The waterfall model is a linear sequential phase where project activities are breakdown into different phases, where each phase is determined by using the previous one and hence there is a dependency on the deliverables of the phases which corresponds to a specialization of tasks. This approach is common in software development, where it tends to be among the flexible and less iterative approaches, as progress flows is largely unidirectional (“downwards” like a waterfall) through various phases like analysis, design construction, conception, initiation, testing, deployment, and maintenance.
Another popular model is the Agile Software development life cycle (SDLC) model, which is a combination of iterative and incremental process models and that gives rapid delivery of working software products with the focus on process adaptability and customer satisfaction. In a nutshell, Agile Methods break the product into small incremental builds and then individual chunks are processed.
The shortcoming of using waterfall methods is that testing isn’t typically built into every cycle of a project. This doesn’t leave much room for collaboration or incremental feedback.
If changes are required late in a project, executing them can be both expensive and time-consuming. Many a website project has gone over time and budget based on late-stage misunderstandings about how features should work.
The whole system works better if all parties can work together to test assumptions and validate (or refute) ideas.
The process should work collaboratively rather than as a series of ‘grand reveals’ where some project stakeholders aren’t involved in decision making.
The only caveat is that to work in this way, all project stakeholders should feel comfortable with a bit of uncertainty. Agile methods break large, complex projects down into a series of manageable chunks, or “sprints” in agile parlance, that each focus on a core component of the larger project.
Each sprint has clear functioning deliverables that can be tested against organizational goals and desired outcomes—with real end-users whenever possible.
The waterfall method carries an extra burden to complete a single agile sprint ie. elaborate documentation and completion of each phase are required.
For SDLC, there is a various hybrid model available. The water -scrum fall model, budgeting, planning, and production is done using traditional approaches, whereas analysis, development, design, and testing follows agile principles.
By combining the best practices of both methodologies and incorporating the right hybrid techniques, the entire project can be a success. As long as there are good communication and effective cooperation between team members, then an effective approach to executing a complex project would be by adopting a hybrid approach with rapidly changing requirements.
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