A Complete Guide to know What is Waterfall Project Management?

When working on a project with a team, a project manager has to choose a defined and specified methodology for its processing. Waterfall Project Management will help you to have a better understanding of your project to get the best results

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A project manager can use different types of project management methodologies for the successful completion of a project. Different project management methodologies include Kanban project management, extreme programming methodology, 

Lean methodology, Scrum methodology, etc. Including this methodology, you have also heard about waterfall project management. The majority of project managers have heard about waterfall project management, but they do not know what is waterfall project management methodology. 

What is Waterfall Project Management? 

If we talk about what is waterfall project management, then we will say it is a set of linear processes to manage and track the tasks of you and your team. The word waterfall explains its meaning itself. It is a steady flow of the project tasks following deadlines and the right track to reach the final destination. Waterfall project management methodology follows the sequential phases with distinct aims towards your team goal related to a particular project. 

A project manager can easily start the project and move to the next stage by jumping one after the other. 

As a project manager, you need to decide on the team members working with you, the task you will be assigned, and the most important thing is to develop a Gantt chart for you and your team. These all things will help you to keep your project in the linear and steady flow instead of bearing jerks with uncertain situations for which you were not planned. When you come to know what is waterfall project management, you will see how much it is productive for achieving the goals of your project in a single timeline. 

What are sequences of waterfall project management?

Are you willing to know what is waterfall project management? You need to look briefly into each phase of this methodology. So, to make a better understanding of waterfall project management and how to use it, the following phases detail will help you. 

Collection of requirements and documents 

When a project manager is working on a project, the first thing he needs to do is to decide what the requirements of the project are. Without understanding the needs of a project and important documentation, it is impossible to start a successful project. 

So, it is necessary to bring to your notice to decide on clear goals for the project, and the following tips can help you. 

·       In the first phase of collecting requirements and documents, you should decide the scope of the project by having a meeting with the stakeholder and your team. 

·       It will help you to analyze what your stakeholder wants from this project. 

·       When expectations are clear, it is easy to map out the goals of a project. 

·       You should also look for important documents like collecting team data, site information and contract rules and regulations. 

You should also include market research to decide the requirement of the project as it will help you to decide about trends in the market and the approximate value of the project. Do documentation of team members, the material you will be using, and the products you will produce. 

System designing phase

When a project manager has got the point and expectations of the stakeholder of the project, he can better map out what a project belongs to and what he needs to do to get outcomes as per the expectations of the stakeholder. 

Now, the project manager will be preparing blueprints of the project by designing the work layout and doing team management. In the designing phase, a project manager decides the timeline and work rate of the team members. He also decides on the design of software accordingly and looks for other requirements. 

Software developers develop the layout of the working menu by using different coding and programing language. This software will bring the physical reforms for fulfilling the requirement of the project, which may be either production of hardware designing or software designing, depending upon the nature of the project. 

Implementation phase 

Now comes the implementation phase, in which the project managers enter after designing the software or hardware that they do need during the project completion. 

·       As the project managers design the software according to the requirements of the project, now they are in the implementation phase, where they will prepare the required products as per the expectations of their clients.

·       In the implementation phase, the team of experts manufactures or actually makes the product and is ready to move forward for testing. This is the phase where team collaboration is crucial. 

·       The team members own their tasks and are responsible for their completion on time and getting the result as they were trained. 

The project manager keeps monitoring the teamwork and guiding the team members accordingly. The project managers keep updating the data and information of the project and comparing it with the noted expectation of the stakeholder. 

Testing and developing phase 

After implementation, when your team has achieved their tasks and made a product you were looking for your client, you need to pass it through the testing process. In this phase, you decide whether the app or the product you have got is working properly or not. 

Verification of the contract 

In this phase, you will verify each step of the contract. After delivering the software or the product, you will review the contract. You will get all payments and then pay your team members as well. This is time to celebrate the success and close the paperwork by winding up all procedures of the project. 

Maintenance beyond the launch of the project 

When you are working on a software development project, you are responsible for its maintenance. You will be tracking the bugs and removing them to make the software smooth running. Let's move on to more details to get more insights into What is waterfall project management?

Scenarios when you need waterfall project management methodology 

Most fresh project managers are confused that what is waterfall project management, how and when to use it. Following are some situations encouraging you to choose waterfall project management. 

·      When you have a clear and defined end in mind 

All projects are not of the same nature and need different types of tools to manage them. As a project manager, when you get a project and you know the requirements and goals of the project clearly, you can choose the waterfall project management methodology. 

·      When you have no idea about time and money 

Sometimes, we know what our clients are looking for and what we require to bring it, but we do not know how much time and money we will spend on it, we should choose waterfall project management. 

·      When a project is short 

Another scenario encouraging you to adopt a waterfall project management methodology is the duration of the project. If you think the project is short-term, no matter whether you do not know the exact time, you can adopt this methodology for project management. 

What are the advantages of using waterfall project management?

A project manager will observe the following benefits of using the waterfall project management methodology. 

Helps to engage new team members

If you properly understand what is waterfall project management, you will be able to manage new members of your team easily by engaging them with your experienced team members. 

Retains the knowledge 

You can retain the knowledge of the project by reviewing the phases and outputs of the team members. 

Saves your precious time 

It helps to save your time and money as well. As a project manager, you can easily track what your team is doing and what is project progress graph is showing. This analysis helps you to mould the process and bring out a productive strategy on time.

Provides simple ways to measure the progress report of the project 

It provides you with simple ways to keep looking into the progress rate of the project either by graphs or analytical statements. 

Measures the project progress 

By using the waterfall project management methodology, you can easily track the project progress rate and decide whether it is up to the expectations of the stakeholder or not. 

Helps to identify the mistakes during project management 

It also helps to identify the mistakes you or your team members have made during the project. So, you have a mean time to make these mistakes right.  

IF You are looking to know What is waterfall project management, you should look at these below points too.

What are its downsides?

Following are some disadvantages of the waterfall project management methodologies. 

The third part can affect the linear working.

If the supplier has not provided you with the material you required in the project, it will affect the linear working of the team. 

Once things are done, they are hard to back.

Another drawback of this project management methodology is getting things back right on the spot where required. 

Does not provide room for betterment 

Once you have gone through the process, you do not find room for betterment as it takes too much time, and you need to start from the beginning. 

No direct involvement of clients 

Once you have met the client, you will not be looking for his involvement again. 

Final Remarks:

Topic What is waterfall project management covers the working methodology phases, benefits, drawbacks, and the scenario when these methodologies are applied. You can get the basic information from this article.

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