Agile vs Waterfall – Understanding the difference.

In software development, two critical methodologies are used amongst teams; the Agile methodology and the waterfall model methodology. This article seeks to discuss the underlying difference between the two methodologies.
The Waterfall model methodology
This methodology is also known as linear sequential life. It is a method that is followed in sequential order. When using this model in software development projects, it only allows team moves to the next phase of development or testing if the various step is completed successfully. This makes the process not flexible.
The waterfall model has six phases, and they include
Conception: This is the idea stage where developers decide what they want to design and why.
Initiation and Analysis: This stage involves gathering and documenting what the Software project will require, including system and software requirements for the product or project. It is also a phase known for requirement gathering.
Design: In this stage, developers determine how they want their software to work and determine which code or programming language to use for the product.
Construction and coding: With inputs taken from system design, the system is first developed in small programs called units, which are integrated into the next phase. Each unit is set and tested for its functionality which is referred to as Unit Testing.
Testing: This involves testing the software system-wide; it may include user testing, bug testing and going back to fix specified issues. This phase is continuous until the product passes the test.
Implementation: This phase entails delivering the finished product or outcome to the customer or rolling out the comprehensive system software.

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  • They are responsible for developing working products which must be developed and delivered during each sprint.
  • Participate in planning.
  • They are Responsible for validation/ testing
  • Ownership and transparency must be ensured for the work assigned to the team members.
  • They are Responsible for demos.
  • They must collaborate with the team and themselves.

Differentiate Between Agile and Scrum.

The difference between Agile and Scrum is very fundamental

It is a set of principles that’s iterative and incremental in natureIt is an implementation of the Agile methodology
It is suited for projects involving a small team of expertsIt is used in teams that need to handle constant changing requirements
The project head takes care of all tasks and is vital to the projectThere is no leader. Issues are handled by the scrum master and the team
Changes cannot be handled frequentlyTeams can react to changes quickly
It requires frequent delivery to the end-userSprints provide workable builds of the final product to the user for feedback
There are face-to-face interactions between cross-functional teamsThere are daily stand-up meetings help with collaboration
Design and execution is simpleDesign and execution can be innovative and experimental

What are the Artifacts of the Scrum Process?

Artifacts are referred to as materials or tools created by the scrum team for the purpose of tracking and managing key information.

  • Product Backlog: It is a list that consists of new features, changes to features, bug fixes, changes to the infrastructure, and other activities to ensure a particular output can be obtained.
  • Sprint Backlog: It is a subset of the product backlog that contains tasks focused on by the team to satisfy the sprint goal. Teams first identify the tasks to be completed from the product backlog. These are then added to the sprint backlog.
  • Product Increment: It is a combination of all product backlog items completed in a sprint and the value of previous sprints’ increments. The output must be in usable condition, even if the product owner doesn’t release it.

How are the Product and Sprint Backlog different from One Another?

Product BacklogSprint Backlog
It is a list of items that need to be completed for developing the productIt is a list of items to be completed during each sprint
The backlog is collected from the customer by the product owner and assigned to the teamThe team collects the backlog from the product owner and sets up the time frame for the sprint
It has a specific end goalIt is specific to a sprint
Based on customer visionCan vary based on product vision defined by the product owner
It’s independent of the sprint backlogIt’s dependant on the product backlog
The product owner maintains the backlog until the project is completeEach new sprint has backlogs added by the team

Who is a Scrum Master? And what does he/she do?

A Scrum Master is someone who promotes and supports the usage of Scrum within the team.

  • He/She understands the theory, practices, rules and, values of Scrum
  • He/She ensures that the team follows the values, principles and, practices of Scrum
  • They remove any distractions and impediments that hamper the progress of the project
  • The Scrum Master ensures that the team delivers value during the sprint

What happens in Daily Stand-up sessions?

Stand-up sessions are daily discussions that take place and are usually 15 minutes long. Daily Stand-up sessions help understand:

  • What tasks went well
  • What tasks were completed
  • What tasks are pending, and
  • The obstacles the team is facing

The meeting helps in understanding the overall scope and status of the project. Further discussions can take place after the stand-up sessions.

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