What do you need to make a project work just right? Good management. There are a couple of tools and methodologies that could be very useful when it comes to project management. Today, we are going to name a few, point out the differences between them, enumerate points to remember and take you through traditional, agile and hybrid approaches, as there is no one universal solution for each and every project.
The traditional methodology follows sequential cycles of running a project to deliver results in a step-by-step process. Some recognize six steps of this established methodology: initiation, planning, executing, monitoring, controlling, and closing.
Waterfall, for example, can be widely used for IT frameworks, for short or repetitive projects that are not likely to be changed during the process. Any changes implemented alongside a project life cycle are associated with high costs. Stages do not run simultaneously and need to be implemented one-after-another (once one of them is finished, another can be started, which makes it almost impossible to see results quickly),
Prince2, on the other hand, can be a good shout for certain projects that require a high level of constant regulations and control. Prince2 imparts the whole project management process into smaller stages that are easy to maintain and control but difficult to be changed in any way. The focus is put on the final result – the delivery of a product. it gained most popularity in the UK, however, it can be seen implemented in the whole of Europe.
Last, but not least from the traditional approaches is PMI’s PMBOK. This model, popular in the US and both Americas, is a collection of recognised practices, knowledge and techniques for various aspects of project management. It is driven by customer requirements and focuses on activities in the schedule and the role of the project manager. The flexibility of projects is still highly restricted, but new tools and techniques can be added to the project during the whole project.
In contrast to the rigid traditional approaches we have SCRUM, offering a different approach and being open to changes. Let’s take Agile methodology for example, where, a particular project, goes through several iterations, called sprints, during which the product under development is being tested and then presented for approval to a customer and/or stakeholders. When the product is presented to the customer and the sprint is approved, the development team can start the next iteration. Changes help retain a higher productivity, overall satisfaction of all sides of the project, higher quality and a better budget allocation.
One of the most popular Agile methodologies is Kanban – a visual methodology where various steps are presented in the form of tasks in columns on a board. Columns represent various steps in the workflow (e.g. backlog, in progress, testing, complete) and tasks move along the board at a steady pace towards completion. As easy as it seems, planning to be successful requires an experienced Kanban team – one with good historical data analysis and forecasting skills. Kanban is perfect for highly changeable projects, working in correspondence with constant feedback, as it minimises bottlenecks and blocks and encourages team collaboration.
There is no project management methodology that is universal and will work miracles in each and every project and we only managed to roughly cover a few of them.