What is Waterfall Project Management

Waterfall Model
Waterfall Model

Waterfall project management is a sequential software development process. Each sequential phase is completed before the next phase begins. There is no overlap between the phases. This model takes its name from the linear and successive phases required to develop the product.
Waterfall project management is a traditional methodology. It is currently used in manufacturing industry. Nowadays other project management methodologies such as agile and scrum are more popular in the software industry.

Waterfall Project Management

Waterfall Project Management

Phases of the Waterfall Project Management Model

Below are the six phases of the waterfall model

Project requirements are speccified at this step. Business needs, expectations of the project are documented.

System is designed and flow diagrams are created in this phase.

Implementation phase is also known as coding or development phase. Software of the project is written at this step.


After the coding phase, tests are made and errors and problems are reported. If there are big problems, you may turn back to the first phase.

5. Delivery
The product is completed at this step. Deliveries are ready to be submitted.


After the product has been delivered, it is being used by the end users or customers. If the problems occur, the project management team updates and takes actions. If the problems are big, it is required to turn back to the first phase.

Advantages of the Waterfall Project Management Model

– Easy to use
– Easy to understand
– Suitable for smaller projects
– Clear scope and targets
– Easy to manage
– Requirements are well understood

Disadvantages of the Waterfall Project Management Model

– Not suitable for large and complex projects
– If there is a problem occured in one of the phases, it is expensive and time consuming to turn back and fix the problem.
– Not suitable for projects with uncertain scope.
– Not suitable for long and ongoing projects.


Waterfall method is a simple method for planning projects. Each phase is completed before the next phase begun. It is very useful for smaller projects with well defined scope and requirements. A proper planning should be made before to implement waterfall project management model and each team member should understand their roles.


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