The incremental process model is a software development model that emphasizes building and delivering software in small, manageable increments or parts.
What is an Incremental Model?
Incremental Model, also known as the successive version model, is a widely adopted model of software development process where the software requirements are divided or broken down into multiple stand-alone modules/increments in the SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle). Each increment is treated as a sub-project and goes through all phases of the SDLC incremental model. This sounds similar to an iterative model. However, this model is an enhancement to the iterative model and due to this, the incremental model is also called the Iterative Enhancement Model. In the incremental model, instead of making one huge leap, we achieve our goals in small steps.
Advantages of Incremental Model
- Reduced risk: Because the software is delivered incrementally, there is less risk associated with the development process. Any issues or bugs can be caught and corrected early on, reducing the likelihood of catastrophic failure later in the project.
- Improved flexibility: The incremental model is well-suited to projects with changing requirements or where requirements are not well understood at the outset. Each iteration allows for feedback and adjustments, which can be incorporated into subsequent iterations.
- Faster time to market: Since working software is delivered incrementally, stakeholders can begin using and benefiting from the software much earlier than in traditional development models.
- Better customer satisfaction: Stakeholders are able to see and use the software as it is developed, which can improve customer satisfaction and provide opportunities for early feedback.
Disadvantages of Incremental Model
- Requires strong planning and design: The incremental model requires a strong initial design and planning phase to ensure that each iteration builds on the previous one and that the final product is cohesive and functional.
- Increased management overhead: The incremental model requires additional management overhead to track and coordinate the various iterations.
- May result in increased cost: Depending on the complexity of the project and the number of iterations required, the incremental model may result in increased development costs compared to traditional models.
- May not be suitable for all projects: The incremental model is best suited to projects where the requirements are not well understood or are likely to change over time. For projects with well-defined requirements, a traditional model may be more appropriate.