Waterfall Product Development Process: Detailed Explanation

Waterfall product development is one of the most popular choices. In this article, we'll take a detailed look at waterfall product development and look at each of its stages in detail.

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I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to explore a variety of changes and new methods of working while working in product teams. I would split the way I experienced the waterfall product development process.

What Is The Waterfall Product Development Process?

When we talk about the waterfall product development process, we can simply understand that waterfall product development is a sequential, linear process of product development. It consists of several discrete stages. No stage begins until the previous one is completed, and completing each stage is the final step — waterfall product development doesn’t allow you to go back to the previous stage. The only way to revisit a stage is to start over at stage one.

5 Processes In The Product Development Waterfall Model

There are five stages in the waterfall product development process.

Each phase depends on the previous one, so you must follow this exact order for the project management approach to work. As you complete the steps in each stage, the work moves on to the next stage naturally.

As we begin to break down these phases, there are a few things to keep in mind for a successful project. First, a solid strategy is a must for the waterfall approach to be effective. We’ll go into more detail on this in a moment, but we want to emphasize the importance of being prepared. Unlike the agile method, the waterfall does not allow for quick, last-minute changes. You must be ready in advance to handle any potential issues.

This leads us to the second tip. Issues that delay or derail a project can only be avoided if you constantly check your work. Using the waterfall method means that you can’t make changes to the work you’ve already completed without adding too much time and monetary cost. Take the time to check your work—all your work—when it’s done to keep the project going smoothly.



After planning the concept, you and your supplier proceed to document the functional requirements for the product. Together with the vendor’s business analysts, you list and describe all the features that you want to implement. The rigidity of your functional requirements plays a large role in determining the SDLC model. 

Some models imply that all requirements are set strictly from the beginning and no changes are made later; some allow more flexibility with changing or adding requirements, and some make adding new requirements during product development almost a standard process. The more confident you are in the fact that you’ll want to change or expand your existing list of requirements along the way, the more flexibility you’ll need.


Now that you know what you’re building, it’s time to decide how you’re going to create it. Gather your team to review the information you learned in the early stages. Think about the requirements for each product component and how you will accomplish them. If you have any new questions, send them to the customer as soon as possible. 

Next, plan the next stages and steps of product development. Evaluate your team to make sure you have the people and skills needed to meet customer expectations. You should also make a list of what you require, including tools and software. Once you have a clear understanding of everything involved, you can define timelines and budgets fairly accurately. Give yourself some time to revise at the end of the project, or use this plan to guide your decisions. 

Depending on your industry, you can also use this to design your own products. 

At the end of this phase, people should know what you expect of them and what their responsibilities are. The plan you create here is the one you will use for the rest of the product development, so give it time and attention.

Waterfall product development process example:

If you’re running an advertising campaign, you’ll use this step to decide what message your ad will deliver, how you want to deliver it, the audience you’re targeting, and how you’ll measure the result. You’ll want to include all the little details, such as the colors and media you’ll be using, before moving on to the next stage.


As you move into this stage, you and your team should be well-equipped to dive into the work. Everyone has their own roles and responsibilities, so the product should start to come together quickly.

Your planning will help the process go smoothly at this point, but you may experience problems or delays. When this happens, refer to the plan and requirement document you created earlier. If you’ve done your job well, these guides will help you solve problems without disrupting the entire project.

Even though every team member is on their own mission, they should keep an eye on every development. The waterfall product development method does not allow you to go back and correct previous mistakes. Carefully review each piece of work to ensure you are meeting expectations and laying the groundwork for future developments.

Waterfall product development process example:

Let’s say your company is hired to develop mobile apps. During the implementation phase, your team will take the requirements and plans developed in the first two phases and use them to guide their coding. As you create and deploy each piece of the product, you will also test and review each piece of code against your project standards.

Verification or testing

Your product is complete and ready for testing! You should test each component as it is developed, but this is a more formal testing process. First, ask your team to test the product internally. To avoid missing issues, make sure everyone evaluates the product as a whole, not just the parts they’ve built.

Next, get feedback from beta testers. These outside eyes will find errors that your team has completely missed. They will also use the product differently, providing insights into how the end user will use it. If all goes well, you may just have a few problems to work out. Sometimes, however, this stage reveals major issues with the product. 

In this case, solve these problems through the waterfall process. Reviewing the issues and planning your response will yield better results than just patching. When your product is problem-free and working as required, you can ship it to the customer.

Waterfall product development process example:

For those in the blockchain industry, this phase is often the most important. Working too closely with the product frequently exposes teams to potential issues. By giving the product to users who are not used to it, these blind spots quickly become apparent. Seeing the product in action also helps teams determine if the product meets customer requirements and standards.


Many projects do not end with delivery. As customers use the product more or the technology changes, developers have to deal with any new problems that arise. If you’ve tested it thoroughly, hopefully, these errors will be minor and easy to fix. 

However, major issues may require a return to stage one. For some industries, this phase is continuously supported indefinitely. If you periodically update and maintain the product in the future, this phase will continue as long as your relationship with the customer is as long as it is.

Waterfall product development process example

After building and delivering a website to your customers, you can provide regular system updates to keep it compatible with new technology or changing requirements. You can also address any issues that customers may discover with continued use.

Analyze the advantages and disadvantages of the waterfall.


  • This model is easy and simple to understand and utilize.
  • It is quite simple to manage due to the rigidity of the model – each phase has a specific review process and deliverables.
  • Phases are prepared and finished one at a time in this model.
  • Phases don’t cross over.
  • For smaller projects with clearly defined and well-understood needs, the waterfall paradigm works well. 


  • Once an application is in the testing stage, it is quite challenging to go back and fix something that wasn’t carefully thought out in the design stage.
  • No effective software is produced until late in the life cycle.
  • For object-oriented and complicated projects, this model is ineffective.
  • High amounts of uncertainty and risk.

When to choose waterfall product development process

You should only use the waterfall process when:

  • Requirements are very clear and fixed.
  • There are no ambiguous requirements.
  • Abundant resources with the necessary expertise are provided free of charge.
  • Customers have high trust in the organization.
  • The organization has experience with similar projects.
  • Short-term project.
  • It will be good to use this model when the technology is well understood. 

Which product development is suitable for a waterfall?

There are many products suitable for waterfall product development, including blockchain products. Because to us, blockchain is like a waterfall.

The Waterfall approach is an ideal method to establish concepts at the beginning of blockchain project development. In blockchain projects in general, it is predetermined how something should work. The entire scope of the project’s work is known in advance, which is why the waterfall methodology is much more efficient.

There are several reasons why we should use a waterfall approach in the planning phase of blockchain project management.

  • It is easy to understand and use.
  • It is suitable for projects that are resistant to change in the future because the requirements are completed early in the project.
  • Each phase has well-understood milestones, specific tasks, and review processes, resulting in an easily manageable and measurable project.
  • It works well in situations where you can precisely define the requirements at the beginning of the project.


There are different models you can use to manage your product development. It’s important to find an approach that works for the type of product you’re building and allows the team to work effectively together to achieve outstanding results.

For example, in the blockchain technology industry, businesses are often slow in planning and releasing projects. Usually, when a feature is released, the hype surrounding the feature fades, and it is not repeated. Therefore, such technology companies will operate on the basis of Waterfall.

If you are starting to plan your blockchain project development. Come to Satom Venture Studio. At Satom, the creators set up a perfect product development model. Besides, We provide financial support services to help blockchain projects thrive. Contact us at hello@satom.vc  if you are interested.

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