Project Management Methodologies

This Articles gives brief introduction about different Project Management Methodologies and how to choose the one based on your project parameters.

What is Project Management Methodologies:

Methodologies contain guiding processes for those who are doing project management.

According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), a methodology is defined as ‘a system of practices, techniques, procedures, and rules used by those who work in a discipline.

But not every project management methodology will work for every type of projects. In order to recognize which method will work best for your project, you need to be familiar with these common project methodologies and their differences.

So, which one should you choose?

1. Based on as complexity / simplicity of project factors

It includes factors such as client, available resources , timeline, tools and technique and people. List out all factors and level them according to simplicity or complexity

2. Determine the rigidity or flexibility of your work environment

If you are working in a dynamic environment, Agile will be good option to choose. On other hand, if you are working on strict timeline, fixed requirement and resources then waterfall will be better approach.
Regardless of whether you are on Rigid side or flexible side, now is also good time to ask whether your organization should remain as rigid or flexible as it is. You can choose methodology that pushes your organization in the direction you want to go.

3. Consider what delivers the most values to the stakeholders

For example, if your clients generally make ongoing requests and expect constant updates and changes, then an iterative methodology with short cycles will help the client feel like they are getting more value.

4. Based on your organizational and team values

Lastly and importantly, do a deep dive into your values. Methodologies, at the end of the day, are carried out by people—people with habits, opinions, and values. Your organization’s and team’s values can give shape to a truly sustainable methodology.

No methodology is better than the others. It all depends on how well it meets organizational goals and values, the constraints the project team has to deal with, the needs of stakeholders, the risks involved, as well as the project size, cost, and complexity.

Lets have a look on few of the Project Management Methodologies

1. Agile
Agile is one of the more recognizable project management methodologies. Agile is best suited for projects that are iterative and incremental. Agile is a time boxed, iterative approach to software delivery that builds software incrementally from the start of the project, instead of trying to deliver it all at once near the end.
It works by breaking projects down into little bits of user functionality called user stories, prioritizing them, and then continuously delivering them in short two week cycles called iterations.
To summarise, in Agile
- Analysis, design, coding, and testing are continuous activities
- Development is iterative
- Planning is adaptive
- Scope can vary
- Requirements can change
- Working software is the primary measure of success

2. Scrum
Scrum is comprised of five values: commitment, courage, focus, openness, and respect.
It’s goal is to develop, deliver, and sustain complex products through collaboration, accountability, and iterative progress. What distinguishes Scrum from the other Agile project management methodologies is how it operates by using certain roles, events, and artifacts.
SCRUM is an example of Agile PM methodology that involves teams in producing a software product in 30-day “sprints” and monthly “scrum sessions“. In a SCRUM-driven project, the deliverables are broken down into 30-day intervals. This methodology example is specific and applicable mainly to collaborative, 100%-dedicated teams, with no heavily constrained time and materials budget.

3. Kanban
Kanban is a visual system for managing work as it moves through a process. Kanban visualizes both the process (the workflow) and the actual work passing through that process. The goal of Kanban is to identify potential bottlenecks in your process and fix them so work can flow through it cost-effectively at an optimal speed or throughput.
Kanaban was initially introduced in Manufacturing industry to control Supply Chain. Management and eventually it applied in IT too for Software Development.
The Kanban Method follows a set of principles and practices for managing and improving the flow of work.
- Visualize the flow of work: You need to visualize – either on a physical board or an electronic Kanban Board, the process steps that you currently use to deliver your work or your services. Once you visualize your process, then you can visualize the current work that you and your team are doing.
Limit WIP (Work in Progress): Limiting WIP is fundamental to implementing Kanban – a ‘Pull-system’. By limiting WIP, you encourage your team to complete work at hand first before taking up new work. Thus, work currently in progress must be completed and marked done. This creates capacity in the system, so new work can be pulled in by the team.

4. Waterfall
Waterfall methodology is the one that is the most used across all industries, and it is very common in software development and construction.
The waterfall model is a sequential (non-iterative) design process, used in software development processes, in which progress is seen as flowing steadily downwards (like a waterfall) through the phases It’s simple to understand because you simply make a good plan, and execute on it.
Requirements are defined in full at the beginning, at the top of the Waterfall, before any work starts.
Work then cascades, like water down a Waterfall through phases of the project.
In a Waterfall model, each phase must be completed before the next phase can begin and there is no overlapping in the phases. Typically, in a Waterfall approach, the outcome of one phase acts as the input for the next phase sequentially. After the plan is approved, there’s little scope to adapt the plan.

5. Adaptive:
Adaptive project management does exactly what the title suggests: it adapts. With adaptive project management the scope of a given project can vary. While the time needed to complete the project and the cost of the project are constants, the project scope can be adjusted as it is being executed. Businesses commonly do this to get maximum value out of each project, such as when new ideas or opportunities are unlocked during the development of a project.

6. RAD (rapid applications development)
Rapid application development (RAD) describes a method of software development which heavily emphasizes rapid prototyping and iterative delivery.
It was born out of frustration with the waterfall approach which often resulted in products that had already out of date by the time they were actually released.
RAD is a type of incremental model, which the components or functions are developed in parallel as mini projects.

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