Agile Testing vs. Waterfall Testing

When it comes to testing any software project, there is a dilemma of choosing the approach that fits the task best. Agile and Waterfall are two diverse testing strategies that are currently most popular. Learn how to tell between the two and choose what works best for you from this post. Check out our list of advantages and disadvantages for every approach as well.


What is Agile Testing?

Agile testing is a software testing methodology that matches the postulates of Agile software development. Agile implicates that the requirements of the client and the development team develop gradually. In this approach, the development and testing processes are aligned with the demands of the customer.

Benefits of Agile Testing
  • Minimal planning required due to the simple structure.
  • Little documentation.
  • Testers work jointly with developers on the project.
  • Best fit for small projects. It also works fine for long-term
  • Bugs don’t pile up. It takes place simultaneously with the project development.
  • Quick issue solving. There is a separate testing place for every iteration.
  • Continuous feedback. The Team and the Product Owner are always on the same page about the project development and quality assurance.
  • Test-driven development. When using Agile, testing is performed during implementation.
  • Flexible and supports changes.
Shortcomings of Agile Testing:
  • Requires continuous efficient communication between testers and developers.
  • Blurred organizational structure.
  • Only senior programmers can make crucial decisions during team meetings.

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What is Waterfall Testing?

Waterfall testing is a software testing methodology that matches the postulates of Waterfall software development. Waterfall implicates that there is a sequence of stages in which the output of each stage becomes the input for the next. Waterfall approach is also known as the linear-sequential life cycle model.


As you can probably already tell, Agile testing is applied together with the Agile development approach. Consequently, Waterfall testing is applied in the scope of the Waterfall development.

Advantages of Waterfall Testing
  • Well-structured and well-documented testing process.
  • Fits projects of any complexity.
  • All the features of the project are developed and delivered together.
  • Testers and developers do not need to communicate continuously. They work independently.
  • Easy to manage. With Waterfall, every stage has its deliverables and a strict review method.
  • Easy to adapt in case a team changes or different teams work in shifts.
Drawbacks of Waterfall Testing
  • It requires excessive documentation.
  • Strict structure.
  • Not perfect for large-scale projects.
  • Testing takes part only at the end of the project In some cases, bugs are easier solved before they pile up.
  • In case the client requirements are not precise from the start, it is less effective compared to Agile.

How to Choose Between Agile and Waterfall Testing?

As you can see, both Waterfall and Agile have their advantages when it comes to project quality testing. Yet, every method has its limitations. To pick the right approach for your project, you need to consider what aspects of each method are more crucial for you.

We believe that Agile testing is more flexible, motivating, and result-oriented. In real life, project requirements are hardly ever concise, clear and unchangeable all the time from the very beginning till the very end of the project development. Choosing Agile, you will be able to align testing with programming and make sure your customer gets exactly what they need and when they need it.

Final Thoughts

Agile and Waterfall are two of the most popular approaches to development and quality testing. Yet, they are quite different when it comes to structure and implementation. It’s important to choose the approach that corresponds to your needs best and stick with it carefully.


We believe that Agile is the only way to go in the conditions of ever changing client demands and startup pivots. This flexible and simple approach is a safe choice for any project.


About the Author

Maria Redka is a Technology Writer at MLSDev. It is web and mobile app development company in Ukraine. Our focus area includes a full range of services in mobile and web app development as well as design, consulting and testing.

About the Author


Hi All, I'm Nicola and I am part of the EuroSTAR team. I enjoy outdoor activities and martial arts, it's fun! I joined EuroSTAR in 2018 and am excited to meet new people every year during the conferences. Tester Friends are for life :)
Find out more about @nicolag

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