If you have ever been in a position where you were responsible for managing a project, then chances are that at some point you have wondered how to better manage your projects.
There are many different philosophies and theories about how to do this, but it can be challenging to know which one is the best fit for your situation.
What is Project Management Methodology?
Project management methodology means different things to different people, but in essence it is the overall systems and processes used by project managers when managing a given project.
There are many approaches that can be taken when developing such an approach depending on your goals for the project and this will determine which methodology you use.
However there are some key components of each methodology that form foundation elements of all project management methodologies.
This includes having clear goals and objectives, defining the scope of the work that needs to be done as well as identifying what resources are required for this to happen.
It also means understanding how much time, money and risk each step will take so you can map out a realistic plan with achievable milestones along the way so you can measure performance and success.
Why is it important to use a project management methodology?
The Project Management Methodology will help you to boost your project's chance of success. It is vital for your business and your customers that you deliver the project on time and in budget. This Methods helps you do it.
One size does not fit all! There are many different types and methods available for handling projects successfully, each with their own strengths and weaknesses as well as areas where they can be combined to allow greater flexibility or control.
It can aid you in the long term by continuously improving your processes, focusing on eliminating wasteful activity or expenditure.
Types of Project Methods
There are many different project management methods available to make the best use of your time and resources. Let's take a look at some of the most popular ones:
Agile is a project management approach that emerged as a form of software development. This is an iterative and incremental process which focuses on managing projects by continuous adaptations to the changing needs or circumstances.
This methodology involves constant communication between all members of the team with short sprints, usually two weeks in length where you have dedicated time for planning, doing actual work and then review what was done.
This approach to project management works well for projects where requirements are in a state of constant change, such as when developing new software or website applications.
It also allows the team to work together effectively by encouraging teamwork and collaboration through face-to-face communication (as opposed to traditional methods which tend towards email and other electronic forms of communication).
The waterfall approach is a sequential process where the final product is developed through a number of phases, sometimes called stages or steps.
In each phase you complete all activities until moving to next stage when it’s completed and reviewed before continuing on. It does not allow for mid-course corrections or changes without starting the process from scratch.
This approach works well for projects where requirements are fairly well-defined and unlikely to change much during implementation, such as building a house or developing a new product line.
It also works best when there is only one person who knows all of the details about what needs to be done (i.e. the project manager).
Scrum is an iterative and incremental approach that also uses short sprints (usually one week in length) where the focus tends to be on getting work done as well as reviewing what was completed at the end of each cycle.
This methodology works best for projects with a lot of unknown factors up front or those which have uncertain requirements, where requirements are not fully understood until the project progresses.
This is often used in software development projects, where it allows for continuous adjustments to be made throughout the course of a project based on changing needs or circumstances.
Kanban is a type of project management approach that focuses on the use of visual cues to determine how tasks are being handled, who is doing what work and where there might be bottlenecks.
There isn’t any set structure for time periods or number of stages within this methodology; instead it allows for continuous (or near-continuous) flow of work through the production process.
This methodology works well for projects where there are a lot of unknowns in terms of what needs to be done or when it should be completed, especially those which require frequent changes or updates (such as software development). It's also best suited to smaller teams with limited resources and timeframes.
Lean is a management approach that focuses on managing waste, which can be anything from unnecessary costs to time spent doing tasks that aren’t beneficial.
This methodology requires you to continuously improve your processes by focusing on eliminating any kind of wasteful activity or expenditure.
This method works best for projects where there are fixed deadlines and limited resources as well as those where there are a lot of unknowns.
It can be used in conjunction with other methodologies such as Scrum and Agile to improve the efficiency of the process while still allowing for flexibility when needed.
6. Six Sigma
Six Sigma is a statistical approach to project management that focuses on reducing errors and variability in your process.
It works by setting customer requirements, then measuring the outputs of various processes and comparing them against those targets until you find areas where there are problems or variation occurring with regards to meeting specific criteria (such as quality standards).
This methodology requires an intense amount of data analysis and statistical knowledge in order to measure the results accurately.
It also works best for projects where there are strict, well-defined quality standards in place as well as those which have a lot of variability in their processes due to changes in demand or other factors.
The Project Management Institute (PMI) has developed the PMBOK guide which provides a variety of project management approaches, tools and techniques that can be used to ensure successful outcomes for projects.
It’s not a specific methodology but rather a set of guidelines or best practices you can incorporate into your approach as needed.
This method works best for projects where you can’t easily determine what needs to be done or how the project should proceed.
These are just a few of the many different types and methods available when it comes to managing your next big project successfully.
While not every approach will work equally well in all situations, they each have their own strengths and weaknesses as well as areas where they can be combined with other methodologies to allow for greater flexibility and control.
How to find the one that's right for you?
With so many options available, choosing the right approach can be overwhelming. One way to narrow down your options is by asking yourself a few key questions:
- What type of project do you have?
- Is it better suited for this or that methodology?
- Are there any specific requirements/quality standards that must be met as part of the project (such as Six Sigma)?
- What is your team’s experience and knowledge base?
- How much time, money and resources are you willing to devote to this project?
The answers to these questions can help determine which approach might be best for your specific project. And if none of them seem like a perfect fit, don't worry! There's more than one way to successfully manage your next big project.
Benefits of Using a Project Management Methodology
While there are many notable benefits to using project management methodologies, what's right for your needs will depend on the specific details of your project.
However, some common benefits include:
- Increased efficiency and control over each stage in the process with the use of specific tools, techniques and milestones
- Ability to plan the project out in a detailed manner which helps guarantee successful outcomes
- More flexibility when things change due to the use of different tools, methods and processes
- Better communication between team members and facilitates improved teamwork
- The creation of a shared vision among everyone involved with the project, which can create buy-in and help increase morale.
- A spotlight on teamwork/collaboration resulting in more cohesive teams that are better equipped to handle potential roadblocks
- Greater focus on project details/tasks, resulting in less time wasted due to lack of clarity or miscommunication.
- It is easy to collaborate while using the right project management methodology.
- It allows each member of the group to work on separate segments while still keeping everyone informed about how their part contributes towards the overall goal.
- They also work best in dynamic environments with a high degree of change or variability, where the project goals aren't clearly defined at the outset.
Project Management methods are the great way to enhance the productivity of your business. It is best to use the right type of methodology for your project, whether it is a product development or manufacturing process.
It will help you in completing the task in the right manner, with quality results. And it offers a number of benefits including increased efficiency, greater control over the process and improved sharing between team members to reduce miscommunication.
It is the best way to collaborate with your team on a common goal while keeping everyone informed about the progress of the project. Choose your methodology wisely and start using it to take your business to the next level.