Project managers have different methodologies at their disposal to monitor the progress of a project and keep it on track. One of the most popular among these methods is waterfall project management. Keep reading to learn more.
What Is Waterfall Project Management?
Waterfall project management is a project management methodology where tasks happen sequentially.
In other words, in waterfall project management a task cannot start until the previous one has been completed.
The name “waterfall project management” refers to the fact that sequential tasks seem to “cascade” into each other as the project progresses.
The waterfall concept was created in 1970 by Winston W. Royce, an American computer scientist, as a tool for software development.
The Phases of the Waterfall Modell
In its original form, the cascade model featured five phases:
- Requirements. Here the project manager gains a detailed understanding of the user’s needs.
- Design. Can be broken down into two sub-phases: logical design and physical design.
- Implementation. The goal of the original waterfall model was to create software, so implementation meant writing code. More generally, it means building the actual solution for the requirements of the user.
- Verification. In this phase of the process, project managers ensure that the final product meets the expectations of the customer.
- Maintenance. Changes are made if new requirements arise after users interact with the final product.
Because it’s so linear and somewhat rigid, waterfall project management is well suited for predictable projects where the goals are clearly defined from the start.
For projects with more dynamic boundaries and goals, other methodologies such as Agile or Scrum may provide better results.
Some industries where the waterfall model is commonly used include construction, IT, and software development.
Learn More About Engineering Design
Engineering design is a fascinating discipline integral to our everyday lives. Below are some previous posts you can read to learn more about this interesting topic.
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- What is civil engineering design?
- What is the engineering design process?
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