Types of life cycles
Life cycles are fundamental to the management of project-work: Different approaches can be utilised for deployment, depending on the desired outputs, benefits and outcomes and the expected uncertainty, novelty and risk appetite. The choice of deployment approach will play a key part in selecting the most suitable form of life cycle.
Linear (waterfall) life cycles are sequenced into a set of distinct phases, from the development of the initial concept to the deployment of an ultimate outcome, output or benefits. This approach aims to be highly structured, predictable and stable.
Iterative (agile) life cycles are composed of several iterations, which repeat one or more of the phases before proceeding to the next one. Iterative approaches can only proceed when user feedback is available to be used as the basis for initiating new cycles of development, refinement and improvement.