Gartner Research

Iterative SDLC Methodologies: Spiraling into Control or Running in Circles?

Published: 14 November 2006

ID: G00203230

Analyst(s): Chris Howard


Iterative software development lifecycle (SDLC) methodologies emerged as an alternative to waterfall to help teams build better software. Promise-laden at first, many iterative SDLC implementations become bloated and mired in a tangle of artifacts. Even worse, iterative methodologies are often performed in waterfall fashion--old habits are hard to break. In this Application Platform Strategies overview, Analyst Chris Howard examines the benefits and hazards of popular iterative SDLC methodologies, and introduces thinner methodologies that are gaining traction.

Table Of Contents



  • Iterative Methodologies Chart a New Course
    • Surviving the Falls
    • Obstacles Appear
    • Navigating the Rapids: Prescription vs. Instinct
  • Inheriting the Sins of the Father
    • Artifact Obsession
    • Who Am I, Anyway?
    • Passive-Aggressive Project Plans
    • Big Funding Up Front
    • Asking for a Date
    • What? Me Waterfall?
  • Emptying the Nest: Rejuvenation and Revitalization
  • Adolescent Rebellion
  • Recommendations
    • Adopt a Risk-Management-Oriented Funding Model
    • Keep Project Types and Best Practices in Synch
    • Focus on Essential SDLC Deliverables
    • Favor Accuracy over Precision
    • Keep Iterations Short
    • Ensure Consistent Usage
    • Perform Reviews

The Details

  • Iterative Fundamentals
    • The Unified Process
    • The Basic Idea
    • Waterfall Shape, Iterations Within
  • Artifacts
    • Generic Artifacts
    • UML Artifacts
  • Use Cases
    • Define and Refine
    • Organize and Prioritize
    • Realize
    • Validate and Trace
    • Artifacts and Reviews
  • Post-Iterative Methodologies



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