Did you know that the International Space Station is rated as one of the biggest projects in the world? The final budget could reach $1 trillion.
We may not have to manage such large projects in our business. However, perhaps you want to persuade your management to invest in a new venture? Or plan an advertising campaign? To accomplish their goals, every business uses project management methodologies and online project management software to implement them.
The scale and complexity of projects are changing rapidly. What methodologies are available for professionals today? How can you benefit from them?
Check out our in-depth guide to the 7 best project management methodologies available today.
Originally appearing in the 1990s, Agile is one of the most well-known brands of project management. Its popularity stems from its efficient but flexible approach to project management.
Historically project management was final-product based and thus inflexible. However Agile allows for iterative and incremental development of the project. Teams develop a final product based on the collaboration. Teams collaborate closely with each other and with stakeholders.
Like many methodologies, Agile was created with the software industry in mind. However, its approach and principles have since been adopted in other sectors. The Agile manifesto was released in 2001. This document clarified and cemented the steps taken in Agile.
Agile works in harmony with other project management methods such as…
Scrum operates differently from other project management methodologies. It incorporates unique roles, events, and artifacts.
Scrum team structure comprises of the following:
- Product Owner: the individual who represents all stakeholders and the customer.
- Development Team: The professionals who develop the project.
- Scrum Master: Responsible for ensuring that the methodology is followed.
Scrum Events are times when the team will come together to review progress made or immediate goals. After this, the team will work for a period of time known as a “sprint”. Sprints can last for 2 weeks but generally not more than one calendar month.
At the end of the sprint, the team will meet, review and discuss the next sprint. This gives the stakeholders the opportunity to review the progress made. From this, they can adjust their preferences for the product.
In order for this degree of flexibility to be possible, often Scrum teams are no larger than 7-8 people.
3. PRINCE2 (Projects in Controlled Environments)
Prince 2 is a simple and efficient method to accomplish projects that have a defined scope prior to starting. It is very popular around the world. Software companies, construction companies, even the British government has adopted it.
PRINCE2 training is highly valuable as this methodology is applicable to many different fields.
It can be broken down into 7 steps:
- Start the project: The teams will present the scope and deliverables to the company board. They will evaluate its feasibility.
- Initiate the project: The teams will identify all risk elements and strategies will be identified to mitigate against them.
- Direct the project: The project officially begins. The team will implement the previously identified strategies.
- Control stages: The project manager will delegate tasks and follow timelines. He will communicate with the team regularly to identify issues.
- Manage product delivery: Upon completion, the project is reviewed. They will check to ensure that it provides expected deliverables. Following this the team packages and presents the final product.
- Manage stage boundary: The product manager will work in conjunction with the board to re-evaluate the product. They will then decide if further projects or processes are required and how to implement them.
- Close the project: If everyone is happy with the product the board will close the project.
Prince 2 is especially desirable as it divides tasks into smaller parts thus providing clarity to the project. Key-decision makers know team member and what their responsibility. The team accomplishes the project with the inclusion of at least 1 board member.
Many small to medium-sized businesses use Prince 2 to greatly increase their financial efficiency. The product is often more cost-effective products of workflows.
Toyota famously developed Lean in the 1950s. The key principle is that if you can remove waste from a product’s production, its efficiency will increase.
It accomplishes this by the identification of 3 types of waste called the 3 M’s (Muda, Mura, and Muri).
Muda is committed to removing practices that do not add value to your product. This may be as a result of a range of areas. This includes transport inefficiencies, slow work practices, down-time, inefficient or over-production amongst others.
Mura is designed to balance the time that each person spends in a specific stage. This ensures not only that time is not lost, but that each stage has sufficient time to complete its task.
Muri is related to management of people. If workers have clear direction, organized workplaces and the tools they need they can work more efficiently. Muri identifies obstacles to this.
As you may have guessed, this is an excellent methodology for any business that is looking to maximize the efficiency of their workflows. It is often, but not only, used in the manufacturing industry. It also helps get the best out of the workforce.
Waterfall was originally conceived in the 1970s. When a company has a clear picture of the final product or service that will not change, they often employ Waterfall.
In its first decades of application, it was used to develop supply chain management software and Customer Relationship Management software. Its basic premise is that you can only move on to the next phase of production once the current step is accomplished.
Waterfall employs the following stages for software development:
- System and software requirements
Waterfall stresses that all information should be documented. The purpose of this is to provide continuity. If a worker should leave his position, a replacement should be able to read the documentation available and continue the project.
Waterfall has become eclipsed by Agile in most cases. This is because Waterfall lacks the flexibility that Agile and other methodologies offer. However, if you have a definite idea of your final product and you have created it a number of times before, Waterfall may offer advantages to you.
6. Six Sigma
You may remember Six Sigma as a mathematical approach to improving efficiency. You may also remember that it rates the experience and capability of its workers by means of its famous colored belt rating system.
Siz sigma’s methodology is summarized by its acronym: DMAIC
- Define the problem and the project goals
- Measure in detail the various aspects of the current process
- Analyze data to, among other things, find the root defects in a process
- Improve the process
- Control how the process is done in the future
Siz Sigma also has a Lean edition which has the goal of improving team performance. It does this by removing unnecessary elements and establishing unified workflows.
Six Sigma is a great methodology for larger companies who want to increase their efficiency. This is accomplished by an ongoing application of project management principles.
7. PMI/PMBOK (Project Management Institute)
Ok, so this is not exactly a methodology, PMI/PMBOK provides standardization of project management principles. They guarantee this by provides various levels of certification.
PMI states that there are almost always 5 stages of a project that must be adhered to:
- Monitoring and Controlling
If you are weighing up methodologies and looking for a trustworthy project management company, consult with the PMBOK handbook to ensure that the company adheres to established regulations.
Project Management Methodologies and Much More
Projects are becoming more complex and international in scale than ever before. Project management methodologies are improving to match this, however, it takes a professional to know how and when to apply each method.
If you are looking for guidance that will help you progress your business or entrepreneurial venture, we are here to help.
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