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Agile Vs Waterfall – What is the Best Approach to Web Development?

If you are looking to hire a website design and development agency, then there are probably hundreds of questions in your mind. How should I begin the process? What should be my strategy? What are the most important pages? What should my budget be? What is the best approach for website development?

The Two Broad Approaches

At Modifyed, we have designed and developed nearly 70+ web and app based projects and have collaborated with other agencies or business owners on nearly 30 other projects. After seeing thousands of dollars being invested in tech platforms, we are now at a stage where we have developed two broad approaches for website and web app development – Waterfall and Agile.

In the Waterfall approach, we design and develop the entire website in one go, starting from the website planning, sitemap design, information architecture, user flow, etc. moving right into the development.

In the Agile methodology, we breakdown the entire project into a product development backlog. From the backlog, we prioritise and combine features that need to be released  into sprints, usually lasting for 1 month, with specific outcomes at the end of each sprint.

Each method has its pros and cons. In the Waterfall approach, the entire project goes into development and after the completion of the project, the product (be it a web app, website or mobile app), goes live. In the Agile approach, the development happens in pieces, with the minimum viable product going live, and then ongoing development via sprints leads to addition of feature sets.

When is the Waterfall Method Recommended

We recommend clients to adopt the waterfall method when they are extremely certain of their business requirements, and the feature requirements from the digital product that they want to develop. In many cases, a client’s target audience might not be able to make purchase decisions, or be able to buy from the client after seeing a limited number of pages or features on their website. They want to see the entire website in action – About the company, portfolio of services, case studies, products offered, testimonials, and more – before being able to make a buying decision.

When is the Agile Methodology Recommended

For clients which have a highly technology supported business model, Agile is hands-down the way to go. In most tech-oriented business models, ongoing development becomes mandatory has the business models keep evolving, which lead to changing requirements. In such a scenario, features with the maximum number of use-cases or those which have high priorities, are developed first and made live, so that the client’s audience can buy without waiting for months before the project is launched.

In a number of tech-enabled businesses, such as e-commerce platforms, products or services go live one by one. In such situations, its better to have a good to go digital product live, rather than waiting for the perfect one to get developed (which usually takes months).

Top 5 reasons why we recommend the Agile Approach

After working on hundreds of projects, we have a strong bias towards adopting the Agile Methodology for website and app development projects.

  1. Continous Improvement – The Agile philosophy is based on the ideology of continous improvement. Its based on the concept of iterations, where each iteration works to improve the overall user experience. Instead of developing a static solution, an agile solution ensures that changing market needs are taken care of.
  2. Lower Risk – An Agile approach breaks down a larger project into shorter development cycles called “sprints”, with each sprint lasting for roughly 30 days. Each sprint delivers a completely working module, without bugs, that can used as a standalone project. This ultimately leads to lower risk for our clients as they get working software, or a live website, month on month. Instead of waiting for months to get a complete solution, they are able to go to market much faster.
  3. Incorporate New Features – As each sprint cycle is of a short duration, new features or requests, market feedback, and any other requirements can be incorporated in a much more dynamic fashion. This enables us as the web development agency to work closely with the client to accomodate changing needs, which in a real life scenario, are bound to happen.
  4. Test Market Feedback – For a number of clients, technology is a new investment. Everyone knows its important, but they are often unsure as to the correct way to implement tech in their organisations, or for their customers. An Agile approach can be used to launch low cost products in the market, aggressively market them through digital marketing campaigns, and capture actual feedback at scale.

If you want to take your business to the next level by automating, templatising and scaling your processes, using technology, please contact us with your requirements.

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