Waterfall Model

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Waterfall Model

A software life-cycle or product life-cycle model, described by W. W. Royce in 1970, in which development is supposed to proceed linearly through the phases of requirements analysis, design, implementation, testing (validation), integration and maintenance. The Waterfall Model is considered old-fashioned or simplistic by proponents of object-oriented design which often uses the spiral model instead.

Earlier phases are sometimes called "upstream" and later ones "downstream".

Compare: iterative model.

[W. W. Royce, "Managing the Development of Large Software Systems", Proceedings of IEEE WESCON, August 1970].
References in periodicals archive ?
Waterfall also assumes that timeframes and budgets are easy to predict in the beginning; many waterfall developments fall in quarterly timeframes for progress and outputs, which is not nearly the frequency needed for reviewing progress and alignment with customer needs, and soliciting customer feedback (which is the final step in a waterfall process, after the project is completed).
Traditional information technology acquisition follows a sequential, stovepiped waterfall process that results in a large amount of "work in progress" throughout the development effort and delays delivery of functionality to the end user until the end of the effort.
In more recent years, I have formalized software design within the Cynefin Framework--an approach that uses the power of waterfall process for ordered or structure environments, but starts to use methods such as social network stimulation, the subject of my previous column.