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Project management can be a tricky business, especially when trying to convince senior leaders who are skeptical about change. One such methodology that often faces this challenge is the waterfall method. But despite its sometimes-negative reputation, the waterfall methodology is actually a valuable tool for managing projects, especially for those with low engagement senior leaders.

Why is the waterfall methodology so valuable? For starters, it prioritizes planning. Before diving into the execution of a project, a thorough plan must be created and approved. This means that everyone is on the same page, goals are clear, and potential risks and opportunities are identified and addressed early on. In short, it minimizes the chance of surprises down the road.

So how do you convince a senior leader to embrace the waterfall method? Here are some tips:

Emphasize the importance of planning: The waterfall method requires a solid plan before execution. Remind your senior leader of the risks and missed opportunities that can arise without proper planning.

Highlight the clear and concise progress tracking: With each phase of the project clearly defined, it becomes much easier to track progress and make adjustments as needed. This can be especially appealing to senior leaders who want to see tangible results.

Explain the reduced risk factor: By planning and testing before full-scale execution, the waterfall method helps to identify and address potential risks before they become major issues.

Show the big picture: The waterfall method may seem rigid, but it actually allows for flexibility within each phase. This makes it easier to see the big picture and make changes as needed, without completely starting over.

Use real-world examples: Provide examples of successful projects that used the waterfall method, emphasizing the business outcomes and benefits.

With these tips in mind, hopefully you can convince your senior leader to dive into the deep end of the waterfall method and see the value in thorough planning for their next project.

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