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The waterfall model is a breakdown of development activities into linear sequential phases, meaning they are passed down onto each other, where each phase depends on the deliverables of the previous one and corresponds to a specialization of tasks. The approach is typical for certain areas of engineering design. In software development, it tends to be among the less iterative and flexible approaches, as progress flows in largely one direction ("downwards" like a waterfall) through the phases of conception, initiation, analysis, design, construction, testing, deployment and maintenance.[better source needed] The waterfall model is the earliest SDLC approach that was used in software development.
The waterfall development model originated in the manufacturing and construction industries, where the highly structured physical environments meant that design changes became prohibitively expensive much sooner in the development process.  When first adopted for software development, there were no recognized alternatives for knowledge-based creative work.[better source needed]
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