5 Most Popular Project Management Methodologies

Project Management Methodologies

For every successful project there are several that did not work out. There are many reasons why projects do not work out in the way they should. Optimistic deadlines, poor management, faulty methodology, external factors — there are any number of reasons that can affect the performance of a project.

Even with successful projects there is plenty that can be done to improve performance and efficiency. In most cases the right methodology can go a long way in installing an efficient system. But keep in mind that what works for one project won’t necessarily work for another. This is not one-size-fit-all. So, decide your project parameters and what you need before you choose a methodology.

Here are our top 5 picks on project management methodologies:

Waterfall Model
The name comes from its sequential design, where things follow a flow from top to bottom like a waterfall. This traditional method has been a popular methodology for many a project manager. The flow moves from concept and planning, to development, quality assurance, project completion and maintenance. This is a highly dependable methodology where every step in clearly defined. However, the catch lies in its rigidity. Once started it is difficult to alter for eventualities. This makes it suitable for large-scale projects where a structure and predictability are essential.

Agile Project Management
In contrast to the structure of Waterfall is the Agile methodology. Here the project can be adapted according to client or team member feedback. Its flexibility is in direct contrast to the rigidity of the Waterfall method. This makes it ideal for projects where client involvement is a consistent and regular requirement or where team members need adjustments regularly. These are suited to smaller projects that need quick results.

Short for Projects integrating Sustainable Methods, PRiSMwas developed by GPM Global. The original aim was to create a methodology that considered environmental factors, but was also efficient and could be repeated. This value-maximization model focuses on the asset lifecycle. What sets it apart is its emphasis on managers with accreditation. It is usually used in real estate or construction projects, especially where environmental factors must be considered.

Critical chain
The critical chain methodology works by prioritising resources. Unlike other methodologies where the entire task is considered, here a set of elements are deemed critical. This is the critical chain. Resources and timelines are fixed according to the critical chain. Other resources are assigned to other tasks which also run parallel to it. Resources from other tasks can be diverted to the critical chain if needed. This is ideal where we have plenty of resources to draw from.

Unlike other methodology, this one carries the stamp of government approval. Developed by the UK government, this methodology is very popular in both the public and private sectors in the UK. The project is broken into different stages and each has a detailed process. The manager decides on scaling as per requirements. Like PRiSM, it also lays emphasis on accreditation. This methodology offers a definite structure with enough flexibility and scope for strong management skill.

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About the Author: Gill Tom

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