Top 7 Project Management Methodologies and Frameworks You Need to Be Using
Project management is the application of processes, approaches, knowledge, skills and expertise to achieve the project objectives. It usually involves planning and deployment of a company’s resources to achieve a specific task, event in a timely manner. It involves managing personnel, finances, technology and intellectual property as a one-time activity.
There are various project management methodologies and frameworks that are use by project managers all over the world. Some of these methodologies might be traditional and some modern with each methodology excelling at different aspects of Project Management. All these methodologies same the same phases but only different in how they approach it.
Here are some of the top Project Management Methodologies and frameworks that are used all around the world.
Let’s start with a traditional project management methodology that’s known to everyone.
Waterfall is the one of the most common and traditional methodology used in project management. Waterfall model is commonly used in small projects where all the requirements are defined and there is no scope for change in the requirements.
waterfall project management is a sequential, linear design process which has several discrete phases. Each of these phases are linear, as in, one phase cannot start before the previous phase is completed.
In Waterfall Project Management, the requirements are set at the beginning and cannot be modified once the lifecycle starts.
Project managers prefer to use the methodology when:
There is a clear picture of what the final product should be.
Customers won’t have possibilities to change the project’s scope once it has begun.
There are no ambiguous requirements.
Phases in Waterfall Model
- Requirements / Analysis
- Implementation / Coding
- Deployment / Installation
Critical Chain Method (CCM) or Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM) extends from Theory of Constrains (TOC) which focuses on identifying the constrains and bottlenecks in the system to improve the throughput. As an outgrowth of TOC, Critical Chain Method also tries to identify and eliminate these constrains and bottlenecks to make sure there are no delays in the project and that it doesn’t extend the project schedule.
Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM) focuses on planning and managing projects which give special important to the resources required to execute project tasks.
The main advantage of CCM over other traditional Project Management Methodologies is that, Critical Chain Method focuses on getting the project done early and meet the Project Schedule strictly.
In a Critical Chain Project Management, buffers are used. These buffers are created during the planning to add safety times to tasks within the project so there is a no risk of exceeding the project schedule.
These buffers are split into three types, namely
1. Project Buffer
2. Feeding Buffer
3. Resource Buffer
Agile project management is an approach based on delivering requirements iteratively and incrementally throughout the project life cycle. At the core of agile is the requirement to exhibit central values and behaviours of trust, flexibility, empowerment and collaboration.
Agile is characterized by the division of tasks into short phases of work and frequent reassessment and adaptation of plans.
Agile reduces difficulty of planning the project, building requirements for the project, executing the product and then testing the product for flaws by breaking these big cycle into small cycle or segments. These small, usable segments of the software product are specified, developed and tested in manageable, two- to four-week cycles.
The goal of agile is to produce shorter development cycles and more frequent product releases than traditional waterfall project management. This shorter time frame enables project teams to react to changes in the client’s needs more effectively.
There are a few Agile frameworks you can use but the most commonly used ones are Scrum and Kanban.
Within agile there are some frequently used with Scrum, Kanban, and Lean being the most popular. Some agile methods include:
- Lean (LN)
- Dynamic System Development Model, (DSDM)
- Extreme Programming (XP)
- Adaptive software development (ASD)
- Agile Unified Process (AUP)
- Crystal Clear methods
- Disciplined agile delivery
- Feature-driven development (FDD)
- RAD(Rapid Application Development)
Kanban is a method for managing the product creation process with a focus on continual delivery while not overburdening the development team. Like Scrum, Kanban is a process designed to help teams work together more effectively.
Kanban is set up much like a factory floor, where a part might start out as a piece of metal and then, one step at a time, is turned into a finished part through a series of steps.Unlike Scrum, there’s no set time for sprints, no assigned roles outside of the product owner, and a clear focus on only the task at hand.
Core Kanban Principles
Kanban is based on these six principles
- Visualize your work
- Limit work in progress (WIP)
- Manage flow
- Make policies explicit
- Implement feedback loops
- Improve collaboratively, evolve experimentally
Kanban boards are a very useful tool in project management because they help you to increase your process efficiency, reduce your wastes, improve your communication, your flexibility and your ability to solve problems faster.
Scrum is a framework in agile methodology using which people can solve complex adaptive problems, while increasing their productivity and creatively delivering products of the highest possible value.
Scrum is iterative. The entire lifecycle is completed in fixed time-period called a Sprint. A Sprint is typically 2-4 weeks long.
- Simple to understand
- Difficult to master
Benefits of Scrum Methodology
The benefits of Scrum over other frameworks or methodologies is that, scrum enables
1. Higher productivity
2. Better-quality products
3. Reduced time to market
4. Improved stakeholder satisfaction
5. Better team dynamics
6. Happier employees
Lean project management is the application of lean concepts such as lean construction, lean manufacturing and lean thinking to project management.
Lean project management has many ideas in common with other lean concepts; however, the main principle of lean project management is delivering more value to the customers with less waste in a project context.
The concept of the value stream is central to Lean project management. A value stream is the sequence of activities involved in delivering a project with an agreed-upon value (both the inputs and outputs). Value stream mapping, sometimes called business process mapping, is an effort to understand how value and waste are created during the project lifecycle with the goal of optimizing the value stream.
Applying lean in Project Management
Lean project management focuses on integrating lean construction, lean manufacturing and lean thinking into project management.
Lean manufacturing involves never ending efforts to eliminate or reduce ‘muda’ (Japanese for waste or any activity that consumes resources without adding value) in design, manufacturing, distribution, and customer service processes.
Lean construction is a combination of operational research and practical development in design and construction with an adaption of lean manufacturing principles and practices to the end-to-end design and construction process. Unlike manufacturing, construction is a project-based production process.
Lean thinking is a term used to describe the process of making business decisions in a Lean way. It’s regarded as the foundation of any Lean practice.
PRINCE2 stands for Projects In Controlled Environments. It’s a project maangement framework that’s designed to helps an organization to plan, manage and control a project through out it’s lifecycle.
Prince2 is a common project management framework which is suitable for any project in any industry. It’s based on most up-to-date best practices in project management. It is extensively used by the UK government for Project Management and also throughout the world.
The Key Features of PRINCE2 are
- PRINCE2 Focuses on the business justification of a project.
- PRINCE2 focuses on defining the structure of the organization for the project management team
- It focuses on Product-based planning approach
- Divides the project into manageable and controllable stages that can be executed easily
- Flexibility that can be applied at a level appropriate to the project.
Elements of PRINCE2
PRINCE2 is made up of four elements. These elements are
4. Tailoring to Project Environment
Using Softwares in Project Management
While these Methodologies all have different approaches, they can can be implemented effectively using Project Management Softwares.
With a good project management software, you can organize and plan tasks, manage deadlines, risk, assign teams and collaborate with other team members, manage budgets, and so much more.
Here are some of the Best Free and Open Source Project Management tools that you can use for your Small and Medium Business when you cannot afford the fancy big project management softwares.