What is a Project Management Methodology?
A project management methodology is a set of ideas/solutions that if used correctly, should help us in finishing our projects faster and with less effort. We can find a considerable amount of such methodologies on the internet or in the books. The new ones are constantly being developed to catch up with the ever-growing world of business. The key point is to find the one that applies to the project we are working on.
Our first step then should be to thoroughly study a methodology, before deciding whether it suits our needs. Many specialists say that the effectiveness of project management methodology depends on types and sizes of a project. Also, we must not forget that it is pretty much impossible to find the perfect solution – there may be some lacks, but it is up to us to adapt our workflow and get things done. However, the project management methodology is there to help, so we should use it to its fullest potential.
We present the list of 5 most popular project management methodologies. Find out what they can offer you and how should you use them.
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1. Waterfall Methodology
The traditional project management is called “waterfall.” It begins with defining the project requirements and scope. Once the goals and timelines are set, we assign teams and supervise the particular phases of their work. From the concept and planning through the development and quality assurance, to project completion and implementation.
The teams assigned are responsible certain parts of the project – usually, the first team finish their share and pass the outcome to the other team, they do their part and pass it further (hence the name – waterfall).
Therefore, this type of methodology is usually used for the large projects in multi-leveled companies, as it allows accurate and thorough planning and predictable working process.
The biggest problem? Well, going up the waterfall is quite challenging. If team number 3 finds a bug in team 1 part, it may be hard to fix it at this point of work progress.
2. Agile Methodology
This one is much different than the Waterfall. It focuses on changing, adapting to the situation – managers and their team should be up to date with even the slightest changes in the project, so it is possible to reshape it on the spot.
The key factor is the regular feedback – either from team members or the client. Thanks to it the project can be clearly defined, assigned and monitored effectively. The constant communication between the team members can result in enhanced co-operation and a better understanding of weaknesses and strengths of each team member.
Agile works better with smaller projects and also those with the accelerated schedules. It is supposed to reduce the bottleneck of a project.
The biggest difference between Waterfall and Agile methodology is that in Waterfall it’s practically impossible to stop the project flow, while in the case of Agile, an evaluation is done before the module is passed any further. Here you can learn some more about these 2 methodologies.
This project management methodology is a government-endorsed one. It was released by the UK government in 1996. Prince2 includes six variables: costs, timescales, quality, scope, risk, and benefits. The name is an acronym for Projects In Controlled E It focuses on dividing projects into stages – each stage has its own plan to be fulfilled.
Prince2 focuses on details – project management, users, customers, and suppliers roles’ have to be determined upfront. Once project managers get reports from their teams, they have to present it to users, customers and suppliers. Only after they provide feedback, the further decisions are made. It is effective in its attention to details, but it is time-consuming as well.
4. Quality Management Methodology
This methodology focuses mostly on the two goals – “ensuring a quality end-product and ensuring that all of the process involved during the project lifecycle are carried out efficiently.” If used well, it should guarantee the quality outcomes – efficient and with the end-product without imperfections.
What is essential for quality planning is to have proper materials – organized templates, reliable plans, and standards, so that project manager can ensure that the quality of a project is high.
Also, a quality control is needed if the problem has been identified. It includes problem identification, analysis, and correction as a reaction to its appearance.
A project management methodology that was designed to handle situations when customers are indecisive about the final outcome of the product they want. If they change their mind a lot, and the requirements come and go, then Scrum may offer some help.
It is based on Agile project management, so the work is divided into teams, which work simultaneously on different modules of the project, and are in constant collaboration.
Each team has fixed time duration called “Sprint” to work on their task. Sprint always begins and ends with a meeting – at the beginning, the team plans and establishes goals and estimates the time required to finish them. When the deadline is closing in, there is a review meeting, when team analyzes the progress and decides how to continue with the project.
Which one is the best?
As we have already established, you have to find it yourself. There are dozens of factors that determine the final outcome of a project.
We suggest to focus on those most important and compare them to the features that each methodology offers. Perhaps the solution will come to you.
Stay tuned for more articles describing other project management methodologies and if you had a chance to work with any of them, share your experience in the comments.
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