TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Re: Waterfall vs. Spiral development and doc From:John Wilcox <jwilcox -at- tcsi -dot- com> To:TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com> Date:Wed, 17 Nov 1999 10:29:32 -0800
> Subject: Waterfall vs. Spiral development and doc (was: RE: Why is working from a
> spec like walking on water?)
> From: Janet_Swisher -at- trilogy -dot- com
> Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 16:27:07 -0600
> The two development models you are referring to are commonly called the
> "waterfall" and the "spiral". In the waterfall model, everything
> "cascades" from one phase to the next, and there is no going "uphill". In
> the spiral model, the phases of development (requirements analysis,
> design, development, testing, etc.) are seen as a cycle, where the
> functionality and quality of the product are built up incrementally each
> time through the cycle, and each phase may be visited multiple times.
> It seems to me that most of the discussion I've seen of documentation
> development assumes a waterfall model for both the product and the
> documentation. I would also be very interested in hearing others'
> comments on documentation in a spiral-model environment.
Having worked without the luxury of specs most of my career, I came up with my own model (and certainly not my design): the "wave" model, in which 1) most of the development goes unnoticed (that 98% research time that someone mentioned), 2) the final product doesn't become obvious until very late in its life, and 3) everything comes crashing down on you at the last second!
John Wilcox -- Senior Technical Writer
Most Famous Technical Writer In This Entire Building
TCSI Corp. -- Bothell, WA 425-487-8594