Waterfall Model

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The waterfall Model illustrates the software development process in a linear sequential flow. This means that any phase in the development process begins only if the previous phase is complete. The waterfall approach does not define the process to go back to the previous phase to handle changes in requirement. Therefore, different projects may follow different approaches to handle such situations.

What is Waterfall methodology?

The waterfall approach is the earliest approach that was used for software development. Initially, most projects followed the waterfall approach because they did not focus on changing requirements.

Waterfall Approach Phases

1. Conception: Triggers when a problem is perceived. This phase involves identifying goals to be achieved after the problem is solved, estimating benefits in the new system over the current system, and identifying other areas that are affected by the solution. This phase also involves and developing the business case for the project. A business case provides the information that a manger needs to decide whether to support a proposed project, before resources are committed to its development.waterfall model image

2. Initiation: Involves a macro level study of the customer requirements. This phase also involves defining alternative solutions to the customer requirements and cost-benefit justification of these alternatives.

3. Analysis: Involves carrying out detailed study of the customer requirements and arriving at the exact requirements of the proposed system. The phase involves freezing the requirements before the design phase begins.

4. Design: Involves translating the identified requirements into a logical structure, called design that can be implemented in a programming logic.

5. Construction: Involves integrating and testing all the modules developed in the previous phase as a complete system.

6. Integration and Testing: Involves integrating and testing all the modules developed in the previous phase as a complete system.

7. Implementation and maintenance: Involves converting the new system design into operation. This may involve implementing the software system and training the operating staff before the software system is functional.

The waterfall approach assumes that requirements are stable and frozen across the project plan. However, this is usually not true in case of large projects where requirements may evolve across the development process.

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  1. It was very helpful. I am a B.Sc IT student and this article is great. Thank you.

    • Pradeep says:

      Could u pls send ur email id so that i can send u some more helpful docs

      • Please send me the complete docs related to SDLC and Software testing.

        • I have listed all the doc and related articles here itself in this website. You can go through each of the pages for more elaborate knowledge about the required topic.

    • Akankshya Tripathy says:

      Hi there…. this is akankshya
      There are few things which i think are not correct:
      1) This phase also involves and developing the business case for the project. (sentence creates confusion)
      2) manger…. wrongly spelled πŸ˜›
      3) ” 5. Construction: Involves integrating and testing all the modules developed in the previous phase as a complete system.
      6. Integration and Testing: Involves integrating and testing all the modules developed in the previous phase as a complete system. ”
      Are they the same thing?

      Sorry if you didnt like me pointing out these…. i just wanted to help you ….
      Ur articles are really nice…. as i am a beginner i am loving the simplicity with which they are written

      Good Luck :)

  2. can i get the areas where waterfall model is applied?

  3. I think construction phase is where you can develop the test cases and online help to guide used to interact with the system and all the test case must support the business requirements.

  4. what is an example of waterfall model

    • The prime example for a waterfall model will be automobile industry.Car or bike manufacturing..
      First the requirements are drafted. once they are finalized then the design phase starts. Now the requirements do not change unless the bike or the car is completely ready.
      Then the next step of testing and further more.

  5. Very clearly stated. Thanks for sharing.
    Do you also have records or data showing which model is mostly used and why?

  6. what a great tutorial πŸ˜€

  7. kitavujja moses says:

    I have really got alot from your share plaese may the heavenly God award more blessing to the work of your hands is all I pray.

  8. What happens when we are using the classical waterfall model and we realize in the design phase that we made a error in the requirements phase.

    Are we allowed to go back and correct our mistake ?

    Also if we are allowed to correct the mistake , then what is the difference between the iterative waterfall model and the classical waterfall model

    • In waterfall model you can never go back once the progression is made. In any time for a waterfall model, the flow of water can never slide upstream. It is NOT possible, hence the name waterfall model. You can correct the mistake while you are engaged to a particular step. Once you finalize this step and get on with the next aspect, it is NOT possible to get back down there and rectify any mistake.

      P.S: Off the rules, there is always some room for making minor changes to previous phases and this is applicable for all sdlc models including Waterfall Model. The only difference is you can NEVER rebuild what has been done earlier. If you do so, you will have to scrap everything you have done after that and start all over again from the changed phase or point.

  9. Zain Tareen says:

    oh tomorrow is my paper of CA in Pakistan and i just had to learn these models and i mean right now and thanks a lot for this great help… May Allah shower his blessings upon you and your family

  10. thank you for sharing your ideas.. great….. God bless and more power

  11. chithresh says:

    yeah thanks a lot nice reading..I got an interview tmrw..Found this helpfull

  12. thnk u so much for ur information…. this info is very much helpful for the beginners….. so am again thanking u for this…. may allah’s grace always on u

  13. Thanks. You just made it easy. Allah tera bala karega.

  14. shubham says:

    very helpful and concise… thankyou.. :)

  15. dotman sage says:

    Hi nice post . Do you have more materials on SDLC?Please send to my email address (dotun_ayansiji@yahoo.co.uk).


  16. Very nice and easy article ,Thank you…!

  17. can you give an example of a project that would be suitable for waterfall and prototype approach

  18. it is helpful….

  19. Tutor, can you explain a bit about the use of Waterfall model in order to build a system? I just wonder because when we build a system for sure must create coding. Then if we use is Waterfall model, how about at the end, the system can’t run. As the explanation of the waterfall model explain that this model can’t make a change or go back to previous phase. So, is this waterfall model suitable to build a system? Really hope you can explain. Thank you Tutor.

  20. thank you … its easy article … its helpful ^^
    i found this article like found the treasure… @,@
    me- from indonesia ^^

  21. kiran kumar says:

    Can you plz RAD model in simple way. Plz plz

  22. I’m a newbie in sdlc….could you plz provide some sample documents for every phase

  23. Is there anybody who can guide me about the examples of the Water Fall Model from the real life?

  24. yasanthi says:

    thank u it is very useful to me

  25. I want to know more about AGILE .. pls send any information about agile to my mail id

  26. thanks to make very easy article
    it is really helf ful …….


  1. The Colorful and Gray World of Engineering Management says:

    Sprint to the Finish!

    A sprint team that starts together, ends together. That seems like a fairly simple principle to follow

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