Spiral: Competition for Agile!

10 Mar

In this blog, I will take a look at the Spiral model which is a traditional method of software development. I will explain the basis of and the processes used by the Spiral model as well as comparing it to Agile.

The Spiral model was developed in the 1980’s and is one of the traditional methods of software development. The Spiral model is usually associated with large firms who are undertaking complex projects and new technology can often be required. Because of these factors, the Spiral model is expensive to run and often ends in failure as some of the projects undertaken became so complex. Here is a link to a blog which I found which gives a great insight into the Spiral model and how it works.


I will now outline the four stages involved in the Spiral model:

  1. Planning: This stage of the development process involves identifying the different objectives that need to be achieved by the end of the project, the different methods that could be used to implement various aspects of the project. Any future problems are also identified at this stage.
  2. Risk Analysis: This is where the risk of every possible option that could be used during the course of the project is assessed and evaluated. This is a vital stage of the project because if the wrong options are chosen here then the whole project could end in failure further down the line and this has happened to many firms in the past.
  3. Engineering: This is the stage where the product is developed to meet the design specifications and the software specifications. It will then be  rechecked to ensure it is functioning properly.
  4. Evaluation: The next phase will be planned at this stage whether it be an integration plan or whatever the case may be.


Furthermore, the Spiral model has some attractive advantages such as the high amount of risk analysis that is involved, the development of software early on in the project and the fact that it is best suited to large scale organisations. But there are some drawbacks to it as well such as the high costs involved in using it, the risk analysis requires highly skilled experts to conduct it and the success of the project largely depends on the risk analysis phase.

In summary, the spiral model is best suited to large organisations who can spend large amounts of money and are prepared to take a risk.


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