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What is the Waterfall Model in Project Management?

Project management methodologies are systematic approaches or frameworks used to plan, execute, monitor, and manage projects. It supports collaboration while assisting project managers in leading team members and monitoring work. There are several project management methods. Different methodologies are designed to suit various project types, sizes, and industries. The Waterfall approach is a well-known project management methodology. It is a linear and sequential approach to project management and software development. The Waterfall Method is employed in fields where needs are well-known and unlikely to alter dramatically during the course of the project. By solidly understanding the Waterfall Model, project managers can select the best project management strategy for their unique project and industry.

Waterfall Model

Waterfall Project Management Methodology

The waterfall project management technique is built on a linear and sequential flow, where each project phase depends on the success of the one preceding it. It has a well-defined timeframe and adopts a systematic methodology. During the waterfall methodology, stakeholder and customer requirements are gathered at the beginning of the project. After that, a project plan is created to accommodate those requirements. As each project phase flows into the next, flowing slowly downward like a waterfall, the waterfall model is so named.

The use of waterfall project management is recommended for handling large projects with a variety of stakeholders. The fact is due to the project’s defined processes and dependencies, which aid in tracking the effort required to accomplish objectives.

Phases of Waterfall Model

The Waterfall technique employs a sequential process that is based on predetermined deadlines, requirements, and outcomes. Until the prior phase is complete, the subsequent one will not start. Waterfall methodology establishes clear timeline expectations for all stakeholders involved. Gantt charts are a common project management tool used in the Waterfall approach. It enables project managers to map dependencies, project phases, and each step of the waterfall lifecycle. The five stages of the waterfall model are as follows.


The project starts with an in-depth examination of all client requirements. The project manager gathers the demands of the client during this phase. To comprehend client needs, they carry out interviews, employ surveys, and examine procedures. Information gathered assists them in identifying the objectives the client intends to accomplish upon project completion. Additionally, it aids them in estimating project completion costs, timelines, and levels of participation. These specifications, which cover every phase of the project, are compiled into a single document. It comprises the costs, assumptions, risks, dependencies, success indicators, and timelines.


The goal of the design phase is to determine the specifics of the project. It comprises two parts: logical and physical design. During the logical phase, team members brainstorm ideas. They translate those ideas into specific objectives or processes during the physical design phase. During the design phase, a project workflow and a detailed schedule of tasks of tasks is developed. This helps each team member be aware of what to anticipate during each following phase.


Technical implementation begins at this stage. This phase includes some testing and implementation as well as the coding of applications based on project specifications and needs. Project managers assign team members to certain responsibilities during the implementation phase. They monitor each goal’s development, making it simpler to choose whether to move on to the following stage. If challenges arise the project manager recognizes the challenges and devises solutions. Additionally, they keep all relevant parties informed of the project’s development during implementation and respond to their concerns. The project manager presents the finished product to clients and team members for assessment.


During this phase, the customer reviews the product to make sure that it meets the requirements laid out at the beginning of the waterfall project. This is the phase where project managers make the payment of team members if they’re contractors. They formally sign documents or close contracts to complete the project. Moreover, to manage future projects more effectively and create a unified set of standards for future processes they analyze what worked well and where their team can make improvements.


The monitoring phase of a project entails making sure that it is moving forward according to plan and that the objectives are being achieved. Throughout the maintenance period, the client is consistently utilizing the product. The team needs to create patches and updates when problems show up in order to fix them. However, the project may need to go back to the beginning if a very significant issue surfaces in the end.

Benefits of Waterfall Project Management

  • The Waterfall technique necessitates a precise specification of scope at beginning, making it simpler to regulate and manage modifications throughout the project lifetime.
  • All of the specifications, procedures, timetables, deadlines, and final products are established and thoroughly documented in a waterfall project.
  • Planning is extremely important during the requirement and design phases when using the waterfall technique. As a result, stakeholders can easily predict how long their specific phase in the waterfall process will take.
  • Project managers can predict the number of hours additional contractors can work using the waterfall approach. This may make it simpler to give pertinent parties precise costs.
  • The waterfall approach’s whole process is documented. This material provides new members with a strong foundation of knowledge and also aids them with any queries they might have.
  • Prior planning, risk identification, and risk mitigation methods are prioritized in the Waterfall process, which improves risk management throughout the project.


Waterfall provides a clear and structured approach to project management and development. It is advantageous for projects with clear and consistent needs. For some projects, the waterfall model might not be the best option. Therefore, it’s crucial to select the appropriate project management approach based on the particular requirements and traits of the project. Professionals can enroll in PMP Certification Training to learn about Waterfall techniques as well as other project management approaches. Training gives an in-depth understanding of project management methodologies. This allows professionals to choose suitable relevant methodologies for their projects.

Posted in Project Management

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