Waterfall development is a software development model. With this model, there is a designated progression of actions that are taken throughout the time that the software is being developed up until the time that the software is released.
This system is one that has been in existence for several years. For the most part, it is made up of six distinct phases:
- Requirements analysis
One thing about waterfall development is that it is a fairly controversial process. Many developers will agree that there are aspects of this system that simply do not work well. In fact, below you will find 10 things everyone hates about waterfall development.
1. Limited Flexibility
Arguably one of the biggest drawbacks of this system is the fact that it has not been designed to offer flexibility. When software is being created, there are times when the customer isn't completely sure of what they truly need. Unfortunately, knowing what is needed up front is the basis behind the first phase of this system.
2. Inaccurate Financial Planning
Another issue that is huge for developers who choose the waterfall model is that it is extremely difficult to determine how much time and cost will be needed to implement the software. Since the requirements are to be laid out beforehand, this can be an incredibly inaccurate process.
3. Projects become Difficult
After the design phase, many enter into the project only to find that implementing it is nearly impossible. While the designs may look feasible on paper, they turn out to be extremely expensive. This could cause a re-design to be necessary.
4. Division of Work
The waterfall development process also designates certain work to be completed by certain types of workers. For example, there is a clear distinction between designers, programmers and testers. However, dividing this type of work in the real world is not realistic.
5. It Wastes Time and Resources
Throughout each phase of the waterfall process, only a select number of team members are qualified to complete work. This means that others will simply be sitting idle while waiting for their phase to begin. Naturally, this is a great waste of resources and can actually make the project take longer.
6. It's Risky
Using the waterfall method can also be very risky for software development companies. Each phase takes quite a bit of time to complete. Also, changes to the requirements can mean that the entire model will need to be started again. This can be devastatingly expensive, especially if the client decides to cancel the project after going through several phases.
7. It's not Mobile Friendly
In today's world, developing a complete set of requirements up front is not feasible. This is not something that will be possible when building a mobile app or a website. Since this is one of the main items that is completed by businesses of today, a different process will be needed for these types of tasks.
8. Updates are Difficult
After the software has been completely designed using the waterfall process, many developers find that it is more difficult to update in the future. While updates are possible, they are difficult when this method has been chosen.
9. Doesn't work for Difficult Projects
The idea behind the waterfall development system is that it is intended for a simple project. Unfortunately, there are very few projects these days that are simple. Instead, most require a great deal of attention and focus in order to complete. Using the waterfall method for these types of projects can cause them to be more expensive and take more time.
10. Can't look back
Finally, once a phase is completed, it is closed. This means that it will be nearly impossible to make changes to a completed phase. This is why gathering requirements upfront is so important. Making changes to a closed and locked phase is a nightmare.
Choosing the right software development strategy is important for any business. For this reason, it is crucial to learn more about the pros and cons of the development options that are available. Contact us today to learn more about the options that are available for your project.