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Ivan Popov

i was once an athlete. then a journalist. now i am a ceo of an iT company. still running marathons though.

Let’s Discuss Project Management: Waterfall Methodology

waterfall methodology

In a series of articles, let’s discuss project management, focusing on a different approach each time – today, we talk about the Waterfall Methodology.

Being a leader goes hand in hand with a variety of tasks and duties. We’ve discussed several times the importance of time management, team management, and the distribution of tasks between the employees.

For a leader to be able to handle all of this, they really need to be at the top of their game. Multitasking is a pivotal skill. So why not test our limits? Let’s include project management in the equation as well!

Can you imagine the chaos if it weren’t for project management in a company’s organizational strategy?

Whether you are a CEO, an entrepreneur, or a leader (hey, you could possibly be all three!) it would be quite natural for you to indulge in the world of project management.

We need project management in order to properly and effortlessly execute various tasks and duties at work. As the company develops and grows, so are its projects. So, essentially, every enterprise needs a system that will help its managers and leaders adequately distribute the workload. If such a system is not present, then probably it all would turn into chaos since no one would really know what to do. Or how. Or even when.

As the business world keeps on developing, so are the various types of approaches. If a system worked wonders ten years ago, probably it wouldn’t be providing the same results nowadays. There is nothing wrong with that – in fact, that’s an entirely normal process of things evolving.

So the bottom line is that we all indeed need a project management system. What’s more, we also need to find the most appropriate one and the one that resembles our work needs the most. Without such a project management approach, there is a huge chance work will overpower the employees and managers.

So how can we choose the best project management methodology?

As we’ve stated, a project management system allows managers and leaders to better distribute the workload. Let’s say you have a new project to face – I’m pretty sure any leader would first try to list all the tasks and duties that need to be performed. Then they would probably check with the deadlines. After that, they would probably talk things through with their team hoping this way they would find the right person for each and every task. Of course, this is fairly a simple example of what project planning looks like, but it gives you the essence: In order to choose the best project management methodology, you first need to get acquainted with the project itself, and then you should be on the same page with your team.

Luckily for you, there are plenty of project management methodologies to choose from. Knowledge is power so the more you know about each and every one of them, the more informed decision you would be able to make.

In a series of articles dedicated to project management, I would present to you some of the most popular and useful approaches many businesses tend to choose. In today’s piece, I’d like to focus on the Waterfall Methodology.

What is a Waterfall Methodology and how can it benefit your business?

Simply put, the Waterfall Methodology is a project management system that allows a leader and their employees to execute tasks one by one, step by step, in what appears as a linear progression.

It’s named after the waterfall since it closely represents an actual waterfall’s movement – the water passes by every single centimeter of space before hitting its endpoint. The Waterfall Methodology has this exact project approach – its entire core is dedicated to thoroughly going through each step of the way consequentially before wrapping up a stage of the overall process. This project management methodology is ideal for businesses that prefer detailed analysis, careful planning, and keeping things in order. It’s a famous type of work approach often used by analytical people who deliberately count more on logical thinking.

In order for you to understand whether the Waterfall Methodology is the right for you and your business, we better discuss its core steps.

Stages of the Waterfall Methodology

  • investigating thoroughly the project in its entirety – a crucial part of the Waterfall Methodology is for the leader to carefully and fully observe the projects in their entirety. This often includes communicating with the client in order to get the requirements and expectations right. This stage enables the project manager to overview both the project’s goal and mission and to come up with the best possible action plan.
  • the next stage has to do with the planning itself – after the project manager is familiar with the project, it’s time for them to create an action plan. This stage consists of task distribution and setting deadlines for each and every part of the plan. As we’ve said, the Waterfall Methodology requires each step to be completed before heading into the next one.
  • after we have come up with a plan, it’s time for its execution – at this stage, the team begins the actual work on the project while the project manager’s job is to pay attention to the entire process and make adjustments, if necessary. This structured system allows project managers to be aware of the project’s execution in its entirety.
  • no one’s going anywhere before we run some tests – as we’ve said, the Waterfall Methodology is the approach preferred by those who are logical and analytical. It’s only natural for such managers to double or even triple-check the executed steps so far so they can be sure everything ran smoothly.
  • the final stage has to do with handling the client of the completed project – presenting your work to the customer is a very exciting moment and it wraps up the methodology’s final stage. Many project managers even show a strict and structured report of the entire execution process.

In a nutshell

The Waterfall Methodology is ideal for managers who love structure since its entire core is based on thorough planning and careful execution. If you think this approach may come in handy in terms of your business’s tasks, then I strongly advise you to try it out first thing tomorrow.

In the next articles of the Project Management series, we’ll discuss five more approaches – each of them has its pros and benefits.


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