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The Waterfall model is a software development process that consists of a series of sequential phases, with each phase being completed before advancing to the next - those phases vary but are commonly: requirements analysis, design, implementation, testing, installation, and maintenance.

First formally described by Winston Royce in a 1970 paper, "Managing the Development of Large Software Systems".

This article gives an useful rundown of pros and cons: http://www.techrepublic.com/article/understanding-the-pros-and-cons-of-the-waterfall-model-of-software-development/6118423

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