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Waterfall Model

The Waterfall Model is a traditional project management approach often used in software development. This methodology is linear and sequential, meaning that each phase must be completed before the next one begins. The model is generally divided into discrete stages: requirements gathering, system design, implementation, testing, deployment, and maintenance. Each of these stages is distinct and has its own set of activities and deliverables. The Waterfall Model is known for its simplicity and ease of understanding but is often criticised for its lack of flexibility, as it doesn't easily accommodate changes once the project has started.

Origin of the Waterfall Model

The Waterfall Model is often attributed to Dr. Winston W. Royce, although he never actually used the term "waterfall" in his seminal 1970 paper, "Managing the Development of Large Software Systems." Interestingly, Royce's paper highlighted some of the limitations and risks of a purely sequential process, which he illustrated with a model that resembled what we today call the Waterfall Model. He actually recommended feedback loops between stages as a way to mitigate the risks, but his recommendations were often overlooked. As a result, the simplified version of his model, without the recommended feedback loops, became widely known as the Waterfall Model.
Trevor O'Sullivan

Trevor O'Sullivan

General Manager. Since the early 2000s, Trevor has worked with thousands of Talent Management professionals to develop and apply assessment-based talent management solutions for selecting, developing and managing people. Trevor is an active member of the TTI Success Insights (TTISI) Global Advisory Council, contributes to TTISI product development and is a regular presenter at TTISI-R3. He is honoured to have received multiple Blue Diamond Awards and, more recently, the Bill Brooks Impact Award recognising his contributions to the TTISI global network.

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