Waterfall Process Model Essay

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This article by Phillip A. Laplante and Colin J. Neill of Penn State University explores the rumors of the demise of the waterfall model. The Waterfall process model progresses software products linearly from conception, through requirements, design, code, and test (Neill, 2004). The Waterfall method was developed in 1970 by Winston Royce when computer systems were monolithic, number-crunching entities with rudimentary front ends and users’ needs were filtered through the partisan minds of the computer illuminati building the systems (Neill, 2004). Most systems built in that time did not pay much attention to input from stakeholders, which is a good environment for the Waterfall method to work in – an environment where requirements seldom change after specification due to the fact that users are not involved in the development and therefore cannot provide feedback regarding incorrect assumptions or missing features (Neill, 2004). It has been observed that in software development, change is unavoidable and must be accommodated for in the life cycle. A number of alternative process models have been introduced in order to attempt to fix the issues in the Waterfall model. An early modification to the standard Waterfall method introduced prototyping as a feedback and discovery mechanism to identify misunderstandings and omissions early on in the process (Neill, 2004). Other process models attempted to further get rid of the risks of misunderstandings by breaking down projects

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