|Software development process|
|Activities and steps|
|Requirements · Specification
Architecture · Design
Implementation · Testing
Deployment · Maintenance
|Agile · Cleanroom · DSDM
Iterative · RAD · RUP · Spiral
Waterfall · XP · Scrum · Lean
V-Model · FDD · TDD
Quality assurance (SQA)
User experience design
|Compiler · Debugger · Profiler
Integrated development environment
The spiral model is a software development process combining elements of both design and prototyping-in-stages, in an effort to combine advantages of top-down and bottom-up concepts. Also known as the spiral lifecycle model (or spiral development), it is a systems development method (SDM) used in information technology (IT). This model of development combines the features of the prototyping model and the waterfall model. The spiral model is intended for large, expensive and complicated projects.
The spiral model was defined by Barry Boehm in his 1988 article "A Spiral Model of Software Development and Enhancement". This model was not the first model to discuss iterative development, but it was the first model to explain why the iteration matters.
As originally envisioned, the iterations were typically 6 months to 2 years long. Each phase starts with a design goal and ends with the client (who may be internal) reviewing the progress thus far. Analysis and engineering efforts are applied at each phase of the project, with an eye toward the end goal of the project.
The steps in the spiral model iteration can be generalized as follows:
Game development is a main area where the spiral model is used and needed, that is because of the size and the constantly shifting goals of those large projects.
The spiral model is mostly used in large projects. For smaller projects, the concept of agile software development is becoming a viable alternative. The US military has adopted the spiral model for its Future Combat Systems program. The FCS project was canceled after six years (2003 - 2009), it had a 2 year iteration (spiral). FCS should have resulted in 3 consecutive prototypes (one prototype per spiral - every 2 years). It was canceled in May, 2009