Project management methodologies sound like a fancy term, but it’s just another way to describe a method used when doing something. In business, for a project to be successful, you need the right tools.
An essential tool is having the right team, but it’s equally important that the project is run or managed correctly. To help manage any kind of task, there are various methods you can employ. These are called project management methodologies.
What is a project management methodology? A guide on how to organise your projects. With key steps, methods and processes on how best to plan, and develop the project to achieve the best possible results desired.
Project Management Methodologies gives you a guiding process to manage a project. Identify all the stages you need to take into account in the process of managing a project.
There are many different methodologies you can use to manage a project where it defines how you work. Different types of projects require different types of project management methodologies.
Choosing the right project management methodology for your project can be challenging if you don’t know what they are. The most commonly used include:
Agile: This is a method that continually evolves and requires teams to self-organize themselves collaboratively.
Scrum: This methodology is designed for small groups of people over short periods. It includes daily scrum meetings and a Scrum master who oversees the project.
Six Sigma: With this methodology, you’re able to identify areas that are not working and take the necessary steps to change them.
Kanban: Kanban is more of a visual approach in which the workflow and project progress is placed on a Kanban board for everyone to see and refer to.
ScrumBan: The blend of scrum and kanban having a baby. Progress like Kanban but the stand up like Scrum.
Lean Methodology: Lean is a methodology designed to reduce waste and thereby increase value. Origins from the Toyota Lean manufacturing system. Removing waste with the 3Ms: muda, mura, and muri.
Waterfall Methodology: In this methodology, project phases flow down. You only move on to the next phase upon successful completion of the previous phase.
eXtreme Programming (XP): This is a software program you can use to improve productivity.
Adaptive project framework (APF): Also known as adaptive project management (APM)
PMBOK: (Project Management Body of Knowledge) This is more a structure for projects but is still considered a methodology by many. It breaks down projects into 5 phases: initiating, the planning, execution of the project, control, and closure.
PRINCE2: This is a certified methodology that is strictly structured. It follows seven principles, concepts, and procedures by dividing projects into smaller more manageable and controllable stages.
Critical Path Method: critical path is a simple methodology focused on estimating and scheduling task / project duration based on Theory of Constraints (TOC).
Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM): Planning and managing projects that identify the resources required to carry out project tasks. This is one step further than the critical path method (CPM).
New product introduction (NPI): Launching a new product or relaunching the introduction process includes everything from the define, develop and product launch.
Package enabled reengineering (PER): Helps businesses redesign products.
Outcome mapping: Project progress measurement system designed by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). Doesn’t focus on measurable deliverables, but instead on creating behavioural change.
DMAIC: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control - Improve business processes
Rapid application development (RAD): Type of agile project management that is designed to help facilitate faster software development.
There are 5 stages in the project management process.
Initiation: Define an idea into a meaningful project goal.
Planning: The project roadmap and can take almost half the project’s timespan.
This phase is about identifying the primary tasks, technical and resource requirements, developing a project schedule, communication plan, and setting project goals.
There are a few project goal methodologies that can be used for setting up project goals.
S.M.A.R.T. Goals:: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely.
Helps clearly define achievable goals.
C.L.E.A.R. Goals: Collaborative, Limited, Emotional, Appreciable, Refinable.
Flexibility with immediate results.
Execution: Where the team actually starts the work.
Establish workflows, maintain effective collaboration and monitor the progress of the project. Helping improve efficiency and increase productivity.
Monitoring: Runs simultaneously alongside the project execution stage.
Make sure the project does not deviate from the original plan and establish key performance indicators (KPI) and critical success factors (CSF).
Track effort and cost during the process. Ensuring the project remains on budget and knowledge is gained for future improvements.
Completion: The final task is to review the whole project and how it is performed.
Whatever methodology you adopt in your organization has been proven to help your project delivery be more successful. There are also other significant benefits:
Decision-making process: It helps to make decision taking more effective because expected behaviors and roles are clarified. There is no confusion over who does what and who is accountable.
Time and money: with a defined road map in place, everyone involved in a project knows what is expected of them, thereby saving money by making the delivery quicker.
Project scope: The project scope is managed better, which also saves time and reduced cost.
Client satisfaction: It helps ensure your team and the client know what to expect and agree on the project delivery.
Resolving problems: This allows you to anticipate risks and prepare for them.
Team motivation: Because a project is better controlled, there are fewer surprises, making it a more enjoyable working environment.
It’s critical to choose the right methodology because it is what will define how you work. It helps by providing the structure and acts as a guide. Unfortunately, no one methodology works across the board, which means you have to spend time considering the options and find the right one. The following steps will help you decide.
Complexity and simplicity of various project factors: Make a list and label them according to how simple or complex they might be.
Flexibility or rigidity of the working environment: Different methodologies suit specific working environments. The Waterfall approach, for example, suits a very fixed environment better.
Value: Use a list of your clients’ needs to help you decide which methodology best suits their requirements.
Goals of your organization: You should choose a method that allows you to meet your goals.
Values of your organization and team: Whatever methodology you choose will have to be carried out by the people who work in your organization or team. It’s therefore crucial you select a method that is a natural fit for the way they think, work, and relate to each other.