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Well, unless when it isn't.

Some times you have a clear and well understood problem, and failures are very expensive. You'd be crazy to work on such kinds of environments with anything but waterfall.

Correct. One can see that very well defined in the NASA/JPL software guidance documents. Definitely not agile, but works for their situation.

I believe that clear and well understood problems with expensive failures actually exist, but are rare enough that the lessons there aren't really instructive for the vast majority of professional software developers.

Some people have to do underwater welding, but the methodologies there aren't appropriate for building cabinets, even though they are both types of construction.

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