The Difference Between Agile and Unified Process Methodology

Project management can be challenging, so your team should be acquainted with tech developments that make it easier. In fact, embracing the right methodologies can make the entire process more organized and more effective.

These days, Agile and Unified process methodologies are key types of project methodologies that are commonly used. Now the question is, what’s the difference between the Agile and Unified process methodology? Read on for an in-depth comparison between these two popular choices.

Agile Methodology

Agile is a distinctive methodology that aims to provide better solutions to other more dated forms of software development. Agile easily adapts to the changing requirements of the project over time. Anyone using this methodology will benefit from feedback from the end users, or target audience.

With Agile, the processes or activities you undertake have to align with the Agile manifesto’s main concepts. This manifesto helps companies to come up with better ways to develop software, while producing more efficient and effective solutions. Teams that are involved in this method are expected to be prepared for a dynamic project development experience.

Agile methodology has evolved from a lightweight and straightforward software approach to a fantastic and flexible one. Because of this, it no longer works with every project you may have in mind. Instead, there are unique facets that define the Agile methodology.

A closer look at the main characteristics of these two software development methodologies will give you a clear understanding of the differences between them.

Characteristics of Agile Methodology

Change is Embraced

The Agile methodology does not involve long-term planning cycles. It's easy to adopt and embrace changes at any given time during the planning and implementation phases of the project. Developers have an opportunity to perfect, categorize the project, and let teams make changes within a stipulated deadline.

The Results Can Vary

The Agile methodology works perfectly in a project where the end-goal is not clear. As the software development team pursues the solution at hand, they will still refer to their goals, spot the flaws in the system, then adapt to changes.

High-Quality and Faster Delivery

The Agile methodology is iterative. This means it's easy to break down the project into manageable units. The software developers will work as a team and focus on every cycle of the project. They can quickly identify the project’s key limitations, allowing them to solve and deliver faster results.

Continuous Improvement

The Agile methodology allows the target audience to be heard, valuing each individual’s feedback. The users and project team will refer to these feedback notes and make necessary changes to improve future iterations.

Related Content: An Easy Guide to Agile Project Management Pros and Cons

Agile Development Cycle

There are distinctive phases involved in the Agile methodology development cycle that you should be acquainted with. These phases significantly bring out the main difference between the two software development methodologies.

  1. Planning - During this phase, a team comes together to break the idea down into smaller parts. Then, each feature will be prioritized and assigned to an iteration.
  2. Analysis - The software development team will meet with the target audience to identify their needs and requirements, and ascertain more on what it all entails
  3. Design - The team will consider what the possible blueprint should look like.
  4. Testing - The team will create and test the features of the product. They also check whether it meets the list of set requirements.

Unified Process Methodology

The unified process methodology is widely used in web application and website development. It provides tools and criteria to help in software and web development procedures. This includes tools like web templates, HTML, and other tools that aid in project development and are widely used by developers in the field.

It is not a simple software development methodology that you can quickly adapt to. It involves an extensible framework that developers should customize by hand. The Unified process can be applied effectively to various software systems that come with different managerial and technical complexity levels across various organizations or projects.

Characteristics of the Unified Process Methodology

Iterative and Incremental

The Unified process is a distinctive methodology that is iterative and incremental. Multiple iterations are used in the refinement and enlargement of a system. The relative efforts and emphasis of the team assigned to the project will change throughout the entire project.

Architecture-Centric

Architecture is at the heart of the team's efforts, and everything it does shapes the project. Unified process exclusively supports the architectural views and models that are relevant to the project.

Risk-Focused

This methodology requires the software development team to pay attention to the most critical risks in the project's early stages. Each stage's results are scrutinized to ensure that the risks are addressed as early as possible.

Use-Case Driven

The Unified process embraces use cases to help in software or web development. The team has to utilize use cases to push forward all the development work involved in each phase.

Phases of the Unified Process


The key phases used in the Unified process methodology include:

  1. Inception - In this stage, your website and application development team describes the scope of the project. It goes on to establish special details about the project. Then, the team will decide whether to buy or develop it.
  2. Elaboration - The team has to capture all the system features in this phase and establish validation of the system design.
  3. Construction - The team has to design and find the source code of the project or application it has developed.
  4. Transition - The team will deliver the completed project to the end users and help them learn how to use it.
Related Content: Agile Software Development Methods: What is the Agile Unified Process?

Key Takeaway


This look at the differences between the Agile and Unified process methodologies hopefully helped you make up your mind. Remember, each methodology has its pros and cons, so you should choose one that makes your team more efficient. Test the two methodologies and pick the one that best fits your project needs. If you want to learn more about Agile and Unified, seek expert advice. Bydrec is a nearshore software development company that can point you in the right direction. For more information, don’t hesitate to call us today!

Topics: Agile Software Development, agile methodology