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Project 101 Part 4: What is Waterfall? Understanding the Basics


Waterfall is a linear, sequential project management methodology that is widely used in various industries. The methodology is characterised by its distinct phases that are completed one after the other in a predetermined order. The key advantage of this methodology is its predictability, making it best suited for projects with well-defined requirements and a clear end goal.


The Waterfall methodology consists of the following phases:

  1. Planning: In this phase, project managers and stakeholders identify the project's goals and objectives, determine the scope of the project, and create a project plan. This includes identifying the resources needed, the tasks to be completed, and the timeline for completion.

  2. Design: In this phase, the project team creates detailed design specifications, such as blueprints, models, or wireframes, that will be used to guide the development of the project.

  3. Development: In this phase, the project team begins to build the project, following the design specifications created in the previous phase. This phase can include coding, testing, and debugging.

  4. Testing: In this phase, the project is thoroughly tested to ensure that it meets the requirements and specifications established in the planning phase. Any bugs or issues that are identified are addressed and fixed.

  5. Deployment: In this phase, the project is deployed to the end users or customers. This can include installation, training, and ongoing support.

  6. Maintenance: In this phase, the project team provides ongoing support and maintenance for the project, addressing any issues or bugs that arise after deployment.

The Waterfall methodology is best suited for projects with well-defined requirements and a clear end goal, such as construction projects or software development projects. However, it's important to note that it may not be suitable for projects with rapidly changing requirements or where the end goal is not clearly defined.


In summary, Waterfall is a linear, sequential project management methodology that is widely used in various industries. It consists of distinct phases that are completed one after the other in a predetermined order. The key advantage of this methodology is its predictability, making it best suited for projects with well-defined requirements and a clear end goal. It can be used in different type of projects but it may not be suitable for projects with rapidly changing requirements or where the end goal is not clearly defined.



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