What is a Project Management Methodology and how can it help your business
March 30, 2021
What is Project Management?
Project Management is a very important part of running a successful business, but what exactly does it entail?
A project is defined as “An individual or collaborative enterprise that is carefully planned to achieve a particular aim.” Project management can be seen as the ability to manage the organization of people, tools, and tasks involved in the project from start to finish while usually needing to constrain to a budget and deadline.
This can be a fairly daunting job, even for smaller projects, because of the amount of moving parts that need to be accounted for. This is why understanding the process of project management is so important to becoming more successful at it.
Steer your Crew in the Right Direction
Managing projects is similar to captaining an old sailing ship. There are multiple duties and positions that need to be handled correctly and in the right order for the ship to sail efficiently. Otherwise things may stall and you’ll be dead in the water.
Likewise, as a project manager you may be overseeing multiple team members with tasks they need to complete correctly or else the project deadline isn’t met. It’s the manager’s job to bring everything together to match the vision of the company and get teams working in harmony to meet deadlines and accomplish key objectives.
A Project Methodology is like your Map
One of the major responsibilities of a project manager is finding the right project management methodology to match with your team’s requirements. To continue the sailing metaphor from earlier, this methodology is similar to a map that your ship’s navigator would use to help guide the crew to the correct destination.
Following the right methodology for your team can save your business time, money and headaches associated with managing “on the fly” when no clear methodology is being employed. Once a methodology has been decided upon, the project manager can now forecast the short and long-term requirements of the project, estimate budget and resources, and create a plan of action that can be directed to everyone working on the project.
All of these things, when working in harmony, can help a project progress smoothly and effectively because there is a plan in place, you are overseeing that plan, and your team members understand their role in the plan.
4 Popular Project Management Methodologies
Below are some of the most popular project management methodologies to help you determine which one might work best for your team.
The Waterfall methodology is fairly simple and straight forward. It is a linear plan that progresses through stages or milestones one time, and each stage begins only after the previous stage is completed.
This type of methodology is great for teams that need to follow a fairly rigid set of requirements with tasks and due dates that are dependent on other things getting completed first. It doesn’t work well for teams that need to iterate on the fly and may need to go backwards to a previous stage of development.
In many ways Agile is the opposite of Waterfall. It is a very flexible methodology that allows you to progress backwards and forwards through the project cycle as many times as needed with only minimal issues. Agile is focused on reaching a stage where a minimally viable product (MVP) is delivered as soon as possible, which can then be reviewed and updated as needed.
Agile is great for teams that need to iterate often and get something out the door to their clients sooner than later. It’s not as good for more rigid processes that need to get everything in one stage perfected before moving on to the next.
The SCRUM methodology breaks a project down into smaller time increments, often called sprints, where the most important things that need to be done next are prioritized during that sprint, evaluated at the end of the sprint, and whatever is now deemed as most important is assigned to the next sprint.
Scrum tends to work well for smaller teams because it allows them to prioritize the parts of the project that are most important in the now and stop work on anything that isn’t high priority. It can become more challenging for larger teams that have more moving parts and for projects where certain parts are dependent on others to be completed, which may leave some people without work to do while waiting for someone else to do theirs.
Kanban brings a visual focus to project management by employing a Kanban board that shows all the project stages and where each task or issue is positioned on that board, allowing everyone to see what’s happening across the entire project at a glance.
This methodology can be great for teams that have more visual learners, because they can quickly see what’s going on. Additionally, it is often employed inside of the Agile methodology in order for everyone to understand how things are progressing, since tasks and priorities often shift around.
Kanban works great in most situations, but may struggle a bit when more detail is needed about tasks and requirements, due to the idea of a “less is more” card based visual approach. This is less of an issue with the advent of project management applications that can display the high level details in cards but those cards can then be clicked into for a deeper understanding of the task/issue.
Positive Results™ is a training development and cloud solutions company that helps organizations analyze their business processes and recommend solutions to solve for any gaps we find.
We often discuss project management when working with clients because it’s a pivotal part of ensuring the training and tools we’re providing will be effectively carried through to completion, and be properly supported in the future.
Just as an old sailing ship would likely get lost without a map and captain to guide them, so too can a project easily get off track without a proper methodology in place and a project manager to keep the project on track towards its goal. When you find a methodology that works for your team and manage it accordingly, your project should benefit from smoother sailing ahead.
If you have additional questions or need support, contact us at:
Positive Results™ Custom Business Solutions