 1000+ MCQ questions & hundreds of quizzes on PMP Knowledge Areas and Various important sections.