Waterfall Model in Software Development Phases, Pros & Cons

Also, you might need to use better versions to enhance the quality and overall performance of the software. The logical design represents the purpose and scope of the project. In this stage, you put all the possible solutions on the table to analyze their strengths and weaknesses within the context of the vision. Now to study the requirements, you are moved to the second stage, where the system design is prepared.

software development waterfall

But as software systems became broader in scope and more complex as they tackled bigger problems, more variables were introduced. More variables meant more chance of wrong assumptions and other mistakes being made at the requirements analysis phase. Once theoretical ideas have been assessed and decisions taken on which to go with, the physical or detailed design phase is when they are documented and detailed as concrete specifications. This model, which is usually utilized for developing and providing a wide range of concepts, is ideal for clients that lack a distinct notion or vision for what their finished product should seem.

Because of these cons other variants of waterfall evolved

However, the waterfall model also has a few drawbacks that you need to know if you are planning to implement this methodology. Hence, we will discuss all the cons of the waterfall model below. At this stage, you will need to gather all the possible requirements for your software project. It involves understanding what needs to be designed and how the features will function in software. Denoting scope is an essential part of the project for both sides.

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However, teams should be reluctant to commit to the locked time, resources and scope . Efforts to add scope to the fixed time and resources of agile software development may result in decreased quality. Teams may fall into the trap of spending too much time preparing or planning. This is a common trap for teams less familiar with agile software development where the teams feel obliged to have a complete understanding and specification of all stories. Teams should be prepared to move forward with only those stories in which they have confidence, then during the iteration continue to discover and prepare work for subsequent iterations .

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The waterfall model in software engineering has a simple approach. Even though gradually this model is losing its popularity it will always remain very important because all the other models are based on the principles of the waterfall model. Below, we will discuss what sort of software development projects are perfect for the Waterfall development methodology. The software application is now ready for deployment into a live environment as it is now deemed fully functional by the custom software development company.

software development waterfall

It includes the development, proving, and integration of the software. To start with the history of the waterfall model, I would like to say that the first sample of the waterfall model was introduced in the year 1970 by Winston w Royce in an article. Since then, the waterfall model state that one should switch to another phase only when the previous phases are completely tested, reviewed, and verified.

Cons – Waterfall Model

Similar to the waterfall model, the spiral model also incorporates risk assessment. These evaluations assist the team in identifying potential risks during project development, enabling quicker response times and more reasonable customer expectations. The model features an X-Y axis grid with a spiral shape extending from the X and Y axis’ central intersection.

software development waterfall

No phase can be started before or simultaneously with the previous or current one. The waterfall software approach was very much a great invention that suited construction projects and also many early development software projects. In fact, we are indebted to the waterfall method for most early software applications.

The development team must stay in touch with their client and work on their software product to fulfill their client’s evolving needs and expectations. After determining all the requirements, the team starts designing the appearance and function of their software product. Instead, it refers to the seamless and smooth working of the software product. It helps maintain the integrity of a business’s custom software product to comply with the evolving demands of its users and the market. And even if they do, the development phase might take very long and their requirements may well change during the course of delivering the product. Once we have specific software requirements, we will begin to create a complete blueprint describing the blueprints that help determine system and hardware requirements, as well as the actual steps.

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The waterfall model defines the software development process in a linear sequential flow. Therefore, it is also referred to as the linear-sequential life cycle model, which is easy to use and understand. When using this methodology, there is no chance of overlapping any software development phase and you can measure progress easily. Rapid prototyping and incremental development are combined in the RAD model, which stands for rapid application development. This facilitates better feedback for the developers through customer-tested prototypes and incremental development. The client monitors the system’s ongoing development and can more quickly spot any changes to the original project specifications or potential flaws.

  • The waterfall life cycle was introduced in 1970 and has been a popular option since this day.
  • No working software is produced until late during the life cycle.
  • Finally, these units are further integrated into the next phase.
  • From there, we can think about the suitability of the software development waterfall life cycle.
  • Before the next phase begins, we’ll ensure that we finish the last one.
  • Invest in experienced resources and get the quality solutions you need in minimum time.
  • In a TED Talk, Bruce Feiler shared how he applied basic agile paradigms to household management and raising children.

Requirements analysis & planning – The collection, analysis, and prioritization of product feature requirements iscritical to the delivery of an end product that meets customer needs. Is an Application Lifecycle Management platform with strong software development capabilities for regulatory industries, specifically aimed at the automotive industry. It allows teams to collaborate, develop and deliver quality products on time. Due to the focused pace and continuous nature of agile practices, there is a heightened risk of burnout among members of the delivery team. Having the scrum master also multitasking may result in too many context switches to be productive. A daily standup should be a focused, timely meeting where all team members disseminate information.

It is mandatory in the Waterfall approach to have a quality assurance test on the product after completing each phase. To start a particular phase of the project, the phrase preceding must be completed. In the verification phase, the product is handed over and he reviews it.

Waterfall Model – Disadvantages

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Offshoring will help you build reliable development teams and robust products. Majorly waterfall model is used in a defense project; the requirement is clear because before moving to the development phase, they analyze it well. The waterfall model works well for smaller projects where requirements are very well understood. So in the above discussion, we know each phase of the waterfall model deeply https://globalcloudteam.com/ with full specifications. So we can say that the waterfall model is very important in the software field as compared to mechanical industries as each phase has its own importance, leading to a more productive and stable software. A pure Waterfall model works well in situations where the original design and requirements are unlikely to change and where there is an increased need for predictability.

Software development projects begin with the decision of which methodology to use. Generally, a development methodology is a simple method for organizing your work. The Waterfall methodology manages a project linearly from start to finish.

Who Should Use the Waterfall Software Development Method?

As you can see, there are a lot of steps involved in software development. Each step has its own challenges, but they all have their place in creating a great product that works well for the user. RIVO AGENCY specializes in custom software development and every time we start a new project we go through all the listed stages.

In fact, Royce wasn’t advocating what became the Waterfall methodology at all but criticising it as flawed, describing it as “risky and invites failure”. The main body of the article outlined five additional phases he felt would compensate for the simplified original life cycle’s deficiencies to “eliminate most of the development risks”. In the maintenance phase, the software is in use and the primary job is now to keep it available and running smoothly as well as fixing any bugs reported by users that may have been missed during the testing phase. 1) Lifecycle objective — sufficient definition of a technical and management approach. 2) Lifecycle objective — sufficient definition of the preferred approach and significant risks eliminated or mitigated. 3) Initial operational capability — sufficient preparation of the software, site, users, operators, and maintainers.


This representative is agreed by stakeholders to act on their behalf and makes a personal commitment to being available for developers to answer questions throughout the iteration. The importance of stakeholder satisfaction, detailed by frequent interaction and review at the end of each phase, is why the approach is often denoted as a customer-centered methodology. Iterative and incremental software development methods can be traced back as early as 1957, with evolutionary project management and adaptive software development emerging in the early 1970s. Once you’ve completed the development of your application and are satisfied with its quality, it’s time to deploy the software into production. This is usually done by manually releasing the code to end users or automating this process so that it can be done as soon as the new code is checked in.

Others argue that the Waterfall method is used purely to market alternative development methods for commercial gain. A hybrid, comparable form of software development is the method of the Rational Unified Process . This method recognises the need and necessity of milestones in a project to keep it on track, but at the same time encourage iteration across different phases. In this blog, we discussed the Waterfall model from different perspectives.

These roles interact and overlap, and the dynamics between them vary greatly across development departments and communities. Organisations may attempt to deal with a lack of concrete requirements from clients by employing systems analysts to examine existing manual systems and analyse what they do and how they might be replaced. However, in practice, it is difficult to sustain a strict separation between systems analysis and programming. This is because implementing any non-trivial system will almost inevitably expose issues and edge cases that the systems analyst did not consider. Royce’s five additional steps never took mainstream hold, but his diagram of what he considered a flawed process became the starting point when describing a “waterfall” approach.