Waterfall Model - Meaning & Definition

Published by MBA Skool Team, Last Updated: December 21, 2013

What is Waterfall Model?

Waterfall Model is a design process that is used in software development. It is a linear sequential model that is most effective when the problem statement is well defined and highly structured and all the requirements are known before the commencement of the project. All the essential activities that comprise the software development process are listed in a sequential manner. Development of software thus happens from one phase to another through a series of non-overlapping phases.

For example, automobile and construction companies follow this model of development. While manufacturing a car, all the requirements and design specifications are completed in the first stage, after which the manufacturing process begins and further changes cannot be implemented without incurring high project costs to begin the design process from scratch.

Through the development process, each phase must be fully completed before proceeding to the next phase. After every phase, a review process is done which is to ensure if the project is on the right track in accordance to the specifications and discarded if otherwise.


The model that was originally defined by Winston Royce comprises of the following stages:

This article has been researched & authored by the Business Concepts Team. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.

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