Today, we’re going to discuss Waterfall and Agile project management. We’ll look at the differences between each approach, and whether or not one is better than the other.


First things first, what is Waterfall project management? Waterfall was created by a man named Winston Royce during the 70’s, but most people don’t refer to his specific approach when they talk about Waterfall project management. Instead, they’re referring to any project management approach that’s plan-driven.

This type of approach is very traditional and focuses on implementing and following a certain plan. Most project managers use this approach when they have a very simple and straightforward project to complete. For example, laying down a new stretch of road. It’s a straightforward task, you just have to figure out a strict plan and follow it. Furthermore, you can take this plan and use it for the next similar project you work on.

This Waterfall approach is good in many situations like the example provided. If you know there’s very little uncertainty with a project, it’s often the best approach to use. Plus, you can learn things from a plan-driven approach that will help you improve in the future on similar projects.


Agile project management differs greatly from waterfall, much like Waterfall, Agile has become something of a blanket term. It’s not an actual project management method, it’s more of a term to describe a certain way of doing things.

Agile project management is the opposite of a plan-driven approach. It’s when you don’t write up a specific plan and follow a very rigid structure. Instead, your focus is on your specific goal, and you try many different things to try and get there. It’s a great option when you have projects that aren’t so straightforward and simple. If you’re given a complex project, then it’s silly to try and devise a strict plan and stick to it. Instead, you need to focus more on trial and error until you reach your goal. You adjust the things you do until you finally end up at the finish line and have completed your product.

Which Is Better?

Neither Waterfall or Agile is better than the other. They both serve different purposes and are useful in certain situations. Project managers are advised to use Waterfall ideas when they have straightforward projects that are very linear, and it’s easy to see how you’ll reach your goal and finish the project.

Agile, on the other hand, is useful when you aren’t certain how you’ll reach your goal. You need to take a different approach rather than be plan-driven.

To sum up, both approaches are very useful depending on the project you’re working on. They act on opposite ends of a scale. One is very structured while the other is looser and more flexible. The important thing is to realise when you need to use each approach. If you try using an Agile approach when a Waterfall is better, then your project will suffer, and you’ll struggle. It’s the same the other way around too. Learn how to use both, and all of your projects will be completed better.



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