The main difference agile and iterative is that agile is a time-boxed and iterative approach to software delivery that builds and grows from the start of the project until delivering all at once near the end. But, iterative is a development model that allows taking a small set of requirements and enhancing it further until the entire product is ready to be deployed to the end-user or the customer.
Generally, there are various software development models. Following a development model helps to build and deploy a working and a quality software product to the user. Overall, two such software development models are agile and iterative.
Key Areas Covered
Agile, Iterative, Software Development Models
What is Agile
Agile is an alternative to the transitional waterfall development model. There can be changes in the requirements. Agile supports these changing requirements. Therefore, it is adaptable and flexible. It divides the product into small incremental builds. In this methodology, a set of requirements are taken. Then the analysis, designing, coding, and testing is done for that section. Then, there is a meeting with the customer to get feedback. If it is successful, the team can move on to another set of requirements. And, this process repeats until developing the entire software. Each iteration takes one to three weeks. These time periods are called time boxes or sprints.
Agile provides multiple advantages. It improves collaboration within the team. Agile also allows taking frequent customer feedback. It is suitable for fixing or changing the requirements. On the other hand, it is not suitable for complex and risky software projects. Furthermore, it might require adjustments to meet the requirement.
What is Iterative
Iterative model is an iterative process that starts with some requirements and iteratively enhances the evolving versions until developing the whole system. This methodology does not require the complete set of requirements. Generally, the iterative model is combined with the incremental model to add new functionalities and to improve the product further. Likewise, every iteration produces a new version of the software.
An iterative model provides multiple advantages. It supports requirement changes. Moreover, the iterative model requires a minimum cost of change the requirements. It is easier to do testing and debugging. On the other hand, management is difficult and complex. Furthermore, it is not suitable for risky projects.
Difference Between Agile and Iterative
Agile is a model of software development under which requirements and solutions evolve through the collaborative effort of self-organizing and cross-functional teams and their customers. In contrast, iterative is a model that starts with a simple implementation of a small set of software requirements and iteratively enhances the evolving versions until the complete system is implemented and ready to be deployed. Thus, this is the fundamental difference between agile and iterative.
In agile, the next sprint depends on the previous sprint, whereas in iterative, the next iteration depends on the previous iteration.
Importantly, in agile, there is a meeting with the customer at the end of each sprint while in iterative, there is a meeting with the customer at the end of each iteration.
Another difference between agile and iterative is that in agile, the team can review during mid-sprint planning while iterative relies on baseline iteration plan.
Furthermore, in agile, the scrum master facilitates, and the team does the estimation, whereas in iterative, the project manager provides the estimation for each iteration.
In agile, the entire team is responsible for completing the tasks, but in iteration, the project manages is responsible for completing each iteration.
Participants of the testing
Also, in agile, anyone in the team can identify, prepare and execute test cases while in iterative, the testers identify, prepare and execute test cases.
In agile, test case preparation and execution starts after analyzing, designing and coding, whereas in iterative, test case preparation and execution starts after analyzing, designing and coding.
Moreover, in agile, demonstration and delivering working software at the end of every sprint while in iterative, delivering working software at the end of each iteration.
In brief, Agile and iterative are two software development models. Furthermore, it is possible to consider agile as a type of iterative model. The main difference agile and iterative is that agile is a time-boxed and iterative approach to software delivery that builds and increments from the start of the project until delivering all at once near the end. But, iterative is a development model that allows taking a small set of requirements and enhance it further until ready the entire product is ready.
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