The waterfall model is a sequential design process, often used in software development processes, in which progress is seen as flowing steadily downwards (like a waterfall) through the phases of Conception, Initiation, Analysis, Design, Construction, Testing, Production/Implementation, and Maintenance.

The waterfall development model originates in the manufacturing and construction industries; highly structured physical environments in which after-the-fact changes are prohibitively costly, if not impossible. Since no formal software development methodologies existed at the time, this hardware-oriented model was simply adapted for software development


The idea behind the waterfall model may be "measure twice; cut once," and those opposed to the waterfall model argue that this idea tends to fall apart when the problem constantly changes due to requirement modifications and new realizations about the problem itself. A potential solution is for an experienced developer to spend time up front on refactoring to consolidate the software, and to prepare it for a possible update, no matter if such is planned already. Another approach is to use a design targeting modularity with interfaces to increase the flexibility of the software with respect to the design.

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A quote saved on Feb. 27, 2013.


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