Project Management Methodologies to successfully deliver required outcomes: Waterfall

20th September 2016

In the first instalment of our Project Management Methodology series we broke down Scrum, a popular Agile methodology which is fast, flexible and ideal for all ICT and Software Projects.

Missed it? Catch up here 

This week we’re dissecting Waterfall, a time proven methodology used to implement large scale and costly projects.

Think it has no place in project management today? Read on and let us know your thoughts.

What is Waterfall?

Waterfall is considered one of the more traditional Project Management Methodologies, proving successful time and time again.

The Waterfall approach is linear in nature with preceding steps requiring verification and completion before advancement. Once a step is completed, it is generally not possible to repeat or go back to previous steps. Thus this process can be thought of as a cascading line of events, deriving the name Waterfall.

The Waterfall model can vary based on the project but always follows the same approach.

The Waterfall Process


  1. Analysis
    Identify the problem or blockage to derive the solution.
    (If the problem is already identified or is not applicable for the project, start at the ‘Requirements’ step)
  1. Requirements
    Fully capturing the requirements is one of the most vital parts of the process. Careful and timely planning needs to be undertaken as failing to do so can result in a product or solution that doesn’t meet all expectations.
  1. Design
    Prepare the solution process and architecture to meet the project requirements.
  1. Implementation
    Implement the solution.
  1. Verification
    Test and adjust the solution to ensure it meets scope and is working effectively and appropriately. Any changes to the product will result in repeating this step to ensure no errors.
  1. Maintenance
    Ongoing maintenance and/or project closure.


What are the benefits of Waterfall?

Waterfall isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ methodology and many argue that it is simply outdated or too rigid. It can fail to meet the requirements of constantly changing ICT and software projects as there is no chance to alter the outcomes or change characteristics of the project in progress.

However, this unyielding approach greatly benefits large, long term and complex projects that are too hard or expensive to change once the project has begun. An example of this is construction where the structure must be predicted with great accuracy to be successfully delivered.

As such, Waterfall’s con is also its greatest pro.

PHC have a wide range of staff accredited in various Project Management methodologies that can help you deliver your project on scope, on time and within budget.

braydnBraydn Gale
PHC Project Coordinator

Braydn is passionate about assisting PHC’s clients achieve desired results by guiding the implementation process using robust, structured project management methodologies.

Braydn recently assisted the PHC Process Audit Team deliver a substantial reform project within a significant government department using the overarching principles of Agile and Scrum.

If you would like to utilise PHC’s project management expertise to help achieve your organisational goals, contact PHC on +61 8 9219 1100 or email Braydn directly at

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