How to Use nTask for Waterfall Project Management — A Practical Guide for First Timers

Background

The Waterfall Methodology and its Evolution — The Traditional Waterfall Model

Typical Stages of a Waterfall Model

  1. Conception: This phase is where the idea for the project germinates. This phases involves a rough assessment of the process e.g. is the project beneficial, what would be the costs involved etc.
  2. Initiation: After the conception, the project is initiated by hiring a project team, defining objectives, scope, purpose and deliverables. This stage is critical as the Waterfall Model emphasizes on making sure that the requirements and design fit the needs of the project.
  3. Requirement Gathering and Analysis: All possible project requirements are gathered and analyzed by the team to see the project’s feasibility. This might also require that the team understands the client’s business model and analyze potential risks involved with the project. All of the information created in this phase is then documented in a requirement specification document.
  4. Design: In this phase, the requirement specification are studied, evaluated and a system design is prepared for the completion of the project. Hardware and software requirements are identified and an overall system architecture is defined. The design specifications made in this phase are used in the coding phase.
  5. Implementation/Coding: This is the phase where development/coding actually begins as per the design specification. The project manager delegate tasks among team members usually consisting of programmers, interface designers and other specialists, using tools such as compilers, debuggers, interpreters and media editors. Depending upon the nature of the project and the team size, the team is divided into smaller units.
  6. In most cases, the system is first developed in small programs called units and they are integrated in the next phase. As each unit develops, it is tested for its functionality, referred to as Unit Testing. The final output of this step can be one or more product components that are built according to a pre-defined coding standard and debugged, tested and integrated to satisfy the system architecture requirements. No matter the team size, collaboration and coordination is critical to ensure that all the requirements are met.
  7. Testing: Once all units developed are integrated, the entire system developed is then tested for any errors. In this phase, compliance with client’s expectations is also verified.
  8. Deployment: Upon the completion of all the testing, the product or process is delivered to the customer, released into the market or implemented. During this process, all prevalent industry-specific guidelines, regulations and/or organizational guidelines should be strictly adhered. Furthermore, post implementation verification and testing must be carried out to confirm the success of the final implementation.
  9. Maintenance: In the case any issues are identified by the end user, the development team is required to resolve, change, or modify the product to ensure its effectiveness. The maintenance period is usually for a specified and previously agreed period of time.

Diagram 2: Basic Representation of a Typical Waterfall Model for Software Development

Popularity of the Waterfall Model

Why Don’t More Projects Use the Waterfall Model?

Modern Depiction of the Waterfall Model

The ACME Super ATM Use-Case Model for Withdrawing Cash

  • Authenticate Customer
  • The system displays the different service options that are currently available on the machine
  • The system prompts for the amount to be withdrawn by displaying the list of standard withdrawal amounts
  • Perform Assess Funds on Hand
  • Perform Conduct Transaction
  • The Customer takes the bank card from the machine
  • The system dispenses the requested amount to the Customer
  • The system records a transaction log entry for the withdrawal
  • Handle the Withdrawal of a Non-Standard Amount
  • Handle Unreadable Bank Card
  • Receipt Handling
  • Error Handling
  • Handle the Bank System Stopping Responding

The ACME Super ATM Use-Case Model to Authenticate Customer

  • Validate Card Information
  • The system sends the bank card information to the Bank System
  • The system also sends the ATM ID and the ATM session identifier to the Bank System
  • The Bank System acknowledges that the bank card information is valid and that the card can be used
  • Validate User Identity
  • The system prompts the Customer for the PIN
  • The Customer enters the PIN
  • The system checks that the entered PIN is identical to the PIN read from the bank card
  • Handle No Communications With the Bank System
  • Handle No Communications With the Customer’s Bank
  • Handle Inactive Card or Account
  • Handle Stolen Bank Card
  • Handle Invalid Bank Card Information
  • Handle Correct PIN Not Entered
  • Error Handling
  • Handle the Bank System Stopping Responding
  • The Customer has been authorized to use the card.
  • The Customer has been barred from using the card, and the card has been confiscated.
  • The Customer has been barred from using the card, and the card has not been confiscated.

Industry Application — United States Department of Defense

Application in Software Industry

Application for the Automobile Industry

nTask Vs Waterfall In SDLC

  • Manage and clearly outline the duration and involved stakeholders of each stage.
  • Gather, discuss and document all the requirements in real time with all the relevant stakeholders. With nTask, the next stage will start only at the completion of the previous stage followed only by complete documentation and approval.
  • Create a workflow for your team based on the finalized requirements. nTask allows you to a clear view of the projects progress and allows you to provide feedback on each and every task in each stage of the Waterfall Model.
  • nTask makes it easy to collaborate and communicate with the whole team or just part of the team.
  • Making, maintaining and sharing complete documentation for each stage of the Waterfall Model is easy with the help of nTask. You can control who can view documentation so that only relevant information is shared with team members.

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