In project management, each project is peculiar. With specific requirements, the approach toward the project differs from project to project. This is where the project management methodologies chip in the extra features and specifics required for that particular project.
But how do you decide which project management methodology suits your agenda? This article will go through some of the top project management methodologies in the project management domain.
What are Project Management Methodologies?
Any scientifically devised methodology with a systematic and disciplined approach may be adopted to design, execute and complete a project. As a result, experts have come up with several methods that suit the requirements of different kinds of projects in many sectors: all of them prescribe a list of activities or “things to do” to bring about change. These methodologies fall under a broad project management framework that defines “how to” bring about change.
How to Choose a Project Management Methodology for your Project?
There can be several factors that will decide whether you will go for a particular methodology or not. Here we have narrowed it down to a few factors that particularly play a crucial role in choosing the correct methodology.
1. Size of the Team
The size of your team is very important in deciding which methodology you will use for your project. Communication that would be required from your team members decides your project’s fate. The dependency of team members on each other will play a crucial role in how the project plan will be laid out.
2. Budget For the Project
The project’s budget allocation also plays a crucial role in deciding the methodology for the project. You have to be certain that no unprecedented expenses will be added to the budget at the end of the project. Any unsolicited expenses can hamper the project’s overall performance, so budget is another important factor in choosing the project management methodology.
Any changes in the project after the initial phase of the project management lifecycle may cause a lot of damage to the project delivery. So, while choosing the project management methodology, we must ensure scope for flexibility during the project. Even if there is no scope for changes, we must be aware beforehand and choose the methodology accordingly.
A much more important aspect is when you want your project to end.
What kind of commitment is required from the team based on the deadline?
It is crucial to decide which methodology will ensure the project delivery within the specified time. The project timeline automatically adds a lot of relevance to which project management methodology will be chosen for the project.
Another aspect is the collaboration required between the various stakeholders, team members, etc. According to the project, each project will have its requirements where they need specific stakeholder collaboration, which sometimes is optional. Therefore, the collaboration also becomes a deciding factor when choosing a methodology for any project.
6. Project Risk
The risk associated with the project is one of the driving forces while deciding the methodology for the project. Therefore, the methodology will have to be efficient enough to manage the risk associated with the project without hampering the overall efficiency of the project.
It is crucial to ensure that the resources linked to the project are available during the project. To ensure how they would be managed for the project’s overall efficiency, the methodology you choose must have the right processes or tools in place. There is a direct impact on the performance of the projects if the project resource management is flawed in any way.
One more factor is the scalability of the project. Therefore, the methodology chosen for the project should align with its scalability and provide maximum support.
9. Resistance to Change
In various situations, the resistance to change can be exhausting. So while choosing the methodology for the project, one must make sure one can manage any resistance to change during the project and maintain full efficiency throughout the project duration.
After making sure that these factors check out for any given methodology, you can go for the one having the most number of these factors satisfied, along with the fact that they align with the project goal.
There can be several project management methodologies that you will find for your projects. Even though each project has its requirements, we have listed a few methodologies to help you with your projects.
Modern Project Management Methodologies
Modern project management methodologies are becoming more popular as organizations strive to achieve greater efficiency, effectiveness, and productivity. They offer a comprehensive approach to project management, allowing for improved coordination, communication, and collaboration between teams. They are designed to help organizations manage their projects in a more structured and organized way, leading to successful outcomes. Modern project management methodologies provide a framework to ensure that the right people and resources are in the right place, at the right time, and with the right skills, to complete the project efficiently and effectively.
1. Agile Project Management Methodology
Agile project management methodologies are iterative and adopt an incremental approach to delivering requirements throughout the project life cycle.
Agile projects rely on the following:
- Pooling intellectual resources and trusting team members rather than over-dependence on tools and processes
- Interactive working relationship with customers through the project cycle, instead of merely obliging contractual obligations
- Sophisticated software solutions to track projects, substituting laborious documenting and reporting procedures with simpler ones
- Incorporating changes as and when required in place of following a concrete plan
Project management agile methodology neither employs a broad set of tools and processes nor falls back on substantial documentation, so they are often referred to as a work culture.
While the advantages are visible in the approach, the same could also turn into disadvantages. So be advised agile project management methods may be best suited for software development where:
- The product/service owner is actively involved in the creation, even if unclear about the requirement
- Team members are professional and committed and come with some experience in coping with changing needs
- The end deliverable is secured after a series of short-term deliverables, all created intuitively, on the go, and with constant feedback
Agile project management methodologies include
- Scrum Project Management Method
- Kanban Project Management Method
- Scrumban Project Management Method
- Extreme Programming Project Management Method
- Adaptive Project Framework (AFP)
2. Scrum Project Management Method
If you pick Scrum from project management methodologies, you start with what you have but evaluate and adapt continuously.
Scrum is highly collaborative, has experienced and dedicated teams, and has few budgetary or time limitations. The flexibility in the project gestation period and financial resources may lead to project bloat or scope creep. It is best suited for complex but small projects where the absence of even one resource can impact the results.
Scrum is a project management method in and of itself, but it is most often used in conjunction with an Agile framework. They have similar values, like working together and putting people ahead of processes.
Scrum events (activities) include
- Daily scrum (morning updates).
- Monthly sprints (30-day cycles at the end of which there is a tangible result).
- Sprint reviews (discussion on sprint result).
- Sprint retrospectives (reflection on improvements needed).
3. Kanban Project Management Method
Kanban believes in non-disruptive and evolutionary change that promotes “Kaizen,” or continuous improvement. In a visual form, it comprises the Kanban board, which displays the workflow.
If all energies concentrate on this flow, change occurs through minor steps that do not interrupt the flow and cause resistance among team members or stakeholders.
Kanban is one of the project management methodologies that help to optimize output, decrease obsolescence, make production flexible, and cut down inventory. However, a breakdown anywhere along the line can hinder the entire project. Therefore, it is best for projects that employ task management software and require a steady output, despite changing priorities.
4. Scrumban Project Management Method
What if a project needs a dynamic project structure but the discipline of process improvements and speed of delivery? Then, what you need is scrumban methodology.
Scrumban is a method for managing agile projects that combines scrum and kanban.
The main benefit of scrumban is that teams don’t have to choose which task from the backlog to work on in each sprint at the beginning like they do in a “traditional” scrum framework. Instead, teams can continuously “pull” from the backlog based on how much they can do.
The advantages of Scrum and Kanban merge in the Scrumban project management methodology, which provides:
- Highly visualized continuous workflow management
- Value-based metrics for operational management
- Just-in-time analysis for inventory management
There are limits placed on work-in-progress, and only work items the team can implement are pulled into the “Doing” category. It saves time and resources, and the focus can shift to quality control. The use of Scrumban is best suited for maintenance and helpdesk project management. It also comes in handy when Scrum projects go awry due to blockages in the workflow, scarcity of resources, or lack of processes.
5. Extreme Programming Project Management Method
Based on teamwork and customer satisfaction, Extreme Programming (XP) is not very popular among project management methodologies as it provides precise engineering parameters, a rigid task structure, and a short cycle time for software development. Furthermore, adaptability rather than predictability is at its extreme, with coding, designing, and programming satisfying current needs rather than future requirements.
Keeping it simple not only reduces costs but also allows communication to take place between the system, developers, and users. As it is heavily code-oriented, it is best suited for prototype development and extensive research projects emphasizing subject matter expertise rather than the end product. For the same reason, there may be coding errors or bugs despite the Test Driven Development approach.
6. Adaptive Project Framework (APF) Project Management Method
The Adaptive Project Framework is unique among project management methodologies as it caters to the increasingly complex nature of projects handled by organizations. APF project management methods respond to this by adapting to changing requirements and reacting effectively to unknown factors that may crop up.
A customized form of agile is required to tackle ambiguity in project features, the presence of multiple stakeholders, and changes in priorities that influence the nature of work, the kind of strategy, and the people involved in the execution of the project. To explain further:
- Work is all-encompassing and always urgent
- The plan is forever changing and unpredictable
- People are self-driven collaborators and not “managed
Hence, APF project management methods borrow from traditional methodologies to include project statements, cycle plans, work priorities, and client satisfaction. However, it goes beyond the efficient work organization to analyze, test, and measure project variables.
It is a mix of the traditional and XP methodology of project management. Therefore, it should work well for product development and business process design, especially for unique projects that do not respond to one-size-fits-all project management methodologies. However, as being flexible also means embracing change, the main disadvantages of APF could be delays and a rise in costs.
Traditional Project Management Methodologies
The traditional project management methods involve a series of steps taken in sequence to design, develop and deliver a product or service. The success of a project is embedded in the phases of implementation or project lifecycle as also the processes involved. Therefore, many detailing, planning, scheduling, and team-building activities are required.
Traditional methods also overlap with a slew of process-based project management methods, explained after the sequential project management methodologies.
1. Waterfall Project Management Methodology
Linear, and sequential, this project management methodology is a list of a logical progression of steps that, once completed, cannot be retracted or revisited. It forces a disciplined approach with managerial control that sets clear deadlines for each stage: requirement analysis, system design, implementation, testing, deployment, and maintenance.
It is one of the documentation-heavy project management methodologies and does not involve the client; At the same time, quality assurance is possible at each stage, and testing is taken up only at later stages. So the risk of errors persists. Hence it is best suited for small, short, simple, and well-defined projects with the required resources. Manufacturing and construction sectors that follow assembly-line precision are known users.
2. Critical Path Project Management Method
The most critical tasks in a project are aligned together in sequence. The time required to complete these activities in the “critical path” is then determined. These activities also help to finalize the scope of the project. The same tasks dictate the priorities of the project as well.
As this is one of the sequential project management methodologies, the critical path method helps schedule projects based on interdependencies and is mapped as critical and non-critical project components. It is bound to fail if handled by an inexperienced project manager and if the project is subject to changes, as the entire schedule will fall apart. It is best suited for industrial applications, where production is repetitive and precision-driven.
3. Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM) Method
When a project involves a chain of activities that tie together on a critical path, project managers prefer to keep track of the completion of one task before procuring material for the next job in sequence. This is among the project management methodologies focusing on buffering tasks in a critical chain to avoid wasting time and resources.
Though resource-efficient, it works best for single-project environments with no role for multi-tasking. CCPM best suits workflow-oriented, resource-starved projects that depend on a chain of sequential activities. Though designed to save time, the buffer created is often filled out by further delays in preceding activities.
Process-based project management methods prescribe a set of processes with attendant tools and techniques to manage a project from start to finish.
4. PRINCE2 Project Management Method
Short for Projects in Controlled Environments 2, the Prince2 suite of process-oriented methods –also from PMI -is used across the UK government departments to manage all projects in a documented manner. It revolves around seven themes, principles, and processes, all of which help to limit risks, plan business, and track performance.
It is the only project management methodology suited for large government projects where documentation is mandated. As there are 45 sub-processes subsumed in the three stages of directing, managing, and delivering, the chances of going wrong are few.
5. Lean Project Management Method
Is it possible to create higher value for clients employing fewer resources?
Yes, says Lean – one of the most popular projects management methods – with a targeted focus on minimizing resource wastage.
Elimination of wastage in products, services, resources, transportation, inventories, and several other processes in a project leads to “value streams” of enhanced quality, improvements in production, and reduction of costs, according to Lean project management methodologies.
Decision-making is also accelerated, which means this is one of those project management methodologies best suited for environments with scarce resources, tight deadlines, and a short turnaround. However, with inventories reduced, the dependence on suppliers has proved risky in many cases.
Nevertheless, it has been employed in the IT, education, and construction industries.
6. Six Sigma Project Management Method
This method is based on statistics and is data-driven. It aims at removing all defects in a product, process, or service. A Six Sigma rating is awarded if the measure of errors per million is low (3.4).
It is best suited to optimize production processes but may prove a costly proposition for smaller companies. It is also seen as a deterrent to innovation involving procedure changes.
7. Hybrid Project Management Method
Many hybrid project management methodologies, including the Water Scrum Fall and the Agifall methods, capitalize on the plus points of traditional and modern project management methodologies.
In the Water-Scrum-Fall method, traditional waterfall planning, requirements gathering, budgeting, and documenting are followed initially; when product development begins, the iterative Scrum methodology is adopted.
Agifall, on the other hand, increases the speed, decreases costs, and improves quality by breaking up planning activities of the Waterfall project management methodology into user stories of Agile, further prioritizing them during Sprints.
As hybrid project management methods are customized, they are best suited for detail-oriented, innovative projects with a lean approach and may help sectors as diverse as finance and healthcare.
8. Integrated Project Management Method
As projects increase and different departments in the same organization embrace one of many project management methodologies, there are opportunities to share the knowledge gained and build a collection of processes that may benefit all.
The Integrated Project Management methodology establishes a set of standard processes used across the organization. It outlines how it is to be understood, shared, and implemented to ensure the best practices are deployed. It is best suited for big organizations across various sectors.
9. PRISM Project Management Method
PRISM, or Projects integrating Sustainable Methods, developed by GPM Global, infuses project management methodologies with values that promote Green Practices and eliminate adverse environmental impacts. It is best suited for large-scale construction projects which disturb the ecosystem.
While the project management knowledge area is exploding with fresh ideas and concepts, every enterprise should choose the right project management method to optimize business, keep stakeholders happy, and reduce wastage.
While agile may be useful for individuals, agencies may prefer the predictability of traditional PM methodologies. It is also essential to keep the project management team enthused about innovating and developing cutting-edge products and solutions while adhering to global standards in project management methods.
Know more about project management best practices through Invensis Learning’s Project Management certification training on PMP Training and Certification, CAPM Training and Certification, Prince2 Foundation and Practitioner Online, and Project Management Fundamentals. As a Premier Authorized Training Partner of Project Management Institute (PMI), we are a trusted training partner for Fortune 500 companies and Government institutions globally.
- Waterfall: A linear approach to project management where progress flows from one phase to the next in a linear fashion
- Agile: A flexible, iterative approach to project management where progress is made in small increments through the collaboration of cross-functional teams
- Scrum: A framework for agile software development that emphasizes frequent delivery of working software through short iterations called “sprints”
- Lean: It is a project management methodology that maximizes value and minimizes waste
- Kanban: A project management methodology that uses visual cues to manage workflow and identify bottlenecks in a process
- Six Sigma: A data-driven approach to improving efficiency and reducing defects in a process
- PRINCE2: A project management methodology used primarily in the UK, which stands for “PRojects IN Controlled Environments”