When developing software, the method of development can be critical to the success of the end product.
Software engineers use the spiral software development model to help reduce risk during the project. This model is a combination of iterative development plus the systematic, controlled aspects of the waterfall development model.
Is it right for your next project? Here are five quick facts about the spiral software development model.
1. It Includes Four Phases
Developing a project through the spiral model includes four phases.
- Defining the Concept: The project starts by gathering the business requirements in the baseline spiral. In the ongoing spirals, you’ll add the identification of system, subsystem, and unit requirements.
- Design: This starts with the architectural design in the first spiral. As the spiral progresses, you’ll define the logical design of modules and the physical product design.
- Build: Now comes the production of the software product at every spiral.
- Risk Assessment: Identify, estimate, and monitor the technical feasibility and risks of the software. Evaluate cost overrun and the schedule while development continues.
2. It’s Great for Monitoring Risk
Each spiral allows feedback and opportunity for corrections or updates. Clients enjoy this method of development because they can monitor progress and give input.
The project is transparent through the review and analysis of each spiral.
3. It’s Ideal for Changes
As each phase of the project moves forward, there’s room for changes.
Client needs might change, or user feedback can dictate any necessary adjustments from the initial idea. The spiral allows developers to incorporate new ideas as the project takes shape.
4. It Requires Thorough Documentation
Depending on your feelings about documentation, this can be a pro or a con to using the spiral software development model.
Through each phase of the spiral, developers document code, progress, and evaluations.
Each spiral provides a natural checkpoint for documentation. If the project needs to refer back to a prior evaluation, there’s no need to go back to the beginning.
But if you don’t want the responsibility of a lot of documentation, the spiral development model might not be ideal.
5. It’s Perfect for Large Projects
Small projects often come with small budgets. The spiral software development model can be expensive because of the multiple rounds of development, review, and release of software stages.
With a small, short-term project, the spiral model is more than you need to develop and deliver an excellent product.
Save the more labor-intensive nature of the spiral methodology for big projects that require more resources and allow for a longer development timeline.
Spiral Software Development is Worth the Time and Effort
For big projects and big clients, the spiral software development method is a great way to reduce errors and deliver big.
No matter the size or type of project, it’s important to apply the right development method with the right team of software engineers.
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