The waterfall approach is a linear project management approach that collects stakeholder and customer requirements at the beginning of a project and creates a continuous project plan to meet those requirements. The waterfall benchmark is called a waterfall because each assignment phase cascades down to the next, steadily falling like a waterfall. Waterfall project management divides a project into different, continuous phases; each new phase only begins after the previous phase completes. The waterfall system is the standard way of handling a project, with team members performing linearly toward a given destination. Each participant has a clear role, and no stage or goal can be changed.
Waterfall project management is best suited for long-term, detailed plans that require a single timeline. Change is often discouraged (and costly). By distinction, agile task management applies quicker project processes, constant testing and tuning, and overlapping efforts by numerous teams or supporters. Simply put, waterfall project management is a continuous, linear project management process. It consists of several discrete phases. No phases are started until the previous phase is complete, and each phase is done terminally, waterfall management does not allow the product manager to go back to the last step. The only path to review a stage is to jump over to the first phase.
Stages of Waterfall Project Management
The specific stages of the system have some differences in different sources, but generally include.
Demand Collection and Recording
The product manager can gather this information from interviews questionnaires to interactive brainstorming. At the end of this phase, the project requirements should be precise, and the product manager should have a requirements document and distribute it to his team.
Using established requirements, the team designs the system. At this phase, no coding is needed, but the team specifies specifications, such as programming language or hardware provisions.
Encoding occurs at this stage. The programmer takes information from the previous stage and creates a functional product. They typically implement the code in small chunks, consolidating at the end of this phase or the beginning of the next phase.
Once all the coding is complete, the product test can begin. Testers methodically detect and report any problems. If something goes seriously wrong, the project may need to go back to phase one for re-evaluation.
The product has been delivered to the customer and is in use. Again, the big questions may need to go back to phase one.
The Advantages of the Waterfall Method
The waterfall method is the best for simple, structured projects because its design is linear and easy to follow. Its graphical expression assembles it effortless to understand the steps that must be taken to achieve the project objectives.
Some further advantages of the waterfall method include:
Ease of Use and Manageability
The waterfall is a highly rigorous model that specifies the steps required to further the sequential phase of the project. It is easy to understand because it follows the same pattern for each project and does not require prior knowledge or training to start. Each of the seven phases has specific elements to be addressed and reviewed, making it easy to maintain control over each step.
A High Level of Discipline
Because the start and endpoints of each step are determined at the beginning of the project, it is easy to share progress, report missed deadlines, and eliminate risks associated with project management.
The waterfall approach requires that each phase be reviewed and recorded before moving to the next phase to ensure that the tasks completed at each phase are better understood. Due to the promise of documentation related to waterfall law, there is a physical way to track reports and reference items.
Due to its highly structured nature, the waterfall approach is best suited for industries where a firm mandate and duration must be set and maintained. Manufacturing and building, for example, are two favorably inflexible enterprises that depend on the timely fulfillment of dependence stages. Modifications to these programs can be costly and, in some chances, unbelievable. Therefore, the waterfall method is used to maintain a continuous process and stability at all project stages.