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What is waterfall?


Definition of waterfall

Waterfall is a product and software development methodology. It breaks work into sequential stages flowing towards the completion of the project.

Typical stages within a this process include producing a requirements document, designing the software architecture, designing the UX and UI, developing the software, testing prototypes, verifying that the work was completed to specification and finally entering a maintenance stage if required.

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Advantages of waterfall

  • Costs and time requirements are known at the start of the project

  • A detailed specification allows new team members to become familiar with the project quickly

Disadvantages of waterfall

  • Unlike agile, this methodology does not allow for discovery, iteration, and refinement whilst developing the product. Instead, new requirements must be written.

  • As it is static, this methodology is not suitable for projects where client or business requirements may change during development

General FAQ

What is the success rate for a project using the waterfall methodology?
According to a study performed by Ambysoft in 2013, the waterfall methodology has a success rate of 49% while the agile method has a success rate of 69%.
What is the difference between agile methodology and waterfall model?
The waterfall methodology has a linear sequential life cycle whereas the agile methodology values continuous iteration and encourages flexibility.

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