What Are The Advantages Of Waterfall Methodology In Software Development?

Jul 05, 2019

In a time when technology is changing the way of living, competition has been high across various industries. With the demand for custom software becoming high in organizations, a custom software development firm needs to be aggressive.

Usually, SDLC consists of various software development models like spiral SDLC, V-shaped model, waterfall model, and more.

In this write-up, we are going to look at what SDLC is all about and some of the pros and cons of the waterfall model.

Facts about SDLC

Ideally, any software development process must undergo certain phases, namely; the planning phase, the implementation phase, the testing phase, the documentation phase, and the development and maintenance phase. Depending on various factors like the size of the project and whether it is dynamic or not, a software-developing firm will decide on a suitable model to implement.

Although the spiral and waterfall models are the most commonly used, the definition of the spiral method in software engineering will explain why some developers prefer combining the two. Note that while the spiral model is mostly designed to suit dynamic software development processes, the waterfall model is more rigid.

A look at the waterfall model

It is good to know that because the waterfall software development process is designed for less dynamic software, some factors influence the process. Firstly, this method is for more straightforward software that does not have so many requirements. Usually, the process is short and very specific.

Also, other factors like the budget, additional resources, the required expertise, and even the needed front-end development services required are all defined. With this model, every factor that needs to be considered is well-defined because the model works in steps. That means, the next stage of development can only begin after the previous process is complete.

It is therefore crucial that every phase of the development process is well defined so that it is well understood when a stage is complete. Some of the advantages of the waterfall software development method include;

It is simple

Because everything is defined, the waterfall model is simple to understand and implement. Remember that in most cases, software development done using this model is for a less complicated software system. These usually are not affected by other external factors that will need to adapt to a new condition.

Allows for departmentalization

For any diverse organization to fully functions, it needs to have competitive departments. That is because it is the various departments that make an organized whole.  For any organizational department to perform, it needs to understand its purpose in the organization.

Since the waterfall model is less dynamic and in most cases the software development, a particular circle is followed, and departments can work correctly. That is because every stage of the development cycle is handled by the most suitable department. With the help of dedicated developers, this method can be seamless and quick to execute.

More definite deadlines

Meeting deadlines is very important to any software developer. That is because most clients have their expectations and organizational targets that they take more seriously. Because the waterfall model is only achieved if the current task has been completed, it is easy to know when the software development cycle will be done.

Don’t forget that usually, any software development process in the waterfall model follows a strict order where the design is done first. What follows is implementation, then testing, the installation comes next then troubleshooting for any issues.

Lastly, the operation and maintenance of the software are approved. While this model seems to have everything good going on, here are some of the disadvantages that you should know;

Too rigid

A good software development process should be dynamic because some ideas and factors can come in during the development process. However, the waterfall model does not allow for this, and once the software is in the testing phase, it is impossible to revise or make any adjustments.

This allows for the development of software that has limited functionality. That is because many concepts that are not well thought out during design are not considered.

Takes too long

If you compare the waterfall and spiral models of software development, it is good to know that the spiral model will give you working software fast. That is because various stages of development can run at the same time. As for the waterfall model, one phase must be completed before the next one begins. That means, before you can have working software to test, you must wait until all the right stages have been accomplished.

High risks

Technology is shifting fast and for any organization to survive the competition, even the software being used needs to be adaptive. The waterfall model discourages this, and it may not mean well for the client. A rigid software can easily allow for weaknesses in the system because the development process does not allow for revision if it is not documented in the design stage. Good software can be tested, and the design revised to keep out any unexpected occurrences.

Not suitable for long and continuing projects

The waterfall software development process is often recommended for short-term projects. That is because of the rigid nature of the system. The most recognized advantages of the spiral model over the waterfall are its flexibility.

Extended projects tend to develop new goals with time and that is why dynamic software is perfect. As for short-term projects, you don’t need any advanced software especially if you have a onetime definite target.


It is safe to say that as much as the waterfall model seems to be too limited in its functionality, it is essential to note that the model is behind some impressive accomplishments. However, many software developers prefer mixing the spiral and waterfall models to cover each other weaknesses. It is crucial to understand that it all depends on the client.

Many clients searching for software development services usually don’t know about these two models and any other that is out there; hence as a useful software development company, some clarification, in the beginning, will be helpful.

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