Trends In Information Systems – The Waterfall Model

17 Feb

As discussed in my last blog, the Software Development Life Cycle is vital in understanding how information systems have developed over the years. One of the traditional methods of SDLC is the Waterfall model.

This method is very important to understand as it outlines the steps involved in building an information system. There are 6 stages involved: Planning, Analysis, Logical Design, Physical Design, Implementation and Maintenance. It is clearly seen here that the stages are similar to those discussed in my previous blog. However, here the stages are carried out in a specific order. After each stage if completed, it is reviewed and only then can the next stage be carried out. The Waterfall model is best used when developing an existing system or when the users needs are clearly defined.

Implementation is a key stage in the Waterfall method. 6 activities are involved here: Coding, testing, installation, documentation, training and support. Coding is when the physical design is turned into computer code. Testing is to ensure the system does what it is meant to do. This stage must be carefully planned. Implementation is when the new system takes over from the old system. Training and support is provided to ensure the correct use and maintenance of the system by IS users.

This has shown a lot of improvements in Information systems and how the use of this model can ensure the minimization of error when building systems.

To conclude, the Waterfall model is a very useful method of SDLC. It is easy to use, and as testing is carried out constantly the end product is less likely to need a lot of changing when objectives are clear. However, the system is not fully produced until very late in the cycle and this can be seen as a disadvantage for large projects. 

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