The spiral methodology extends the waterfall model by introducing prototyping. It is generally chosen over the waterfall approach for large, expensive, and complicated projects.
At a high-level, the steps in the spiral model are as follows:
- The new system requirements are defined in as much detail as possible. This usually involves interviewing a number of users representing all the external or internal users and other aspects of the existing system.
- A preliminary design is created for the new system.
- A first prototype of the new system is constructed from the preliminary design. This is usually a scaled-down system, and represents an approximation of the characteristics of the final product.
- A second prototype is evolved using four steps:
- Evaluate the first prototype and identify its strengths, weaknesses, and risks.
- Define the requirements of the second prototype.
- Plan and design the second prototype.
- Construct and test the second prototype.
- At the project sponsor's option, the entire project can be aborted if the risk is deemed too great. Risk factors might involve development cost overruns, operating-cost miscalculation, or any other factor that could result in a less-than-satisfactory final product.
- The existing prototype is evaluated in the same manner as was the previous prototype, and, if necessary, another prototype is developed from it according to the fourfold procedure outlined above.
- The preceding steps are iterated until the customer is satisfied that the refined prototype represents the final product desired.
- The final system is constructed, based on the refined prototype.
- The final system is thoroughly evaluated and tested. Routine maintenance is carried out on a continuing basis to prevent large-scale failures and to minimize downtime.
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- Adaptive Project Framework
- Agile Software Development
- Crystal Methods
- Dynamic Systems Development Model (DSDM)
- Extreme Programming (XP)
- Feature Driven Development (FDD)
- Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL)
- Joint Application Development (JAD)
- Lean Development (LD)
- Rapid Application Development (RAD)
- Rational Unified Process (RUP)
- Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC)
- TenStep Project Management Process
- Waterfall (a.k.a. Traditional)
For a high-level look at project management in general, check out my introduction to project management fundamentals.