An Overview of the Fountain Model

An Overview of the Fountain Model

The Fountain Model is a novel concept that has emerged in the realm of project management and software development, offering a dynamic, non-linear approach that caters to the fluid and ever-changing nature of these projects. It was initially conceived by Dr. Sue Conger, an esteemed professor of information technology and management. The model defies the traditional sequential approach, advocating for an overlapping and concurrent process instead. This post aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the Fountain Model.

Key Features of the Fountain Model

Understanding the principle features of the Fountain Model is crucial to grasp the essence of its novel approach. Here are the key features of this model:

  • Dynamic Flow: The Fountain Model, as the name suggests, sees software development as a dynamic, fluid process rather than a static, rigid one.
  • Overlapping phases: Unlike traditional software development models, stages in the Fountain Model may begin before the previous ones have fully completed, allowing for parallel workflows and increased efficiency.
  • Open to changes: The Fountain Model recognizes that changes during the development process are inevitable, and thus, incorporates flexibility to accommodate those changes.
  • Iterative risk assessment: Risks are assessed at different stages of the process, encouraging continuous improvement and adaptive strategies.
  • Customer Involvement: The final feature, but not the least significant, emphasizes user involvement throughout the development cycle to ensure the result aligns with their needs and expectations.

The Phases of the Fountain Model

The Fountain Model consists of five main phases, each with its specific objectives and processes, but all flowing into and overlapping with each other:

  • Inception: This is the initial stage where the concept and feasibility of the project are determined.
  • Elaboration: At this stage, the project is defined, and a comprehensive plan is developed.
  • Construction: The actual development and coding of the software happen during this phase.
  • Transition: The product undergoes testing, adjustments, and eventually deployment during this phase.
  • Production: This is the phase where the product is managed, maintained, and possibly improved upon based on user feedback.


The Fountain Model, with its dynamic, fluidic approach to software development, is a shift from traditional sequential models. Its focus on flexibility, customer involvement, and continuous risk assessment make it a suitable model for projects susceptible to constant changes. While it may not be the perfect fit for all types of projects, it provides a viable, efficient alternative for those that align with its principles.

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