The spiral model was defined by Barry Boehm in his 1988 article A Spiral Model of Software Development and Enhancement. This model was not the first model to discuss iterative development, but it was the first model to explain why the iteration matters. As originally envisioned, the iterations were typically 6 months to 2 years long. Each phase starts with a design goal and ends with the client (who may be internal) reviewing the progress thus far. Analysis and engineering efforts are applied at each phase of the project, with an eye toward the end goal of the project.
The spiral model, also known as the spiral lifecycle model, is a systems development method (SDM) used in information technology (IT). This model of development combines the features of the prototyping model and the waterfall model. The spiral model is intended for large, expensive, and complicated projects.For a typical shrink-wrap application, the spiral model might mean that you have a rough-cut of user elements (without the polished / pretty graphics) as an operable application, add features in phases, and, at some point, add the final graphics. The spiral model is used most often in large projects. For smaller projects, the concept of agile software development is becoming a viable alternative. The US military has adopted the spiral model for its Future Combat Systems program.