Agile Methodology

What is The Difference Between Agile and Unified Process Methodology?

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What is The Difference Between Agile and Unified Process Methodology?
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What is The Difference Between Agile and Unified Process Methodology?

When starting a new project, it’s important to consider the type of methodology you will use. There are many different options, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. Two of the most popular approaches are Agile and Unified Process. This article will compare and contrast these two methods to help you decide which is right for your project.

What is Agile Methodology

What is Agile Methodology?

Before we get into the comparison between Agile and Unified process, it’s important to go over what exactly Agile is. Simply put, this methodology says that teams should prioritize flexibility above all else.

Agile project management is an alternative to traditional approaches that focus on one major deliverable. Instead, Agile breaks down goals into independent products which can be developed and released quickly without having any long-term consequences for their users or designers alike.

Agile project management can be quite simple with the two main styles being Scrum and Kanban. In these approaches, a board is used to visualize tasks in columns: one for completed/closed items; another containing those still open at any given time (to do).

The ideal size of a Scrum team is 5-6 people. An Agile group working in this style has three roles: product owner, development leader (or “team manager”), and team member.

In the Kanban style, there are two major roles – Service Request Manager (SRM) and Delivery Specialist- who tend to practice this framework in their workflow process.

The Agile workflow is a flexible system of work with short task spans that are often called sprints. This requires an organized team that can be coordinated at all times, but also allows for people to take initiative when necessary so they exceed expectations in their roles as well.

In Agile, a team does a little bit of planning at the beginning of a project and then focuses on speed. This means that if the project starts to get out of hand or take more resources than initially expected, you can make quicker decisions.

What are Agile’s core principles?

While some structures are present—especially at the beginning of the project—the methodology values pragmatism over planning, allowing for more flexibility throughout the process. Agile, in its purest form, emphasizes four key principles:

  • Personal engagement over processes and tools.
  • Flexibility over following a specific plan.
  • Functional software over detailed documentation.
  • Collaboration with customer over business negotiations.

These are just that, though, values or guidelines; like many other methodologies, Agile has its own list of practices. These are not rules, by any means—agile teams are encouraged to try these practices initially and then adapt them as they deem necessary.

What is Unified Process

What is Unified Process?

Before we jump into how Unified process is different from Agile, let’s take a look at what exactly Unified Process is.

Unified Process is a methodology that focuses on the importance of early planning in order to avoid risks, increase productivity, and meet customer satisfaction.

What are Unified Process core principles?

There are four core principles or phases of UP:

  • Inception.
  • Elaboration.
  • Construction/Production Phase.
  • Transition Phase into Operation or Maintenance stage.

These phases are continually repeated as the project progresses, and as such there isn’t a “long-term” view taken as with many other methodologies.

1) Inception Phase:

The inception phase is all about gaining an understanding of what your goal is and what you want to achieve through the project.

In order to keep projects on track, the inception phase is usually quite short. If an inception phase lasts too long then it could indicate that there’s been excessive up front specification at the beginning of your project.

2) Elaboration Phase:

The Elaboration phase is where you specify all of the project’s requirements.

This includes designing, planning, and prototyping your project before starting any work on it. This is where you assess the risks, refine the requirements, and plan your project’s projected timeline, and budget.

3) Construction or Production Phase:

The Construction Phase is all about building a system that can work in beta customer environments. During Construction, tasks are completed which involve iteratively and incrementally building out the entire project until it’s ready for its first trial customers.

The Construction phase is where you build and test the product. The criteria for a construction phase are to make sure that the release is stable and mature, and all stakeholders have been prepared for transition into user community. If there’s any issues with these criteria then it could postpone the transition stage.

4) Transition Phase:

The Transition phase is where you give over your release to the production team and the users.

The goal of this phase is to make sure that all stakeholders are ready for the project, and that there’s a good understanding of what exactly has been built and how it can be used collaboratively.

Benefits of Unified Process Methodology

What are the benefits of Unified Process Methodology?

The Unified Process methodology is a very well-tested and tried-and-true methodology that’s been used for decades by companies all over the world to develop software. It provides a level of structure and guidance, which can make it easier for teams and organizations to learn and adapt.

1) Unified Process is a team-based methodology:

Unified Process doesn’t emphasize dividing the work up into individual tasks that can be handed off from one person to another. Instead, there’s a high degree of collaboration between different disciplines in order to produce the best possible product.

2) Unified process helps with project planning:

The Elaboration phase is where the majority of work that goes into planning and designing your software will take place. This makes it easy for everyone to plan their time accordingly so they know exactly what needs to be done.

3) Unified Process helps with identifying risks:

Risks are a part of any project, even Unified Process projects. In order to manage risks effectively, they need to be identified early on and then mitigated using strategies that have been defined by the team.

4) Unified process has a lot of technical guidance:

Unified Process is a very high-level methodology in terms of what it’s trying to accomplish. It’s a great starting point for teams that don’t already have their own development process in place.

Benefits of Agile Methodology

What are the benefits of Agile Methodology?

Agile project management has been the go-to standard for many dev teams, particularly startups and small companies, because it allows them to get work done quickly and efficiently.

There are many benefits to Agile. Some key ones include:

1) Agile workflows are visual and transparent:

When a team is working agile, there’s a strong focus on transparency and collaboration within the development process. This means that it’s very visual for all stakeholders involved in the project.

2) Agile has short sprints with small deliverables:

One of the hallmarks of Agile development is its short timeframes and small deliverables. This allows for rapid feedback and course corrections, so any errors will be found as quickly as possible.

3) Agile is great for remote teams:

If your team isn’t co-located, then working with an agile methodology can be a huge benefit. In an agile workflow, the team is responsible for their own tasks and deadlines. This can make life significantly easier for teams that are working remotely.

4) Agile encourages independent learning:

Unified Process Methodology has a strong focus on assigning tasks to specific people who work together until the task is done. Agility, on the other hand, does not have this concept. It centers around the idea that everyone should be able to complete any task they’re assigned. This encourages individuals to learn new skills and gain knowledge independently.

5) Agile is less structured:

Agile doesn’t have as many phases as Unified Process Methodology does, which means it’s more flexible and adaptable. This can be highly beneficial in some cases, while more structured methodologies might suit others better.

A Comparison of Agile vs Unified Process Methodology

A Comparison of Agile vs Unified Process Methodology

With both methodologies, there are many benefits that you’ll get to take advantage of when deciding which one is right for your team or project.

The biggest difference between agile and unified process is arguably the philosophy behind them. Agile is all about flexibility, speed, and responding to changing requirements—it focuses on the people developing the software (and not only their skills but also their personalities), allowing for processes that work best for each specific group of workers.

Unified process, however, is all about structure and process, with a heavy focus on documentation and development phases.

Many people view Agile as more suitable for smaller projects that can change quickly and adapt to new information. Others consider Unified Process to be better suited for larger projects, though it’s certainly possible to use Agile principles on large-scale projects or Unified Process on smaller ones.

It really comes down to personal preference and the type of project being worked on—some people are more collaborative by nature while others prefer a more individualistic approach, and that same diversity is something that agile and unified process both aim to embrace.

Can Agile and Unified Process Be Used Together?

In a word: yes. In fact, many companies find it useful to use a mix of the two methodologies, taking the best parts of each and using them on their projects.

As with all things project management, it’s important to remember that the specific needs of each individual project are going to be unique. The best way to approach these methodologies is not through thinking which one is better or worse, but rather by evaluating each one separately and thinking about how they could fit into your process.


To summarize, Agile and Unified Process both aim to introduce transparency and visibility into the project management process. The biggest difference between them is that Unified Process focuses on structure while Agile focuses on speed and flexibility.

Which process do you think is better for your project – agile or unified process?”


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