What is Waterfall Model in SDLC? Advantages and Disadvantages - Shikshaglobe

Content Creator: Vijay Kumar

What is The Waterfall Model?

Cascade Model is a successive model that separates programming improvement into pre-characterized stages. Each stage should be finished before the following stage can start with no cross-over between the stages. Each stage is intended for performing explicit movement during the SDLC stage. It was presented in 1970 by Winston Royce.

The Waterfall Model is a traditional and linear approach to software development and project management within the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). In the Waterfall Model, each phase must be completed before the next one begins, and there is no overlapping or iterative process. Here are its key characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages:

Advantages of the Waterfall Model:

1.     Structured and Well-Defined: The Waterfall Model is highly structured and easy to understand. Each phase has specific deliverables and a defined set of activities, making it easier to manage and plan.

2.     Clear Documentation: Each phase requires thorough documentation, which helps in creating comprehensive project documentation. This is valuable for future reference, maintenance, and audits.

3.     Minimal Client Involvement: Once the project requirements are gathered and documented, clients and stakeholders have limited involvement until the testing and delivery phases. This can be an advantage when clients have limited time or resources for active participation.

4.     Suitable for Stable Requirements: It works well when the project requirements are well-understood and unlikely to change during the development process.

5.     Easy to Manage: Due to its sequential nature, the Waterfall Model is relatively easy to manage in terms of project progress tracking and resource allocation.

Disadvantages of the Waterfall Model:

1.     Inflexibility: One of the most significant drawbacks of the Waterfall Model is its lack of flexibility. Changes to requirements, design, or scope are challenging and costly to implement once a phase is completed.

2.     Late Deliverables: Clients do not see any working software until the end of the project. This can lead to late discovery of issues or misalignment with client expectations.

3.     Risk of Scope Creep: Clients may not fully understand their requirements at the beginning of the project. This can lead to scope creep when new requirements are introduced after the requirements phase is complete.

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4.     Limited Client Feedback: With minimal client involvement until the testing phase, there is limited opportunity for clients to provide feedback or make adjustments early in the project.

5.     Longer Time to Deliver: The Waterfall Model can result in longer development times, as each phase must be completed before moving on to the next. This can be a disadvantage in fast-paced industries where quick releases are essential.

6.     High Risk: If requirements are not well-defined or change significantly during the project, it can lead to project failure or significant delays.

7.     Not Suitable for Complex Projects: It may not be the best choice for large, complex projects where requirements are not well-understood or are likely to change.

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In summary, the Waterfall Model is a structured and document-centric approach to software development that works well for projects with stable, well-defined requirements. However, it can be inflexible and may not accommodate changes or evolving client needs effectively. It's essential to carefully assess the project's characteristics and client requirements before choosing the Waterfall Model as the SDLC methodology. In many modern software development environments, more flexible and iterative approaches like Agile have become popular alternatives to address some of the Waterfall Model's limitations.

The waterfall model is a sequential software development process in which progress flows like a waterfall, as shown in the image below.

The waterfall model is one of the oldest and most commonly used SDLC methodologies. It is also one of the simplest to understand and use. The main advantage of the waterfall model is that it is very easy to manage and control because each phase has specific deliverables and a review process. The disadvantage of the waterfall model is that it does not allow for much flexibility or adaptation once a phase has started. Also, if there are any problems in a phase, they can often only be fixed in the next phase, which can lead to delays and cost overruns.

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When to utilize SDLC Waterfall Model?

Cascade Methodology can be utilized when:

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Prerequisites are not changing oftentimes

The application isn't muddled and huge

Project is short

Prerequisite is clear

Climate is steady

Innovation and devices utilized are not dynamic and are steady

Assets are accessible and prepared

Read More Information:

Who is a Front-End Developer? Complete Guide
CI/CD Pipeline
What is a Backend Developer? Skills Need for Web Development
CI/CD Pipeline: Learn with Example
Software Development Life Cycle: What is, Phases & Models

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