What waterfall development is: A sequential design methodology used in some software development. The waterfall method outlines multiple stages in a comprehensive requirements specification and requires completion of a stage’s tasks before subsequent work can begin.
What waterfall development is not: Agile development, which is a methodology that emphasizes flexibility through an iterative, incremental approach.
Why waterfall development matters: The waterfall method originated in the manufacturing and construction industries—in which a clearly defined final product is the standard—and was adapted to software that was physically published, printed, and distributed. As the market for software has shifted to cloud-based distribution and software as service subscriptions, the agile approach—with its focus on continuous improvement and development—has become more popular.
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