Now that you’ve mastered the lingo and have a firm grasp on our first 8 common Project Management methodologies, you’re starting to settle into your new PM role. You’re gearing up for your first project kickoff, and the boss is back in your office: “So, let’s talk methodologies. What do you think is the best strategy for our company?” Gulp.
Don’t panic — you’ve got this. We’ll give you the rundown on 8 more PM methodologies so you can choose the winning approach every time.
Here are the next 8 project management methodologies:
1. Lean PM "Waste not, want not!" Lean is all about finding the path of least resistance to get the results you want. You identify and cut out waste (or mura), starting by examining your full work-process breakdown to find and eliminate bottlenecks and delays. Teams focus on the project's true customer value, and on continuous process improvement. The goal is to do more with less: deliver high value, high quality work with less manpower, less money, and less time.
PRO: This approach is especially helpful if you need to find ways to cut your budget, meet quick deadlines, or get big results with a small team. CON: Since the ultimate goal is to get things done faster and cheaper, stakeholders need to make prompt decisions and be prepared to stick to those decisions -- weighing options for 2 weeks interrupts the Lean process.
2. PRINCE2 Not to be confused with the first Prince. Also known as "PRojects IN Controlled Environments." The project must have a business justification, so the first step is identifying a clear need, targeted customer, realistic benefits, and thorough cost assessment. A project board owns the project and is responsible for its success, while a project manager oversees day-to-day activities.
PRO: The extensive documentation involved in PRINCE2 projects can be very helpful with corporate planning and performance tracking. CON: It can be difficult to adapt to project changes, since a lot of effort goes into creating and maintaining those documents and logs at each stage of the process.
3. PRiSM Want to go green? PRiSM (PRojects integrating Sustainable Methods) blends project planning with environmental sustainability measures.
PRO: Aligning corporate strategy with social responsibility can bolster a company's reputation, plus you could benefit from reduced energy, waste management, and distribution costs. CON: Environmental responsibility must be a priority at every level of the company -- from executives to managers -- for it to be truly successful.
4. Process-Based Project Management It's all about "mission accomplished." Every project is defined by your company mission or vision statement, whether that be "Feed the Homeless" or
"Improve Global Collaboration." Before project kick-off, the plan is analyzed to see if it will live up to your mission statement; if it won't then all strategies and goals are adjusted in order to meet that objective.
PRO: This approach helps ensure that every project aligns with, and adds value to, the organization's strategic vision. CON: Adjusting every team's projects and processes to fit the mission can be very time-consuming. And it doesn't allow for side projects, so if your company wants to take on tasks unrelated to your values you'll have to revisit your company mission statement first.
5. Scrum "Productivity" is the name of the game. Small teams are facilitated by a scrum master, whose job is to remove any barriers to team progress. Work is typically done in a series of two-week sprints, and team members are in constant communication through daily scrum meetings.
PRO: New developments can be tested quickly and mistakes are fixed right away. CON: Scrum projects are prone to scope creep. Because the team is a close unit, one member leaving can also disrupt the whole project.
**Confused about the difference between Scrum and XP (from Part 1)? XP teams tackle tasks in a strict customer-determined order, whereas Scrum teams can determine their own timeline. Additionally, XP allows similar tasks to be swapped within a sprint, but Scrum tasks are meant to be set in stone until the end of the sprint.
6. Six Sigma What's your sigma rating? Six Sigma is a quality-improvement process aimed at reducing the number of defects in manufacturing and industrial sectors, or the bugs in software development. A rating of "six sigma" indicates that 99.99966% of what is produced is defect-free.
PRO: Six Sigma is a very proactive methodology, and it examines the entire production process to identify process improvements even before defects appear. CON: This holistic approach may also lead to rigidity in the planning process, which could limit your team's creativity and innovation.
7. Lean Six Sigma It combines Lean's efficiency with Six Sigma's statistics-based process improvement. It corrects workflow problems and eliminates waste by helping you understand how work gets done and identify which aspects of your project are most valuable to the client or customer.
PRO: In addition to making your projects more efficient and cost effective, Lean Six Sigma keeps employees actively engaged in process improvement, leading to a sense of ownership and accountability. CON: Lean Six Sigma usually involves major change to the way work gets done, so make sure you -- and company execs, stakeholders, and other managers -- are prepared for the amount of time, effort, and resources needed to be successful with this method.
8. Waterfall Imagine the path of a waterfall: The river runs from the top and flows down to the bottom without steering away from the main course. It's the same in project management. With clearly defined goals and a set timeline, teams work through tasks in sequence, completing one before moving on to the next in line.
PRO: Extensive planning goes into this approach, and this thoroughness often results in more accurate timelines and budgets. CON: It is difficult to adapt to any project changes — or modify and correct previous steps (water can't run backwards!) — so you'll need to be proactive in anticipating problems before they can affect your flow.
16 methodologies later, and we're confident that you have the knowledge you need to confidently lead your team to success. Now it's time to decide which is best suited for your company and projects, and get things done!
Which PM Methodology does your company use? Share your first-hand pros and cons in the comments below.