What Nobody Tells You About Project Management Methodologies

Project Management Methodology

Project is essential in every industry nowadays. The management decides which project to take up, but each member of the respective project team has to be productive and in sync for the project to be completed, on top of having all the external contracts and enough supplies. Managing a project is never easy, regardless of the size of the project team, duration, and budget of the project. All the projects need different planning and set-up, and there is no perfect management of a project, but having a general layout of a project saves the company from the last-minute hustle, internal conflicts, and insightful results.

And that tactic is known as a project management methodology. Undertaking a proper and suitable method is a must for a project to complete in time with all the expected results. However, one process can never fully fit for other projects, as each separate project has a unique goal, timeline, material distribution, and pain-points. Adding it up to the quality and background of the employees, their mutual understanding and collaboration, relationship with the management, and even the expectation and involvement of the clients and stakeholders make the whole process tangible, a bit complex, and hectic to manage.

» What is a project management methodology?

In short, project management methodology meaning is the steps and process to follow to deliver a project timely while maintaining its quality and sustainability with all its expectations.

Project management methodology definition can be-a set of rules, regulations, and processes to manage a project effectively. This methodology also defines how a team should communicate, what steps they should follow, and the speed they should work. These small details sum up every step of conducting a project.

The project management approach definition indicates that there are many methods to manage a project. Each of them has a different structure, different view-points, focus, and logic. Each of them contains a detailed guideline about the meeting frequency, mode of communication, overview and distribution of tasks, and all other small details. Some of them may look alike for their process or philosophy or even from their origin, but they are helpful in different projects for different requirements.

» How to Choose The Right Project Management Methodology?

Project methodology always has to be determined as soon as a company decides to take up a project, and it plays a very crucial role throughout the project. So it is important not to go wrong with this choice, as this can cost too much time, effort, materials, and money for that company. A company has to obtain proper project management methodologies comparison carefully before choosing one. So, what are the factors in selecting a methodology?

It depends on various factors-

› Budget

Can the budget afford the gradual evolution of a product, there may be a shortage of materials?

› Team size

Is the team too large to manage, or they are small in number so they can communicate effectively without any specific direction?

› Focus

What are the final deliverables? Is the goal of the company the betterment of a product or service or inventing it from scratch?

› Industry

Is the industry service-based, or product based? What are the materials required?

› Complexity

How difficult is the situation to work, and how many serious pain-points are there?

› Resources

Are the resources available easily? Can there be enough resources to experiment?

› The rigidity of budget and timeline

If some problem is to occur, how much the company can tackle it in terms of budget and deadline?

› Roles and specializations of team members

What are the exact roles of the team members, and are their works equally distributed? Are the specialization of the members enough? Are they from the same background of a specialization?

› Scalability of the project

How much scalable is the project? What is the top priority of the project team?

› Risk-taking ability

How much risk can the company deal with? What will be an alternative strategy?

› The flexibility of time

How close or far is the deadline? Is it flexible, and how much?

› Involvement and collaboration of the clients or stakeholders

How much liberty does the team have, and how often communication have to be with the clients?

› Project Management Tools

What are the tools they are using? How effective or time consuming are those?

» Ten Popular Project Management Methodologies

Though there are numerous project management methodologies out there, industries primarily use a handful of them. Some of them are limited to a specific area or a narrow domain. There are not even any definitive guides to project management methodologies to use in a project, so the team members have to make the decision themselves depending on the requirements and repetition required for the project using the project management methodologies comparison.

For example, the companies determine whether they have a very clear idea of the outcome, can the focus be changed with the change of market, and whether they need to complete the project in one go, or they should opt for a repetitive method for gradual change. After judging all these, and comparing the project management methodologies types, they finalize the method to obtain. Modern project management methodologies are more suited to software or IT industries, whereas the Waterfall methodology is more suited to projects with a predefined outcome. For your understanding, we have discussed a few project management methodologies examples in this article so you can have a clearer idea.

Here we have provided 10 project management methodologies made simple with the type of project these are the most suitable. Please take a look…

1. Agile:

Agile project management is one of the best examples of modern project management methodologies. This process is in use since the year 2001. It was invented mainly for the software companies, but the industries like the automobile and even some Universities has adopted this method. Its continuous evolution and low risks are the reason.

› Main properties:

It is quick,
It uses a definite collaboration system,
It is open to data-driven change.

› Who should opt for it:

Projects which need a close feedback system,
When the clients and stock-holders need to be involved deliberately,
Projects needing much iteration.

› Who should not opt for it:

Projects with a strict deadline, Projects which has specific planning from the very beginning, and no feedback is required.

2. Scrum:

Scrum project management mainly focuses on productivity. They divide the project into multiple small tasks called sprint that runs for 1-2 weeks. A scrum master overviews the project and resolves any issues that would occur. There is a review session at the end of each sprint. It determines the success of this sprint and the outline of the next.

› Main properties:

A scrum master leads the project,
It consists of several sprints.

› Who should opt for it:

Where continuous improvement is needed,
A proper retrospection or review is to occur from time to time.

› Who should not opt for it:

Where the work must be consistent,
A review of the sprint is not mandatory.

3. Kanban:

Kanban project management has originated from the Japanese industrialists, and it focused on the visual planning of the project. The word “Kanban” literally means a card or visual signal in Japanese.

› Main properties:

Has a visual approach,
Can be pulled from the predefined backlog,
One can observe the entire project at a glance.
It limits the work in progress at a time.

› Who should opt for it:

When there is a chance of bottleneck of tasks,
The process is complex.

› Who should not opt for it:

Does not have multiple stages,
There is no chance of a delay or backlog.

4. Waterfall:

Waterfall project management is one of the traditional methods still widely used in the industry. It follows a path like- analyzing the requirements, designing the project plan, constructing the output, testing the deliverable, and deploys and maintains the result.

› Main properties:

It is linear and sequential.
The team plans out the tasks from the very beginning.
It has six parts- initiation, planning and design, execution, control and integration, validation, and closure.

› Who should opt for it:

Projects where the final output is predictable,
Where collaboration and intrinsic communication is not needed.
A project with a definite guideline and need of too much documentation.

› Who should not opt for it:

Industries like software or IT where the products or services need frequent updates,
Where a change of planning and outlining may be necessary.

5. Critical Path Method (CPM):

The first method is the "Critical path method CPM project management." Here the team first identifies the tasks, the timeline is estimated, and calculates the shortest and longest path. The longest sequence with all the tasks included is called the Critical Path. This model is extensively used where scheduling and time-blocking are crucial for a project. Construction, Engineering, and IT industries are common users of this methodology.

› Main properties:

It is quick,
Covers many milestones or tasks,
It has visual planning.

› Who should opt for it:

When a project needs strict planning,
There are too many dependencies.
When an algorithm is preferred for the management of the project.

› Who should not opt for it:

Projects with an uncertain deadline,
The work is not on a large scale.

6. Lean:

The manufacturing industry uses this lean project management extensively. The Toyota Production System first used this technique. The philosophy of this method has three parts- Muda, Mura, and Muri. This technique minimizes the cost and maximizes the value of a project.

› Main properties:

Muda represents wastefulness. And this tells us that the system concentrates on minimum waste with planned consumption of resources. The proper usage of budget and zero waste materials are a big plus point of this methodology.
Mura represents unevenness, and it focuses on the equal distribution of works.
Muri represents overburden, and this focuses on productive and timely work to meet the deadline.

› Who should opt for it:

There is a chance of wastage of resources,
Companies that have the resolve to become sustainable.

› Who should not opt for it:

There is no chance or need for the careful use of resources.

7. Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM):

CCPM project management is a modified version of Critical Project Management. This system included several buffer time zones, so the project timeline can be maintained even if there is a lack of resources or any lagging.

› Main properties:

Similar to CPM but has several buffer zones,
Maintains the timeline far better.

› Who should opt for it:

The supply of resources is not assured,
Any chances of lagging can be here,
Any problem to complete a task can hamper the momentum of the total project.

› Who should not opt for it:

Where is no need for buffers, but the buffering can delay the project deadline,
No resource issues are there.

8. Extreme Programming (XP):

XP project management is about following the rules and guidelines extensively. It has 5 properties- simplicity, communication, feedback, respect, and courage. It is most effective to guide a small team with extreme understanding and collaboration.

› Main properties:

Teamwork is very crucial,
Depends highly on the feedback system,
It maintains a simple outlook.

› Who should opt for it:

There is a small team which works together physically,
The team that needs strong collaboration and dedicated teamwork.

› Who should not opt for it:

The team that cannot abide by the rules strictly,
The team where the members do not live in the same place, country, or even in the timezone

9. PMI’s PMBOK:

PMI’s PMBOK project management methodology was first described in the “Project management book of knowledge” written by the Project Management Industry - a non-profit organization to guide the PM methods.

› Main properties:

It is the basis of PMP (project management professional) certification,
People have to be up-to-date with current industry standards.

› Who should opt for it:

People in need of the certificate to level up their resume.
Companies are situated in the US as this method is popular there.

› Who should not opt for it:

There is no need for maintaining a fixed PM method,
Staying updated with the industry norms is not mandatory.

10. PRINCE2:

PRINCE2 project management methodology is the acronym for “PRojects IN Controlled Environment.” It stands on seven principles or guidelines that give this method seven different processes to follow and implement. Large scale IT industries follow this method primarily. Providing value, having a distinct role and responsibility distribution, and managing the changes in the project objectives are the main focus of this method.

› Main properties:

It has seven processes.
It depends solely on the seven principles,
It leaves nothing to chances or vague estimates.

› Who should opt for it:

Companies that require full control over a project,
People who need this certification.
The UK based companies as there it is used widely.

› Who should not opt for it:

Projects that depend on some probabilities to give out specific outcomes,
Projects where full control cannot be maintained- in this case, it becomes PINO (PRINCE In Name Only).

» Project Management Software

It is often hard to maintain a project manually. Even in a digital method, the constant update required to the spreadsheet or other documents can often become hectic for a project team as they already have enough responsibilities on their shoulders. Proper tools and software can keep this process easy to track, follow, and maintain. It estimates budget and timing, plans out the tasks, schedules them, helps to collaborate and communicates with team members and clients, allocates resources, and even creates documents. Now you can find PC and browser-based software no matter which industry you work in.

Harmonogram was the first-ever tool for project management, invented in 1896, which was replaced by the Gantt chart in 1912. Currently, the type of software available is desktop-based, mobile-based, single-user, collaborative, personal, visual, and web-based.

You can find here a list of Project Management Software.

Conclusion

The vast and complex projects the companies are taking up in this 21st century, cannot be maintained properly and executed without following these project management methodologies. As you cannot change the method in the midway of a project, it is crucial to have a clear idea about them from the beginning. Even the general outline of a popular management methodology may not be the exact fit for your project, and you may need to customize it as your requirement.

It is also a must for all the team members to have a grasp of these methodologies and share knowledge of the particular method you are working in clearly, so all the project team members can be on the same page. No matter what the process is chosen, communication and planning are the keys to every project, so establishing a productive environment and encouraging to communicate freely must be the top priority of every company of all the industries. Companies should maintain and strictly regulate it even when there is a lag or backlog of a task or a change of members of a project team that occurs in the middle of an ongoing project.

In the end, though following these guidelines come up as a massive help for the project team, you need to share your views too so your project can apply to a wide range of audiences, and you can pinpoint their respective pain-points accurately.

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