The Ultimate Guide to the Waterfall Methodology in Project Management

The Ultimate Guide to the Waterfall Methodology in Project Management

Introduction

There are various methodologies in project management. The agile and waterfall project management models are two of the more popular models out there.

For different types of projects, there are different methodologies. You might have heard of the agile methodology; it is one of the more popular methodologies that exist in project management.

Today, let us talk about one of these popular methodologies, it is called Waterfall methodology.

We will further discuss all the key points regarding this methodology in the upcoming sections.

 

The Meaning Of The Waterfall Model In Project Management

The waterfall development model is one of the methodologies in project management that helps increase the productivity and efficiency of the team working on a project. According to the methodology- people working on an initial phase of waterfall methodology cannot jump to the next phase unless the first phase is completed in its entirety.

The workflow resembles that of a waterfall, moving from one step and flowing to another only when- the first step is filled with water completely.

It can also be defined as a sequential development process that flows from one stage to another without leaving any unfinished tasks behind.

 

Software Based On Waterfall Methodology In Project Management

The waterfall method in project management is a complex process where every step consists of a number of tasks.

One cannot skip any of the tasks as all the tasks present in each step are pre-planned and carefully placed in the given position so that the process can move forward toward the next step.

To navigate their way through this complex system of operations, project managers make use of o few softwares.

 

Waterfall Methodology IMG1

 

The list of the software is given below-

- monday.com

Monday.com is a cloud-based platform that allows users to create their own applications and project management software.

- Wrike

This 12-year-old digital work management app is designed to help workers track and coordinate projects

- Smartsheet

It is used to assign tasks, track project progress, manage calendars, share documents, and manage other work, using a tabular user interface.

With the help of this software, the whole process of the waterfall method in a project becomes more efficient.

 

Stages Of Waterfall Project Management

Projects that use the waterfall approach of project management consist of

5 basic stages.

 

Waterfall Methodology IMG2

 

Let us go through each one of them -

- Requirement

The manager goes through all the documents related to the project and then produces an analysis based on his observations. The written document contains the tasks, problems, costs, and assumptions within each step of the process. The manager tries to give as much detail as possible to describe the whole process.

- Design

The project workflow model is created, as software developers try to find a technical solution to the problems raised by the project manager. First, a logical design is formed that describes the purpose and scope of the project. Later the physical design is finalized by using specific hardware and software technologies.

- Implementation

In this stage, the programmers code the applications based on the project specification and requirements. The process can go back to the design phase if there are any problems with the implementation of the workflow model.

- Verification

The final product needs to be tested before it reaches the customers. The team tests each and every element of the product so that their customers can receive a quality user experience. Things like errors and bugs are removed from the product in this stage.

- Deployment and Maintenance

In this stage, the product is deployed in the market and customers can make use of the product. Customers also report bugs or errors in the product. The team then removes these hindrances and updates the version of the product. This process gets repeated and updates are made to make sure that the product is up to date.

 

Merits Of Waterfall Project Management

The waterfall project methodology is a straightforward and linear approach. It is simple to understand especially while using the software that we discussed before.

It provides a pre-planned structure that the project will follow during its completion. This provides the people involved in the project with an idea of what will happen next, and they can adjust their time according to that structure.

- The team involved and its members know what to do next, this prevents confusion and wastage of time.

- The overall cost of the project can be estimated before the beginning of a project.

- It is easy to measure progress at any time, and during any step of the project.

- Late joiners can easily get adjusted and can finish their given task associated with the project.

 

Demerits Of Waterfall Project Management

The waterfall project management model has some disadvantages as well. The model is inflexible and the changes done later after the completion of the project can be costly.

- The completion time of the project is longer as compared to the agile model.

- When one phase of the project is delayed, all the other phases will get delayed as well.

- Clients are not involved in the implementation stages.

 

PMP training course

 

People Who Would Use This Model

The project managers who receive projects that have the following characteristics use this model-

- Projects with clear requirements

- Projects that have clients who do not try to change the elements of the project once it is underway.  

- Projects that have a clear and detailed plan from the very onset of the project completion process.

 

Conclusion

There are various approaches that can be taken to complete a given project. It is necessary to understand which methodology is suitable for the project.

Waterfall project management methodology should only be used if the project fulfills all the requirements that make it easier to apply the waterfall model.

Let us have a quick recap of what we learned today from this article.

We learned about- what is waterfall methodology in project management, the corresponding software based on the waterfall methodology, the waterfall model phases, the merits of this methodology, the demerits of it, and about people who can use this model for their own projects.

We encourage you to share what you learned from this article with others who may need it.

Thank you for accompanying us till the end of this article.

Go through our recommended course if you aspire to start your career in the project management industry.

To learn more about the courses that we provide, visit us at Sprintzeal.

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Prajwal

Prajwal

Our technical content writer, Prajwal, is an experienced writer, creating articles and content for websites, specializing in the areas of training programs and educational content. His writings are mainly concerned with the most major developments in specialized certification and training, e-learning, and other significant areas in the field of education.

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