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What is waterfall methodology?

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Quick Answer

Waterfall methodology is a workflow and project management paradigm that advocates completing a step in a design process before moving on to the next step. It is also known as the waterfall method or the waterfall approach.

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With waterfall methodology, each successive step builds upon the previous, and the integrity of each step is therefore paramount. Precision and meticulousness are of the essence, since there is little room for error, and the commission of mistakes requires project participants to abandon a project and start over from the beginning.

Waterfall methodology is common among companies that provide information technology services, such as software development. The model serves as a planning strategy for the team and an explanation of what a customer can expect. Waterfall also requires strong documentation, which potentially eases a project's transition in the face of challenges, such as employee turnover.

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