Which is Right for Your Next Drupal Project: Waterfall or Iterative?

The unquenchable demand for appropriate project management techniques to deal with the rising changes in the project life-cycle in terms of cost and time has increased. Since no two projects are the same and demand different management techniques, it has led to a debate about which methodologies to choose for any project.

#Factcheck: Only 58% of the total organizations in the world understand the importance of project management.

The success of any project hinges on the effectiveness of the chosen management approach. It is the main reason that you need to have a detailed view of the options available on your table to choose the best for your next project.

In this article, we are going to walk you through the waterfall and iterative techniques of project management that help you get the most out of your custom Drupal development project.

Let’s start!

Waterfall Project Management

Waterfall project management is also renowned as the “plan-driven model.” The detailed level involved in this methodology makes it easy to understand and avoids any errors or execution delays.

It is based on the theory of step-by-step management, which is organized around a succession of separate stages that must be validated one after the other. Moreover, it offers concrete results only at the end of the process.

Let’s see the features, advantages, disadvantages, and applications of a waterfall model for a Drupal project.

Features of waterfall project management

  • The various processes included in a waterfall project management technique are more streamlined and structured.
  • The project activities break down into linear sequential phases.
  • Each step relates to the specialization of tasks and is dependent on the outputs of the prior phase.
  • Designers created this methodology specifically for certain areas of engineering design.
  • The project flows largely in one direction, going from phases of conception, initiation, analysis, and design to those of construction, testing, deployment, and maintenance.

Advantages to leverage

  • Knowing the project completion cost and time beforehand, given the high-level detailing involved in this management technique.
  • Fewer uncertainties and risks exist in this approach since the outlined details follow sequentially during the project execution.
  • The ability to follow the project timeline and the budget step by step.

Beware of these disadvantages

  • The timeline and the scope of the project are all well-defined. It means that any abrupt change in the project management strategy can lead to major disruptions in your Drupal project.
  • This approach is limited in terms of flexibility and no other staff can be added later as per one’s choice.


Utilize the waterfall management approach for projects of different scales. It finds application in the construction sector, manufacturing industries, and others given the high material constraints, mainly in the modification cases during conception.

Even though industry professionals loved the waterfall model in the 1970s and 1980s because of its logical flow, another form of software development became popular in the 1990s. Iterative development provided a method for developing a system through repeated cycles. This way redefining and revisiting happen at any stage of the project.

Let’s learn about this approach in detail.

Iterative Project Management

Iterative project management, or agile project management, is an approach in which the project is managed iteratively. Its whole concept is based on the delivery of one or more minimum viable products (MVPs), or say intermediate deliverables. This concept allows the client to test the project and application versions under development and to even launch them live.

Features of Iterative project management

  • In an iterative project model, the whole software breaks down into manageable components, which are completed one by one.
  • The smaller chunks into which the project breaks down can then be prioritized and taken up in order.
  • Team members can easily collaborate and learn about the modifications needed and implement them at different intervals given to its functional change management strategy.

Advantages to leverage

  • This approach lets you make alterations at any phase of the project’s lifecycle.
  • It imparts enhanced project adaptability to unforeseen issues not encountered during the project design stages.
  • It helps you leverage the benefits that come along with the adaptability property of this approach, like that in terms of time, material, and cost saved over the entire project lifetime.

Beware of these disadvantages

  • The actual completion time and cost of the project remain unknown till the end of the project.
  • It lacks details and documentation because of the changes accommodated at various stages of the project.

How to Choose the Best Project Management Approach for Your Next Drupal Project?

In order to decide wisely between the waterfall and iterative methodologies of project management, here are some important aspects that you can consider before making your decision.

Change of pace:

Agile methodology is the way to go if you expect frequent and quick changes in your code.

For instance, this methodology is the best choice for customer-focused and rapidly changing applications.

Features independence:

Not advised: using a waterfall technique while developing an application with somewhat independent features.

Instead, pursue it with an Agile methodology where the development of each component can finish separately.

If you work on an application in which the changes tend to affect a large number of components, then simple iterative programming works as a better fit.

Let’s Recap

The iterative project management approach started when the waterfall model failed in certain aspects. However, both the techniques cater to different kinds of projects and are whole in them.

On one hand, we have the waterfall model that provides accurate measuring costs, progress tracking, early error identification, and more. On the contrary, we have an iterative approach that lets you add up to changes easily by going back and forth in the project cycle.

It’s up to you which approach would work best for your project to obtain robust results. We hope you make the best choice with all the information provided to you in this article.