PROJECT MANAGEMENT METHODOLOGIES
Project management methodology, a system of guiding principles used to manage projects. These are specifically designed logical methods, practices, and processes used to determine the best plan to develop, control, and deliver a project. When appropriately thought out and properly implemented, project management methodologies ensure that the project is completed on time with an allocated budget and resources. These methodologies’ primary purpose is to empower the management team to maintain the project with effective problem solving and decision-making capabilities.
However, no single methodology can be used for all types of projects. Rather there are numerous project management methodologies in the market to support distinct industries and types of projects. It depends on the practitioner on how they want their team to work and carry out the project. This article is inclined towards enlightening you about all project management methodologies, using them along with their advantages and disadvantages.
The oldest and most popular project management methodology was first introduced in 1970 by Dr. Winston Royce. The need to outline this methodology arose with software development getting complex. A sequential methodology demands a clear outline of all the requirements before initiating the project, as there is no scope for correction at later stages. Thus, it is the most straightforward approach, and it became the reason for its huge success.
As suggested by the name, the project phases downward while taking input from the previous phase. All the phases in this model are interdependent, which leaves no room for error, resulting in distorted output at the end. This model comprises seven phases: Requirement Gathering, Analysis, Design, Implementation, Testing, Deployment, and Maintenance.
- Small scale projects
- Projects with clear and rigid requirements
- Projects not complex in nature
- Rigid and easy-to-follow structure.
- Complete documentation
- Ease of use
- Risk factor
- Heavy requirement gathering
- No backtracking
Agile software development emerged in the 1990s but was officially manifested in 2001 by 17 software developed. It emerged when software development got too complex for the Waterfall model to handle. In contrast to the Waterfall model, it favored flexible approaches. With no heavy and rigid requirement gathering upfront, it was quite efficient as well.
It favored individuals over processes and customer collaborations over contracts, all due to the flexible approach. Hence, it became quite popular as it allowed small incremental changes with four major phases: Scan, Analyze, Respond and Change.
- Projects with no fixed requirements
- Projects that require a fast-paced and response schedule
- Lower Risk
- Customer Satisfaction
- No rigid planning and documentation
- Multiple collaborations
Critical Path Method (CPM)
It aids the usage of Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), which helps identify all the activities involved with their dedicated time frame. In addition, it helps map out dependencies and interdependencies between those activities, which helps in better scheduling the tasks.
Furthermore, all the minor and major milestones are predefined, which helps the teamwork on short-term goals by dividing the tasks into smaller modules. This leads to effective software development with less room for error.
- Small-scale to middle-scale project
- Projects with interdependent modules
- Multiple tasks at a single instance of time
- Better identification of critical events
- Comparison between the planned and actual status of the project
- It can become complex for large-scale projects.
- No flexibility
- Difficult to analyze the completion time of the activity.
Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM)
A relatively newer project management methodology developed as a successor to CPM. Its primary focus is on resource management which will be used to complete the project, such as infrastructure, team, equipment, etc.
It helps map out interdependencies between the modules of a project, which contributes to up to 10-50% cost-effectiveness and/or deadline efficiency.
- Projects with a dedicated team
- Projects with rigid deadlines and resources
- Highly resource-efficient
- Improved deadline reliability
- Signals early warning for concerns related to deliverables.
- Highly focused
- Unable to serve in multi-project environments.
- Time delays
- Requires high commitment.
As suggested by the name, it combines two project management methodologies, namely Agile and Waterfall. Thus, it offers both worlds the best as it combines both methodologies’ flexibility and rigid structure to give an outright seamless experience.
Initially, requirement gathering is emphasized (a trait from the Waterfall model), which is later accompanied by flexibility (a trait from the Agile model) during implementation.
- Middle-sized projects
- Projects with moderate complexity and fixed budget
- High flexibility
- Progress tracking
- Appropriate documentation
- Lacks deliverable tracking.
- Continuous administrative intervention
- Require certain compromises.
PRINCE2 is an acronym used for Projects IN Controlled Environments. CCTA developed it as an official project management methodology for projects of the UK government. It is now adopted in the majority of industries along with the projects of the United Nations.
It is a methodology of 7s with 7 principles to be precise: Continued business justification, learn from experience, defined roles and responsibilities, manage by stages, manage by exception, focus on products, and tailor to suit the project environment.
- Large-scale projects
- Complex projects
- Widely recognized.
- Common Vocabulary
- Built for uncertainty.
- Heavy documentation
- No soft skills
- Requires high experience.
- Not suitable for small projects
A scrum is an approach to agile methodology rather than being a fully feature methodology in itself. It uses the approach of a short “sprint” in managing a project. These sprints often refer to the short daily meetings, which help garner all the essential information and track progress.
Under this approach, there is no appointed project manager; rather, the whole project team of around 10 members is kept at the forefront. However, the team involved in this approach must be highly skilled and self-managing.
- Industry independent but requires a team with high experience.
- Large projects with small teams
- High productivity
- Highly efficient, leading to a quick release of products
- Better customer satisfaction
- Lacks flexibility.
- Scope creep
- Not suitable for large teams
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