What do you mean by Process Models ?

A Process Model describes the sequence of phases for the entire lifetime of a product. Therefore it is sometimes also called Product Life Cycle. This covers everything from the initial commercial idea until the final de-installation or disassembling of the product after its use. Usually there are three main phases:

  • Concept phase
  • Implementation phase
  • Maintenance phase

Each of these main phases usually has some sub-phases, like a requirements engineering phase, a design phase, a build phase and a testing phase. The sub-phases may occur in more than one main phase each of them with a specific peculiarity depending on the main phase. A Process Model provides a fixed framework that guides a project in development of the product, planning and organizing the project, tracking and running the project.

The software process models contain the key features of a process. Hence the process models can be defined as an abstract presentation of a software process. The main reasons for developing process models are :
  • It provides a common understanding of the activities, resources and constraints involved in developing a software product.
  • It helps the software engineer to identify inconsistencies, redundancies and omissions in the development process. This makes the process more effective and focused.
  • The process model reflects the goals of software development, it can help in evaluating the appropriateness of various activities in addressing the defined goals.

There are various software models which are generic in nature as they do not present a definitive description of the software process. Such models are used to explain different approaches to software development. Following are some process models followed in the industry :
  • The Waterfall model
  • Incremental Process Model
  • RAD Model
  • Evolutionary Process Model
  • Prototyping Model
  • Spiral Model
  • Concurrent Development Model
  • Specialized Process Model
  • Iterative Model
  • V-Model
  • Big Bang Model

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