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Difference between Waterfall model and Incremental model

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  • Difficulty Level : Basic
  • Last Updated : 25 Mar, 2019

Waterfall Model is also known as Classical/Traditional Model. Sometimes It is referred as linear-sequential life cycle model because all phases involve in this model completed one by one in linear fashion. In this model, we get software after completion of all coding phase. This model is basically used for small projects. There exist only one cycle in waterfall model.

Figure – Waterfall Model

While in Incremental Model Multiple development cycles take place and these cycles are divided into more smaller modules. Generally a working software in incremental model is produced during first module Each subsequent release of the module adds function to the previous release. In incremental model, process continues till the complete system is achieved.

Figure – Incremental Model

Here we will see that how waterfall model is different from an incremental model in terms of time, cost, maintenance, documentation etc. Some differences between them are given below:

Waterfall ModelIncremental Model
Need of Detailed Documentation in waterfall model is Necessary.Need of Detailed Documentation in incremental model is Necessary but not too much.
In waterfall model early stage planning is necessary.In incremental model early stage planning is also necessary.
There is high amount risk in waterfall model.There is low amount risk in incremental model.
There is long waiting time for running software in waterfall model.There is short waiting time for running software in incremental model.
Waterfall model can’t handle large project.Incremental model also can’t handle large project.
Flexibility to change in waterfall model is Difficult.Flexibility to change in incremental model is Easy.
Cost of Waterfall model is Low.Cost of incremental model is also Low.
Testing is done in waterfall model after completion of all coding phase.Testing is done in incremental model after every iteration of phase.
Returning to previous stage/phase in waterfall model is not possible.Returning to previous stage/phase in incremental model is possible.
In waterfall model large team is required.In incremental model large team is not required.
In waterfall model overlapping of phases is not possible.In incremental model overlapping of phases is possible.
There is only one cycle in waterfall model.There is multiple development cycles take place in incremental model.

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