5 reasons why Agile is better than Waterfall

Waterfall methodology used to be the way all IT deployments were done. It worked, was reliable and suited IT professionals. But then the Agile revolution happened. In a changing world, speed and the agility now matter to customers. They no longer can afford to be locked into long IT projects that, once set in motion, can’t be changed or adjusted. At The CRM Team, we joined the Agile revolution, and it’s now the only implementation method that we use. It’s better for our customers, and that means it’s better for all of us. In the realm of CRM deployments, here are 5 reasons why we believe Agile is better than Waterfall.

 

1. Less prone to error

Waterfall relies heavily on initial requirements. However, if these requirements aren’t documented precisely, or there was a misunderstanding around the detail of what the customer wanted, it makes things very difficult. Not so with Agile – requirements are checked and confirmed throughout the project.

 

2. More flexible

Once a step has been completed in Waterfall, it’s difficult to go back and make changes. In contrast, Agile builds a working version of the whole project (an MVP) so the customer can shape how it’s built. Seeing a working version early on in the project allows the customer to say ‘I like this, but I don’t like that’, and so shape the product according to their requirements. This is harder to do with Waterfall because the customer has to outline all their preferences upfront, without seeing a working version.

 

3. More predictable end product

With Waterfall, the product is mainly tested at the end of the project. If the customer’s needs weren’t captured well initially or they have changed since the start of the project, testing may come too late in the cycle to make big adjustments. The customer then has to find extra budget to get the product they now need. With Agile, testing happens regularly through the whole process, so the customer periodically checks that the product is what they envisioned. This also makes it more likely that the project will finish on time, and on budget.

 

4. More open to changes/additions

Waterfall isn’t geared to take into account a customer’s evolving needs. If business processes change during the project Waterfall isn’t set up to adapt to this. Often a client feels locked into a project that no longer meets the current business need. In contrast, Agile not only has the ability to adapt to changing needs, but it expects them and plans for them.

 

5. More customer involvement

Agile sees the customer as part of the implementation team and includes them at each part of the process. In contrast, Waterfall tends to spend a lot of time with the customer at the start, trying to document all the perceived requirements. But once this has happened, the implementation team usually take over.

Want to find out more? See our approach to CRM implementation.

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