Waterfall methodology or waterfall method is one of the oldest and most used methods in software development. This method is a convenient solution to making any software product and developing an idea into reality.
Often used in project management and planning, the waterfall method is a linear system that “falls” from one step to the next in a similar fashion as a waterfall does. This method provides a simple and precise solution to tackling any software problem in a step-by-step method. Often implemented by engineers, the waterfall method provides a complete guide to approaching and solving a project.
What is the Waterfall Method?
An easy term you can use to define the waterfall method is that it is a sequential development process. The waterfall method follows the waterfall approach as it is a step-by-step fall of development. To put it broadly, there are six steps involved in the waterfall method. These steps include:
- Feasibility study
- Requirement analysis and classification
- Coding and Unit testing
- System testing and integration
The waterfall method is one of the oldest systems built to provide a sequential step for software development. For a software product to succeed with the help of this method, the front-end work needs to be prioritized, proper documentation should be provided, and all the features such as user interface and user stories should be well defined. The waterfall method is a great process if the project you are working on is small and does not have too many complications. However, this system does not work for large-scale projects.
This method is a great way to determine how much time you would need to complete a project. However, this method is rigid. Meaning, the waterfall method follows a strict mode of operation that can not be used interchangeably.
The waterfall method is usually approached with the help of “waterfall software”. Waterfall software provides a neat approach to helping project managers handle each task of the development process.
A software project is usually complex and requires a variety of variables that need to be addressed. This is why waterfall software is a great way to handle any task and structure a plan of development.
Waterfall software is both cloud-based and desktop. They help developers organize and structure data and implement ideas in a neat and scheduled manner.
Steps of Waterfall Method:
As mentioned above, six steps go into a waterfall method. The waterfall method follows a strict and fixed approach. This includes having a fixed timeline, setting dates and requirements effectively, and following up with the outcomes.
The waterfall method does not require you to have to communicate within a team and a developer has the access to work without bounds on his half of the project.
The developers that work in a team for a specific project can do their part independently and do not have to provide status updates and reports frequently. In the waterfall method, one step must reach completion before the next one can begin.
The first step of this method is to do a feasibility study. A feasibility study helps you evaluate and determine whether your project itself is feasible or not. Meaning thorough research on what your project entails, the various parameters that go into your project, and how you are going to follow each step.
This part of the waterfall method gives you a systematic approach to how you can go about working on a project and making sure your project can be achieved or not. The feasibility of a project includes whether it is financially doable and can be done with the software resources available.
Requirement Analysis and Classification:
Once you have identified whether your project is feasible or not, you will move on to making a requirement analysis and classification of your project. This step includes identifying how your project will work, how many team members you need to take this project to completion, and how much time it will take for you to get to the development stage.
This part of the waterfall method is crucial because it gives you a basic guideline on how to approach your project in the best possible way. Through requirement analysis and classification, you are also provided with the basic timeline that you have to follow to make sure that your project is completed on time.
The design phase includes all the actual work you will be doing on the project. This is the start of the development of the project itself. The design phase of the waterfall method includes UI/UX development and design. With the help of the design phase, you can start working on designing and implementing the project itself.
Learn more about the difference between web design and web development here.
The design phase of the waterfall method helps you begin the project in the way that you want to. You can start by designing a layout of how your software solution will look.
Coding and Unit Testing:
Once the design of your project is complete, you can start implementing it. In this step of the waterfall process, you take the design some other member of your team might have developed and bring the design to life.
Coding and unit testing involve doing the backend work or the code development of the project itself. This phase of the waterfall method requires heavy coding and sorting out the details to complete a project.
System Testing and Integration:
Once a software product is developed, it is time for system testing and integration. System testing involves checking the system and debugging the code for errors.
Once it is established that the code is developed and there are no more tests required, the next step is to integrate the software into a platform. Whether the software you are developing is an app or website, you can integrate it according to the steps required.
The last and most crucial stage of this method is maintenance. Once software is developed and uploaded to a system, it then requires constant maintenance.
The maintenance of a project includes systematic checkups and analyses on the different parts of your software to make sure everything is running smoothly.
The waterfall method is a classical approach to designing and implementing a complete system of software. This method was developed to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of an organization when working on a project. The waterfall method provides a simple solution to approaching a problem and includes the necessary steps to take a project to completion.