michaela-damm.jpg
blocshop
December 09, 2020
0 min read

The Waterfall model: Advantages and disadvantages

The Waterfall model: Advantages and disadvantages.jpeg

What is the Waterfall Model?

Coming about in the 1970’s, Waterfall is a project development model that is used in many industries. It was the first project model to be used in the software development lifecycle (SDLC). In the software world, it was widely used until the advent of Agile methods. Though Agile is now the star of the show, Waterfall remains one of the most popular design models. Waterfall is a step-by-step operation plan, where each step must be completed before moving onto the next. This is referred to as a linear sequential lifecycle model. 

Phases in Waterfall

There are six phases in the Waterfall system, and each is designed to flow intuitively into the next. While this is used in many other types of creation, it has been very effective for certain types of software development. Let’s break down each of the steps, and what they entail.

The Waterfall model: Phases in the system.png

Requirements

First, the software team gets all the requirements from the client. They must make sure to be extremely thorough, and have a clear vision for the end product, because it is quite difficult to change things later. Requirements include its function, purpose, and unique specifications.

System design

The next phase is system design, during which the architect and the senior members of the team create the framework for the software. After hardware and software specifications are defined, they write all the necessary code. Then it’s time to move to the next step.

Implementation

Once the blueprints are done, it’s time for the developers to create the software in small pieces, called units. Each unit is individually developed and then tested, in what is called ‘unit testing’. Each unit must be fully functional before moving forward.

Testing and Integration

During this period, all of the units are combined into a system, which will eventually be the final product. The team tests the system, making sure all the units work together properly. Any defects are resolved as they arise.

Delivery and deployment

When all the kinks are worked out, it’s time to deliver the software. The team installs the system, runs tests on the servers, and then the software goes into use. During this initial launch period, the team is on standby to monitor the software’s functionality.

Maintenance

After the software goes live, the developers may make modifications or other slight changes upon the client’s request. Any defects that arise or those that were missed in the previous stages are also fixed. As time goes on, the client is provided with regular support and maintenance.

Pros of the Waterfall Model

Though praised and criticized alike, there are reasons why Waterfall remained so popular for so many years, and is still in use today. Here are some of the benefits of implementing this method into software development.

  • Easy to use

As mentioned above, Waterfall is a very smooth and natural development process. Because it is linear, there aren’t too many aspects to monitor at once. Teams don’t require any extra training to use this method, either. When using the Waterfall Model, the software you’re creating should be already known to the team. This also counteracts the potential need for outsourced developers.

  • More control

Deadline estimates are most more concrete when using Waterfall, because each phase is completed entirely before moving on to the next one. Of course, there are unforeseen circumstances that may cause delays, as with any project, but with Waterfall, the timeline fluctuates less because of the rigid procedures.

Cons of the Waterfall Model

As technology grows more complex, so do our software needs. Waterfall was great for developing software when things were not so complicated, but over the past decade or two, new downfalls have emerged.

  • Not dynamic

Once any of the stages have been completed, it is quite difficult to go back to make changes. So, before implementing Waterfall, one must be sure that the end goal is finalized. Because of how difficult it is to go backwards, Waterfall is not suited to complex or ongoing projects. The best fit for this method is definitely the software that is simple, and doesn’t have too many moving pieces.

  • Lacking feedback

Because the delivery stage is so far along in the process, the client does not get any working software until everything is completed. This may cause issues if the client wants or needs more frequent updates, or if they want to see measurable progress. Waterfall is good for projects that don’t require much client involvement.

  • Late testing periods

The phases of Waterfall, as mentioned above, do not start testing until fairly late in the development process. While this is okay when the software works, problems arise when the software has defects. It is difficult to go back and find the source of the problem when so much of the project is already integrated, and takes a lot longer than small incremental development testing.

Waterfall Model vs. Agile Methods

There are many differences between Waterfall and Agile methods. Here are some of the most relevant ones.

Waterfall Model

Agile Methods

Needs precise and long term planning, requirements are usually static

Short term planning is okay, requirements are dynamic

Has a strong hierarchical team structure

Each team member has an equal role

Not dependant on client communication

Constant client communication

Quality control can be difficult, because of late testing

Quality control is checked through consistent testing

Progress is measured by the steps that are completed

Progress is measured by unit or sprint completion

Deadlines can be determined well, provided no major problems arise

Deadlines of deliverables can change if the requirements change

Better for short, simpler projects

Projects can be complex, ongoing, and long-term

Read more detailed overview in What are the differences between Agile and Waterfall? article.

At Blocshop, we use four different Agile methods, led by certified Agile practitioners. We believe that these methods are the best way to meet the highest standards, in the most efficient way. Whether it is an ongoing project, or starting from the ground up, we are committed to providing excellent service. To learn more about how we would fulfill the needs of your company, contact us here.


Learn more from our insights

roro665_depict_a_data_sample_thta_completely_changes_its_form_725a4f20-ea40-4dd1-a68d-5c4327c9bf24_1.png
June 20, 2024

Generative AI used for data conversions and reformatting

How to use generative AI for data conversion, addressing integrity, hallucinations, privacy, and compliance issues with effective validation and monitoring strategies.

DALL·E 2024-05-30 09.37.01 - An illustration suitable for an article about ISO 20022. The scene should feature a modern, sleek representation of the ISO 20022 logo in the center. .webp
May 28, 2024

ISO 20022 Explained: A Comprehensive Guide for Financial Institution Managers

What is ISO 20022? How does it affect companies and institutions in the fintech and banking industry and how to prepare for its adoption? All explained in this article.

DALL·E 2024-05-22 20.55.08 - A detailed and high-quality DSLR photo of a person using a laptop to shop online, showing personalized product recommendations on the screen. The back.webp
May 16, 2024

Key AI Trends in E-commerce and Overview of AI integrations for E-commerce Platforms in 2024

Transform your e-commerce platform with AI tools for personalization, analytics, chatbots, search, and fraud detection. Boost sales and improve customer experiences.

eIDAS mark.png
May 09, 2024

Digital Identity and Payment Services in the EU in 2024: Key Updates

eIDAS 2.0 and PSD3 are set to enhance how digital identities and payment services are managed across the European Union in 2024. Here’s an overview of how each framework contributes to the digital landscape of the EU, what to expect, and how to prepare.

eIDAS 2 in fintech and open banking EU market.png
May 06, 2024

What is eIDAS 2.0 and EU Digital Identity Wallet and how will it change the EU digital market

Learn how eIDAS 2.0 and the EU Digital Identity Wallet will transform digital transactions and identity management across the European Union.

best large language models for ERP systems.png
March 31, 2024

Language Models Best Suited for Integration into ERPs

Four prominent large language models stand out for their compatibility and effectiveness in ERP system processes and automation. See what they are.

PSD3 in open banking Blocshop.png
April 23, 2024

PSD2 vs. PSD3: The Evolution of Payment Services Regulation

What is PSD3 in open banking? See how PSD3 compares to PSD2 and what should banks and fintech businesses do to ensure regulatory compliance in the EU market.

roro665_hands_working_with_a_laptop_in_a_modern_office_there_is_20dca307-c993-4539-99d7-fd5ca264248c.png
April 14, 2024

Enhancing ERP Systems with AI Chatbots

Explore how AI chatbots can transform ERP systems, enhancing efficiency, decision-making, and user interaction.

eIDAS in fintech and open banking EU market.png
April 29, 2024

eIDAS: The regulation helping secure Europe's digital future

See how eIDAS enhances EU digital transactions with secure identity verification, supporting e-commerce and public services across Europe.

hybrid ERPs.png
March 21, 2024

Hybrid ERP: An Innovative Approach to Enterprise Resource Planning

Hybrid ERP is a blend of cloud and on-premise solutions. With expertise in both, Blocshop is uniquely positioned to help you with hybrid ERP development and implementation.

0-4 cover.png
October 03, 2023

IT Staffing: Individual Hiring vs. Specialized Developer Teams

Should you hire individual developers or go for a specialized, custom-built developer team?

chatgpt-35-limitations.jpg
July 17, 2023

ChatGPT-3.5: An Overview and Limitations

In this article, we'll take a closer look at the capabilities and limitations of ChatGPT-3.5, providing you with a comprehensive overview of what it can do and what its boundaries are. So, let's delve into the inner workings of this large language model.

gpt4 vs gpt3-5 and the key differnces.png
June 15, 2023

A Deep Dive into GPT-4 vs GPT-3.5 Differences and Ability to Revolutionize Software Development

There are key differences between ChatGPT-3.5 and ChatGPT-4 that software developers and companies procuring software solutions alike should be aware of. Let's see how these differences affect the output generated by these models on specific examples.

ai-development-cto-2023.jpg
May 09, 2023

AI-powered software development: What CTOs need to know in 2023

As technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace in 2023 and beyond, CTOs must stay ahead of the curve by utilizing predictive analytics, automated testing processes, and deployment solutions.

ai-web-development.jpg
May 05, 2023

How Artificial Intelligence is changing web development

AI technology is now being used in many different industries, including web development. It’s important to understand the impact that AI can have on web development as it can help companies to create more efficient and user-friendly websites.

cto-ai-software-development.jpg
May 05, 2023

How AI-powered software development is changing the role of the CTO

As AI-powered software development becomes increasingly commonplace, CTOs must prepare themselves to take on a new set of responsibilities that require more than just technical know-how.

build-mvp.jpg
April 17, 2023

How to build a minimum viable product (MVP)

The MVP is the version of a new product that allows Blocshop and your team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least amount of effort. The essence of your core idea is delivered as a barebones solution. The solutions is, however, sufficient for usage by early adopters. As a product, it has tangible qulities that express a look and feel.

ai-tools-developers.png
March 21, 2023

10 AI tools for developers you should know about in 2023

For developers, programmers, and data scientists, AI coding solutions can free up thinking time, allowing such professionals to focus on the fundamentals of their projects, and complete such projects much faster.

web-app-ideas.png
February 14, 2023

17 Ideas for Web Apps in 2023

Gazillions of web apps and ideas for web apps are floating around the metaverse - so creating one that properly represents a unique brand is a huge challenge. Our list provides a number of areas of simple app ideas to help businesses transform their online presence through a web app.

Top 15 micro-SaaS ideas for your startup in 2023.png
December 06, 2021

Top 15 micro-SaaS ideas for your startup in 2022

What exactly do we mean by micro SaaS? Micro Saas solutions use a web browser or mobile app interface. Micro SaaS solutions usually come about through the effort of an individual or very small team. It aims to solve precise problems. Micro SaaS projects have small budgets and overhead. Customers use Micro SaaS solutions on a monthly or yearly subscription basis. Micro SaaS projects target a small niche of the consumer market.