Waterfall development, as the name implies, puts a sequential structure around the entire project, grouping elements into stages and cascading them, through to completion.
If you are clear on the bounds in which your project will operate and have a defined structure for what you wish to achieve, this is an ideal methodology to use as it sets very clear milestones to project completion that ensure that a project will not deviate or change course. With SFW, Waterfall development produces tangible results on time and to budget.
When to use Waterfall
Waterfall development is best used for an initial build of a product where expected outcomes are clearly defined and when requirements are not likely to change dramatically during the course of the development. If this is the case, then the rigor of the Waterfall Requirements Definition phase (analyses and scopes each requirement in detail) is of great value as it ensures that expectations are met and that potentially important elements are not overlooked, often by including prototyping within this phase.
It is possible to use the Waterfall development method in a more iterative manner as well. Providing that the requirements for the first iteration is are clear and well-defined, it is possible to commence the first iteration whilst cementing requirements for future iterations. The more iterative form of Waterfall development means that there is more than one Requirements Definition phase which provides and opportunity within each iteration to respond to new and emergent requirements.
For more information and advice on selecting a development methodology that best meets your organisational requirements, or to discuss a new project, please complete this short form or call 01483 722219