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Project Management Methodology: Agile vs. Waterfall

AgencyQ helps customers by guiding selection of the project management methodology most likely to bring success.

When embarking on a digital project, there are many important decisions to be made—budgets, requirements, and timeline, of course, as well as what development company to partner with and the technology system(s) to use. It might be less obvious, though, that using the right project management methodology—Agile or Waterfall—can also have an impact on the success of the project.

Fortunately, a project’s characteristics and requirements usually make it clear which methodology will work best. But it’s also not a decision we at AgencyQ expect our customers to have the expertise to make. While it’s good to know there are different types of project management, we pride ourselves on guiding our customers into the methodology best suited to making their projects successful.

Agile Methodology

Agile project management involves an iterative approach that is designed for flexibility and customer collaboration. It breaks down the project into small increments known as sprints, allowing frequent reassessment and adaptation throughout the project. It is best used for projects that include:

  • Active customer involvement: Use Agile when customer feedback and collaboration are crucial throughout the project lifecycle.  
  • Flexible requirements: Agile is ideal for projects with evolving requirements and where flexibility is necessary to adapt to new insights.  
  • Complex or unclear scope: Agile works well in cases that are complex, have an element of uncertainty, or where the scope is not entirely clear from the outset.  
  • Rapid delivery: Choose Agile when faster delivery and continuous improvements are desired.

Waterfall Methodology

Waterfall project management is a linear and sequential approach, where each phase must be completed before the next one begins. It is suitable for projects with well-defined requirements and timelines. Waterfall can be the best choice for projects that need:  

  • Defined requirements: Use Waterfall for projects with well-defined and unchanging requirements.  
  • Fixed timelines and budgets: Waterfall is suitable when the project scope is fixed, with a timeline and budget that must be strictly adhered to.  
  • Regular documentation: When comprehensive documentation is required at each project phase, opt for Waterfall.  
  • Managed compliance: Waterfall can be beneficial in regulated industries where regulatory compliance necessitates stage-gate reviews and thorough documentation.  


Selecting the appropriate methodology depends on the project's specific needs and constraints. Agile provides flexibility and adaptability, while Waterfall offers structure and predictability. By understanding the strengths and contexts of each methodology, project managers can make informed decisions that enhance project outcomes. At AgencyQ, we have experience in both methodologies and work with our customers to assess their needs and find the methodology that will best meet their needs and ensure project success.  

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Hunter Savage

Director of Technology

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