Choosing the Best Project Management Methodology — A Quick Guide
Making sure you choose the best project management methodology for your needs is crucial.
This quick guide will help inform your decisions and find the perfect method for your project by showcasing some of the most popular PMMs available today, and helping your to decide which one works best for your organization.
Waterfall is a long-standing and well known PMM used across many sectors. It is commonly used in software development. Waterfall looks at 5 phases:
- Requirements analysis
It is a flexible system that allows different levels of control during each phase. A key benefit of Waterfall is the more stringent planning phase which reduces the risk of missing key information at the start of the process.
Agile is perfect if your project needs a lot of speed and flexibility. It is significantly different to Waterfall, offering short, sharp delivery cycles. If you have a self-motivated team and less need for constant control and communication this is the PMM that may be suitable for you. It is a very interactive method and is used a lot of software development because it makes the early identification of any potential issues easy and quick. Agile takes a lot of the complexity out of the process, reduces risk and allows a fast project turnaround.
This is a solution that incorporates the best of different solutions. For example, it may use Waterfall for planning and requirements stages and then move across to Agile for design, development, implementation and evaluation.
Critical Path Method
CPM is used where a project has a number of interdependent activities. This method offers lists of activities and timelines while indicating which tasks are critical (or non-critical) and the order in which they need to be completed.
Critical Chain Project Management
CCPM focuses on using resources well during the lifetime of the project rather than on the project activities. In this way it differs from the Critical Path Method. Buffers are built in to the system to prevent and address any potential resources issues meaning that the project is delivered on time and within safe boundaries.
Six Sigma is a PMM that was developed by Motorola. This system comprises of 3 areas, all of which are designed to reduce waste and increase profit. These 3 areas are:
- DMAIC: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control
- DMADV: Define, Measure, Analyze, Design, Verify
- DFSS: Design for Six Sigma — this may include DMAIC and DMADV and other options like IDOV (Identify, Design, Optimize and Verify).
There is some debate within the project management community as to whether or not Six Sigma is a PM methodology.
Scrum is an agile form of project management facilitated by a Scrum Master and characterized by short “scrum” sessions or sprints. These scrums (meetings) decide on the tasks and priorities. Small teams may work on each task and then meet back centrally to feedback and discuss progress.
Others Notable PMMS:
There are others PMMs out there which may be worth considering including:
- ECM — Event Chain Methodology
- FDD — Feature Driven Development
- DSDM — Dynamic Systems development
- ASD — Adaptive Software development
- RUP — Rational Unified Process
- LD — Lean Development
- and more.
Always remember that there is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to project management and take the time to look at the pros and cons of each system in depth before taking the final decision. This can greatly increase your project’s success and efficiency.
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