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Waterfall Model

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The waterfall model methodology is used in project development, easily transferable to ICT projects. It's not the only way to approach them, but it's the one that has been used traditionally and to which most work teams are accustomed.

The waterfall methodology is also known as a cascade development model. It consists in the development of a project sequentially. A list of requirements that the final product should have is written for the supplier. After this intervention in the initial phase by the organization, it would not be necessary to participate again in the design process. Once the project is in the hands of the development team, it would perform the tasks sequentially. A task won't begin until the immediately preceding one has been completed.

Advantages and disadvantages of the waterfall methodology

This methodology has several advantages, such as the ease of measuring the progress of the project or the possibility that the client doesn't get too involved if he wishes. But the biggest advantage is its closed budget, agreed with the supplier from the beginning. Since no changes will be made to the software in its development process, the price won't change.

As a counterpoint, not introducing any changes in the software development can lead to a greater expense afterwards. It's possible that after a few months testing the program, workers will miss some functionality that they hadn't thought about when defining the characteristics that were requested from the developer. This would lead to requesting a new budget to solve the problem, so the money that initially seemed to have saved the company has to be disbursed now.

The waterfall methodology worked well when the cost of making any changes to the software was very high. Nowadays it's still used for simple projects or in which the final objective is totally clear.

Is waterfall the methodology I should follow to develop my project?

In the case of customized solutions for the company, it's only recommended if you're completely sure that the list of requirements won't change. However, the usual thing in these cases is that doubts or problems arise when workers are beginning to use the solution and becoming familiar with its characteristics. In these types of projects, it's often more expensive to make changes once the installation is finished than during its development phase.

As an alternative, there is the agile methodology in which they can be introduced if changes in the software are desired as it develops.


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