“A project is a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result.” Temporary means that it has a defined start date and a deadline. Any project requires prior planning and a defined scope. Determining the scope of a project is defining a list of its objectives, deliverables, features, tasks, schedules, and costs. The uniqueness of a project lies in the fact that it is not a routine procedure. On the contrary, it is a short term mission that should be accomplished by a specific date and with planned measurements. Different project management methodologies are developed to adapt to the varying natures of projects. This is an explanatory article to simplify what project management methodologies mean.
What Is Project Management?
According to Investopedia “Project management involves planning and organization of a company’s resources to move a specific task, event or duty toward completion.” It emerged in the twentieth century as a distinguishable profession which involves the application of knowledge, skills, and tools to execute a project and fulfill its requirements. These procedures are divided into five stages: initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing.
Project Management Methodologies: Definition
Project management methodologies are the ways through which a team and its manager agree to plan, execute, and deliver a project. It includes the ways they will communicate, follow up, and make changes. Methodologies also take the project’s objective, budget, and general nature into consideration. Some methodologies may suit certain projects more than others. Project management methodologies allow the management to control and monitor a project through effective decision making and problem solving.
7 Project Management Methodologies
1- The Traditional (Sequential) Methodologies: Waterfall
Waterfall is one of the traditional project management methodologies. It follows the natural sequence of execution of the stages of a project. In other words, a phase should be completely accomplished before moving on to the next one. That is why it is known as a sequential approach. This requires the elimination of risks or any unplanned occurrences during the implementation of a project, or else the project’s delivery will be delayed. For that reason, project managers following the Waterfall methodology have to do a detailed organization for the project beforehand. This methodology allows the minimum capacity for sudden changes; therefore, it is convenient for projects with well-defined tasks and phases. It is best for projects with physical objects such as construction or hardware installation.
2- The Agile Family: Agile
As you can speculate from the name of the methodology, this one is an adaptive-to-change approach. It is more flexible and is designed to make room for changes that may come along the way during the implementation of a project. Its core principals are: collaboration, adaptability, and continuous improvement. The agile approach runs in short phases called Sprints. Team members and their project manager conduct daily meetings to follow up on the accomplished tasks. They also meet up at the end of every sprint to provide each other with feedback and report any obstacles they faced. Usually there are changes according to the challenges they have faced. This methodology’s strength point is that it pushes your team towards working creatively and efficiently. It is best for on-the-go projects such as marketing, design, and copy-writing.
3- Change Management Methodologies: Extreme Project Management
Extreme project management is the contrasting methodology to waterfall. It provides maximum flexibility for adjustments and changes without interrupting the path of the project’s completion. According to Wrike “In XPM, you can alter the project plan, budget, and even the final deliverable to fit changing needs, no matter where the project is.” This is the perfect methodology for extreme short term projects that last for weeks or even days.
4- The Process Based Methodologies: Lean, Six Sigma, and Lean Six Sigma
Firstly, Lean somehow follows the concept of “minimalism.” This means that it intends to come up with the best outcomes using minimum effort, minimum costs, and minimum time. That concept is achieved by eliminating all forms of “waste.” Secondly, the Six Sigma approach is what we call a “perfectionist” methodology. It aims to increase quality and to reach a zero-defect rate. Therefore, if a project reaches 99.99966% as a quality score, it obtains the rating of a Six Sigma. Finally, as you can predict, Lean Six Sigma mixes the two methodologies. It follows the minimalism concept in addition to the concept of reaching no defects. This makes it favorable to many project managers since it guarantees quality and cost-efficiency, and takes the shortest road to achieving both.
5- PRINCE2 Methodology
PRINCE2 is the most elaborated project management methodology. It is thoroughly well-planed and ensures the highest control over the whole project from start to finish. Therefore, governments, such as the UK government, adopt the PRINCE2 methodology for projects execution. The PRINCE2 approach includes seven principles:
- Projects must have business justification.
- Teams should learn from every stage.
- Roles and responsibilities are clearly defined.
- Work is planned in stages.
- Project boards manage by exception.
- Teams keep a constant focus on quality.
- The approach is tailored for each project.
6- PRiSM Methodology
PRiSM stands for Projects Integrating Sustainable Methods. In brief, this methodology may be called the “eco-friendly” methodology. It prioritizes the protection of environmental resources and ensures that the project is safe to the environment.
7- Benefits Realization Methodology
The Benefits Realization methodology commits itself to providing maximum value to the customer. Of course, commitment to the customer’s time frame and budget matters, but ensuring value is its top priority.
Project management methodologies are developed to facilitate leadership and to establish a strong building strategy towards achieving a goal. Understanding different project management methodologies helps you reach better outcomes. As a business owner, most of the time you are leading teams, projects, and departments; therefore, you must be fully aware of different project management methodologies and how to implement them. Select the suitable methodology according to the nature of each project you lead. In addition, always consider the nature of the team as well, observe their history, and their ability to succeed at meeting the methodology’s requirements. Invest time at developing your team of project managers, too. This will guarantee getting the best performance and will make you feel more confident about future project delegations.