Waterfall model

Waterfall Model is a sequential model that divides software development into different phases. The Waterfall Model is a linear sequential flow. In which progress is seen as flowing steadily downwards (like a waterfall) through the phases of software implementation. This means that any phase in the development process begins only if the previous phase is complete. The waterfall approach does not define the process to go back to the previous phase to handle changes in requirement.

Now lets discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages(drawbacks) of this type of Software Development Process.Remember it is the oldest and the most widely used process for software engineering.


Before the next phase of development, each phase must be completed

Suited for smaller projects where requirements are well defined

They should perform quality assurance test (Verification and Validation) before completing each stage

Elaborate documentation is done at every phase of the software’s development cycle

Project is completely dependent on project team with minimum client intervention

Any changes in software is made during the process of the development


Error can be fixed only during the phase

It is not desirable for complex project where requirement changes frequently

Clients valuable feedback cannot be included with ongoing development phase

Small changes or errors that arise in the completed software may cause a lot of problems

Testing period comes quite late in the developmental process

Documentation occupies a lot of time of developers and testers

Projects where Waterfall Method is suitable for SDLC (Software development lifecycle):

1)  In development of database-related software, eg commercial projects.

2)  In development of E-commerce website or portal.

3)  In Development of network protocol software

4) Requirements are not changing frequently

5) Application is not complicated and big

6) Project is short

7) Environment is stable

8) Technology and tools used are not dynamic and is stable

9) Resources are available and trained

The major pitfall for the waterfall model that it is project implementation focused not a customer focused which cannot realize a quick business value to the customer. The customer should wait for the full lifecycle to see the outcome and this can be good or a disaster. That’s why choosing the proper model is very critical to be able to deliver the expected business value as needed.

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