Spiral lifecycle model

The Spiral Lifecycle Model is a sophisticated lifecycle model that focuses on early identification and reduction of project risks.

A spiral project starts on a small scale, explores risks, makes a plan to handle the risks and then decides whether to take the next step of the project – to do the next iteration of the spiral. It derives its rapid-development benefit not from an increase in project speed, but from continuously reducing the project’s risk level – which has an effect on the time required to deliver it.

Success at using the Spiral Lifecycle Model depends on conscientious, attentive and knowledgeable management. It can be used on most kinds of projects and its risk-reduction focus is always beneficial.


  • Potential reduction from nominal schedule: Fair
  • Improvement in progress visibility:  Very Good
  • Effect on schedule risk:  Decreased Risk
  • Chance of first-time success:  Good
  • Chance of long-term success:  Excellent

Major Risks

  • None

Major Interaction and Trade-Offs

  • Trades increased project planning and tracking for greatly improved progress visibility and greatly reduced risk