What Is Waterfall Methodology?

waterfall methodology

The Waterfall methodology is a sequential software development process in which progress flows smoothly through project phases. This methodology entails thoroughly documenting a project in advance, including the user interface, user stories, and all variants and outcomes for each feature.

You’ll commonly come across either the Agile or Waterfall methodologies used in most software development projects. While both techniques have advantages and disadvantages, the Waterfall model is progressively becoming less popular among many product circles. Once you’ve equipped yourself with the basics of waterfall, dive deeper into Product Manager frameworks with our comprehensive guide.

Waterfall Methodology Definition

The Waterfall methodology is a sequential project management technique that begins with gathering stakeholder and customer needs at the start of the project. Then, the team constructs a sequential project plan to suit those requirements. The Waterfall model gets its name from how each phase of the project cascades into the next, like a waterfall.

The Waterfall methodology’s objective is to “measure twice, cut once.” It involves doing a thorough study and meticulous research into a product featur upfront, removing many project hazards. Tackling most of the research ahead of time allows for more accurate time estimates for each need. This in turn results in a more predictable release date.

Because it works, it’s a rigorous, organized approach that’s been around for a long time.

Waterfall Methodology Phases

Waterfall methodology includes at least five to seven phases that follow a tight linear order, with each stage starting after the preceding one has finished. The phases have many names, but they were initially defined by the creator, Winston W. Royce, as follows:

Requirements: A fundamental feature of Waterfall is obtaining all client requirements at the start of the project, which allows planning for all subsequent phases without additional customer interaction until the product is finished.

Design: There are two subphases to the design phase: logical design and physical design. The logical design subphase addresses possible solutions. The physical design step transforms theoretical concepts and schemas into tangible requirements.

Implementation: Programmers integrate the requirements from the previous stages and generate real code during the implementation phase.

Testing: During this phase, the client examines the product to ensure that it complies with the specifications set out at the start of the project.

Maintenance: Throughout this phase, the client uses the product regularly, identifying defects, insufficient features, and other issues that happened during production. The production team applies these fixes as needed until the client is happy.

Waterfall Development Team

A waterfall methodology team comprises several roles. 

Business Analysts: This person takes into account all of the software’s business requirements, converting them into artifacts of the system’s functional specification.

Developers: As the code developer, this person lays the train tracks for the whole project. When the team iscovers a software issue, the developers’ skills are paramount.

Testers: During the project’s final stages, the project’s last line of defense reports for duty. Their job is to find flaws and defects in the program and relay the information to the developers.

Product Manager: The Product Manager’s function in the Waterfall method is to set requirements and ask any necessary questions upfront. Because the team conducts all of the research and design work in the early stages, the needs must be as detailed as possible. They also drive precise estimates to create the project plan.

Still Have Questions?

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If you want to learn more about the ins and outs of Product Manager skills and job search tactics, get in touch with us! We’re offering free career coaching sessions with our in-house team of PM Recruiter experts. We’d love to hear from you.

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