There are several models or approaches to product development, and they include the waterfall and iterative (agile) ones. The waterfall approach presupposes the linear implementation of all the processes that are relevant to production; in this case, the new activity is undertaken after the previous one has been finished and produced a result. The iterative approach, on the other hand, presupposes the iteration of activities of a single stage that is carried out until the result corresponds to the customer’s wishes.
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It is noteworthy that the former approach does not presuppose the production of unsatisfactory results; the product must be acceptable from the point of view of the customer’s requirements in any case. In the waterfall model, the monitoring and control processes can be used to ensure the quality of the result (Method123, Inc., 2013).
The waterfall approach has the advantage of offering a clear, simple, and linear structure that facilitates planning. However, it lacks the flexibility of the iterative approach, which, in turn, is agile by definition but remains much less precise and clear and complicates planning. Also, Ahimbisibwe et al. (2015) mention the incremental model, which can be defined as a combination of the two approaches. Despite being the “golden middle,” the incremental model ends up combining the advantages and disadvantages of the two “extremities.”
All three models have been applied to software development and implementation (Walden et al., 2015), and the debates on their comparative advantages have not been stopped yet (Ahimbisibwe et al., 2015). As a result, it may be suggested that one size cannot fit all, and the approaches may be chosen, combined, and modified to fit the particular needs of a project and team.
Ahimbisibwe, A., Cavana, R., & Daellenbach, U. (2015). A contingency fit model of critical success factors for software development projects. Journal Of Enterprise Information Management, 28(1), 7-33. Web.
Method123, Inc. (2013). Project management guidebook. Web.
Walden, D., Roedler, G., Forsberg, K., Hamelin, R., & Shortell, T. (2015). Systems engineering handbook. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
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