Waterfall method, one of the oldest project management methods

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Waterfall method, one of the oldest project management methods

Waterfall method one of the oldest project management methods

The waterfall method is the oldest classical approach used in the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). The process of applying is very short and simple. So, developers have become easier to do it.

Well, on this occasion, let’s learn together about the waterfall method.

Understanding the waterfall method

As mentioned earlier, the waterfall method is the oldest in the SDLC. But although the oldest, the method used in it is very simple.

This method is more linear. So, after one phase is complete, you can immediately continue working on the next phase. Each phase has a kind of derivative that can show that they influence each other and have a relationship.

When it is described, this phase circuit will look like a waterfall. This is what makes the phase known as waterfall.

This method was first introduced on June 29, 1956, by Herbert D. Benington in Symposium on Advanced Programming Method for Digital Computers. In the presentation, he explained various things related to software development for semi-automatic ground environments or Sage.

Then, this method was again presented by Bennington and explained various things about the phase in its development process in 1983.

Two years later, more precisely in 1985, the United States Department of Defense is known to use several stages of this method, which consists of six phases, namely: Preliminary Design, Detailed Design, Coding, and Unit Testing, Integration, and Testing.

Stages in the waterfall method

Officially, Bennington explained that the waterfall method consisted of six stages, namely:

1. Requirements.

The first stage contained in the waterfall method is the requirements or the stages of the collection of the entire data needed and analyzed.

When you want to create an application, a document requires a document that contains information about the software system that will later be developed. One example of the document is the Product Requirement Document (PRD).

The document has any kind of checklist containing the process of making an application, starting from Pain Points for each user, to how the level of functionality of the application you want to make.

2. Design

After gathering all documents requirements and analyzing all documents requirements and analyzing the system, then the next stage is the design stage.

In this stage, several things must be prepared, namely programming languages ‚Äč‚Äčthat want to use, databases, and various other technical details.

3. Coding.

The next stage contained in the waterfall method is the manufacture or coding software itself. The trick is to use data contained in the requirements and design.

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4. Implementation

This next stage will allow you to test the software that has been inputted code and various other requirements. Those in charge of this are a Quality Assurance team (QA), beta tester, or other testers.

They must be able to find out whether the software made by the developer team is following the client’s specifications or not, or whether other disadvantages may be missed, etc.

Generally, this stage is done very long, because testers must be able to ensure all problems that arise can be resolved properly. If not, it will affect the other stage and can be very messy.

5. Deployment

If previously the implementation of the trial was carried out by a tester from the internal parties, then it was different from deployment.

This deployment stage is like the release when the product or application is declared functional and can be used directly by the user.

6. Maintenance

The last stage that is no less important in the waterfall method is maintenance or maintenance. After being released, you must justification and improve the software.

If you have ever had a large version of the application, this is because there are stages of maintenance that must always be done. So, the point is this stage is done so that the product remains perfect and the user can use it properly.

The advantages of the waterfall method

Just like other methods, the waterfall method also has its advantages, namely:

1. Clear workflow

By using this method, you will have a more measurable and clearer system workflow circuit. Each team will have duties and responsibilities that are following their respective fields of expertise.

In addition, they can finish the job according to the time allocation that has previously been determined.

2. Good documentation results

The waterfall method is a methodical approach method, in which every information in it will be recorded properly and is channeled to each team member accurately and quickly.

With the document, every job from each team will be done easier and can follow every direction of the document.

3. Can save costs

The subsequent advantages of the waterfall method are from the resource side and the costs incurred by the company. So, clients cannot interfere with the Ursan application spice team. So, costs can also be reduced more minimally.

This is certainly different from the Agile method, in which clients can provide advice and feedback on the developer team related to changes or additions of several features. Thus, the company can pay costs greater than waterfall.

4. Used for large-scale software development

This method is claimed to be very fitting to carry out the manufacture of applications on a large scale and involve many human resources and more complex work procedures. However, this method can also be used for small and medium-scale projects.

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But still must be adjusted to the conditions and needs of the project taken.

The disadvantage of the waterfall method

Even though it has the advantage above, the waterfall method still has several shortcomings, namely:

1. Requires a solid team

To use one of these SDLC methods, you need support from each company’s stakeholders. Every team in it must also have a good level of cooperation and coordination.

Because, if one team cannot carry out the task properly, it will greatly affect the other team’s workflow.

2. There is still a lack of flexibility

The entire team was asked to work according to the direction and also the instructions set from the start. So the client will not be able to issue opinions and feedback to the developer team. The client can only provide input at the initial stages of drafting the software system.

3. Can not monitor the system’s picture clearly

By using waterfall, the client cannot see the system picture. This is different from the agile system can see well even though it is still in the development or manufacture stage.

4. It takes a longer time

The software work process using a waterfall method is fairly long compared to other methods. Why? Because the workmanship of software done one by one will take a longer time.

When to use this method?

The most suitable time in using the waterfall method is when the project that is done is not too large and there is no continuous change. Why? Because during an error, this method can only correct errors at this stage.

If you have arrived at another stage and just realized there was a mistake at the previous stage, of course, it would be very difficult.

However, this can make you more accustomed to more than the beginning to avoid various errors like this.

On the other hand, because the analysis and design that exists in this method are done earlier, then the project that is done can be more structured and clearer. So, there will be no change in the middle of work.


So, the waterfall method is a software development method carried out in sequence and is also very systematic. For the process of work, you can do with various project teams that are divided according to their respective expertise.