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Mobile App Agile or Waterfall – Choosing the Best Approach for App Development

With scores of mobile apps hitting the market today, do you know what are some methodologies adopted by experts in designing such robust and feature-rich apps?  Out of several methodologies, agile and waterfall approaches are most commonly adopted for the creation of mobile apps. While the exclusivity of waterfall method lies in its sequential order, continuous iterations form the core idea of the agile approach.

Since both of these methods have unique sets of advantages and disadvantages, a mobile app development company must adopt a method that best fits your app development requirement. So, in this blog, we discuss those pros and cons and help you understand the role of methodologies in the mobile app building process.

I Development Methodology – What is it all about?

When used for the development of software(mobile app development for this blog), the waterfall methodology allows division of a particular project into different phases like Analysis, Design, Implementation, Testing, and Deployment.

Given the rigid compartmentalisation, there is no overlap between the activities of different stages. One can move to the next stage only if the activities of the preceding stage have been completed. Now that you are clear with the basic definition, let us understand the pros and cons of this approach.


  1. Easy implementation – A linear-sequential lifecycle model, the waterfall methodology is simple and easy to implement. As every stage is taken care of separately and independently, you can manage each task at one time without getting all confused.
  • Clear division of stages – As the waterfall development approach allows clear segmentation of each stage, so it facilitates definite estimation of costs and timeline associated with every phase. Overall, with this approach, it gets easy for an app development agency to maintain and abide by the rigid deadlines and budget.
  • Convenient record keeping – Documentation is at the core of this methodology as it allows you to record the activities of the previous or current stage meticulously. You can take a cue from these documentations and decide the targets of the following stage or future projects.


  1. Lacks flexibility – Being a rigid model of development, the waterfall methodology does not let you return to the first stage unless the entire life cycle is completed. This means if you need to make changes in the preceding stages due to customer requests or any other reasons, you will not be able to get it done immediately.
  • Increases development costs – What do you do when you find glitches while testing the app? Unfortunately, an agency following the waterfall methodology will have to start all over again to fix the errors made at the fundamental levels. Of course, it is going to add to costs and delay the turnaround time.
  • Tests patience – Too much rigidity is not just impractical but it may even repulse clients from engaging your services next time. Failure to incorporate their needs at the right time may not go down well with your clients. Also, delayed delivery due to the last-minute fixing never creates a good impression.

Agile Development – An Overview of the Methodology

Based on the rapid and iterative application development approach, the agile methodology allows you to work on the activities of different stages simultaneously. In this method, ‘sprint’ or a certain time is allocated for the completion of a particular component while meetingthe expected requirements of this task. Unlike the waterfall methodology, the agile approach is focussed on iterative development and testing of software throughout its lifecycle. Let us now find its pros and cons.


  1. Testing at every step – The best part about the agile methodology is that each stage ends with testing, which means errors made in a particular stage can be looked into then and there before moving on to the next phase. Continuous testing ensures the deployment and delivery of a high-quality mobile app at the end of the day.
  • Feedback from users – If a mobile app development agency is following the agile method, then it is bound to involve the users and seek their feedback at every step of the development process. Thus, the users do not have to wait till the launch to offer their responsesor reviews on the application.
  • Flexible and adaptable – Whether you want to remove or add features, you can do that at any given point of the software development life cycle based on the agile approach. The methodology allows you to incorporate changes suggested or desired by the client and meet their expectations. All in all, it helps you deliver client-centric app development services always.


  1. Dependent on collective efforts – Since swiftness and flexibility are at the core of this method, you will have to count on teamwork, collaboration, and cooperation. If your agency works in a silo and lacks team involvement, then it might invite some troubles for you in terms of delayed delivery and communication gaps.
  • Lack of detailed documentation – To save time and effort, the agile method followers often put little focus on documentation. By integrating the necessary changes to working software, they believe documentation is not often essential. However, documentation is important for the transfer of knowledge and thus it should be paid heed to.

Closing thoughts – As you can see, both waterfall and agile methodologies have their own sets of advantages and disadvantages. Although you can choose either of them for your app needs, the agile method still comes out on the top for its flexibility, adaptability, promptness, and effectiveness. Are you in search of a mobile app development company that can hear you out and guide you through this process? Get in touch with Webbiner, one of the best digital solutions and service providers in Dubai.

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