Waterfall Method

Other methods take a different approach, recognising that many of the development activities happen alongside one another. They aim to reduce risk by delivering the system a bit at a time (incrementally), repeating some processes over and over again for each increment (iteration). Some are quite formal, while others employ a lot less modelling and documentation.

This chapter looks at the basic waterfall life-cycle, and a method based on it. It also discusses the major alternatives, and common techniques such as prototyping. I compare the methods, and provide some guidance on where each is best used, so you can decide how to structure your development activities.

What is the Waterfall Life-Cycle?

what responsibilities in the development. At the end of the Strategy stage a decision can be taken on how to A Waterfall Life-Cycle proceed with the project. If s important not to invest too much effort in detailed analysis (or design!) without a sound strategy, making sure everyone understands what you are proposing and agrees to it.

At the Analysis stage you define the requirements in detail, in terms of the business functions the user will perform with the system. You must have already defined the scope of the system in the Strategy, so you can limit any growth in the requirements (" scope creep"), or at least control it using change control.

At the Design stage you turn the business requirements into a physical design for the system. The most important thing here is not the detailed specifications for particular elements, but to make sure you have a good architecture for the system, to understand (and communicate to others) how the different parts of the system will fit together and interact.

Once you have built the system (or a defined portion of it), you need to deliver it to the users, and help them implement it. The various processes of user and integration testing, training, completion of user procedures and documentation, data take-on and so forth are lumped together into the Transition stage. Some methods have a separate Testing stage, but this model doesn't, since testing is something which should happen alongside the other activities in all the stages.

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