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Waterfall vs Agile teams

The key differences between the physical teams that use each respective

methodologies are that generally Agile teams tend to be smaller (starting around 6-15

people), while Waterfall

teams tend to be larger (starting at around 15 people) (Maniuk, 2016).

Let’s first look at a break down of Waterfall team’s key roles and their respective

responsibilities. As far as software projects are concerned there are 4 key positions that

are vital to every Waterfall project: Developer, Tester, Business Analyst, and Project

Manager. The developer is responsible for developing their code, and have to be very

precise with their

programs because

one mistake could

cripple the program

later on in the project.

The tester is

responsible for testing

out the program

multiple times over

and over again in the

final stages of

development before it

is handed off to the user/client.

The business analyst works with the development team and the client so they can

properly market the product and is in charge of anything related to business strategies

regarding the product. Finally the project management team is in charge of the overall

project, and makes sure the project is running on schedule/ meeting all of the deadlines

(Maniuk, 2016).

Positions/roles are much less rigid within Agile teams, which means that team members

are not locked into one single role for the duration of the project development. Ideally on

a good Agile team any given team member can have multiple roles, and they can switch

roles at any time/ when necessary. The following are the roles that are often seen in

Agile teams: Team lead/Scrum Master, Team member, Product owner, and

Stakeholder/client. The Team Lead/Scrum Master is in charge of overseeing the project,

obtaining any necessary resources, and communicating between the shareholders and

the team members. The team member is a vague title but this can just be anyone
working on the project such as: programmers, testers, UI/UX, etc. The product owner is

the person that represents the stakeholders and communicates any concerns/feedback

about the project with the scrum master. The Stakeholder is anyone that has invested

money/resources into the project or simply anyone interested in the project such as:

users(indirect/direct), other developers that might use your product, etc (Ambler, 2012)


1) Maniuk, Ira. “Roles in Waterfall Methodology.” Hygger, 19 July 2016,

2) Ambler, Scott. Roles on Agile Teams: From Small to Large Teams, 2012