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Iterative Development Model – A brief outline

Iterative software development became more prominent as some of the weaknesses of the waterfall development process became more apparent; this being the inability of the Waterfall development methodology to take requirements changes that come in after the requirements phase has been frozen. It has been observed over a period of time, whether there be restrictions or not, there are a number of cases where it is not a realistic that the requirements are realistically frozen at the end of the requirements stage.
So what is iterative software development? The simple statement for the Agile software development methodology is that it is a framework that is used for software development projects in a way that the system is able to incorporate changes through the project development cycle. In the iterative cycle, the developer has the chance to develop a software system incrementally, allowing the people involved to learn from previous iterations and make those changes in the next iterations. The steps that form this process are: The team starts with the implementation of a part of the software requirements (these requirements are a small part of the overall set of the product requirements) and then have iterative steps to keep on enhancing the subsequent versions (iterations) in such a way that at the end of the process till the entire system has been done, all the requirements have been incorporated.
As a part of the iterative development model, the iterations are supposed to be self-contained, in the sense that each such iteration is like a mini-project; each such iteration contains within itself the activities such as the requirements analysis, followed by design, development (coding), testing, and so on. For each such iteration, the end goal is to result in a system that achieves stability and is testable; however it is not necessary that such an iteration have all the functionality desired in the application being incorporated. Based on the principle outlined in the previous sentence, the consequence is that a majority of such iterative releases are meant for internal use; meant for the development team to use rather than for the clients. When you take the previous processes, what this means is that with every such subsequent iteration, more of the functionality desired in the application is available. Typically, an iteration will be between 2 and 5 weeks.

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