Project Management Methodologies

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There are many different project management methodologies that use different approaches to organizing a project. This article will cover some of the more common project management methodologies to give a background of some of the different approaches available with project management.

Traditional Project Management Method

In the traditional method projects are broken up into 5 milestones or phases.

  1. Project Initiation
  2. Project Planning & Design
  3. Implementation
  4. Monitoring & Control
  5. Completion

In the software development industry this is known as the waterfall model and a more linear sequence of progress although steps 2 through 4 may be repeated several times before the completion phase can begin. This approach is often coupled with requirements management which helps to define the scope of the project and serves as a baseline for completion.

Traditional Project Management Phases

PRINCE2 Project Management Method

PRINCE2 is an acronym for Projects In Controlled Environments version 2. This method uses a process which focuses on the following:

  • Business justification
  • A defined organization structure for the project management team
  • Product-based planning approach
  • Emphasis on dividing the project into manageable and controllable stages
  • Flexibility to be applied at a level appropriate to the project

Prince2 Project Management Diagram

Critical Chain Project Management

The critical chain method places focus on the resources required to complete tasks and resource balancing. Such focus on resource balancing allows project managers to quickly re-purpose resources to other tasks to help keep a project on target.

Critical chain project management has 3 phases of planning, implementation and monitoring in an attempt to minimize delays over the traditional approach. It’s been estimated that the critical chain can deliver 10% to 50% quicker delivery times on projects in addition to lowering the costs of large scale projects.

Agile Project Management

In Agile Project Management the focus is on constant human interaction. It is an iterative approach where the project is broken down into several smaller pieces and work is done on demand. Because of this it is a much more flexible approach. A method like Agile might be used in an ongoing project situation where the entire project is not necessarily pre-conceived and development moves forward as priorities are assessed on the fly.

While there are several more project management methodologies, these are among the more common methods. There are several other methods that act as spin offs of these methods and use similar approaches.

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