Project management methodology (PMM)

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Project management methodology (PMM) is a system of principles, techniques, and procedures.

The following is an overview of a few different PMM that hopefully inspires curiosity to learn more. Please contribute additional PMM or other examples to the DLF Project Managers Toolkit.

Waterfall.png

waterfall (software development)

  • detailed linear process of tasks in sequential order
  • project flows downward like waterfall
  • comprehensive, predictable and planned out
  • focus on documentation
  • good for large projects with multiple stakeholders
  • not flexible, if assumptions are wrong, hard to pivot

critical path method (CPM) (industry)

  • identify and schedule tasks, duration and dependencies
  • good for tight timelines and repetitive activities
  • not good if unsure of timelines, durations for tasks
  • not flexible if there are major changes

agile (software development)

  • reaction to waterfall method http://agilemanifesto.org/
  • "early and often, adjust and iterate"
  • flexible and responsive to change
  • stakeholders must stay engaged and be available to provide timely feedback
  • not always fast in practice if constantly changing deliverables
  • not focused on comprehensive documentation

There are many agile approaches including scrum, kanban, feature-driven development, and extreme programming.

scrum (software development)

  • small, cross functional teams
  • short sprints
  • regular "stand-up" meeting
  • retrospectives after each sprint
  • focus on continual optimization and improvements
  • harder to do with fixed budgets and timelines
  • self-managing teams can have issues with scope creep

kanban (industry)

  • billboard in Japanese
  • simple, clear framework
  • visualize workflow and tasks
  • large and small teams, remote or in person
  • not detailed "at-a-glance"
  • not if complex, lots of steps in the process

hybrid/structured agile

  • combine waterfall and agile methods
  • focus on gathering and analyzing requirements then rapid iterations
  • best of both worlds - structure and flexibility
  • best for medium-sized project with high complexity and fixed budgets

Lean Six Sigma (industry)

  • Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control
  • cut waste and maximize efficiency
  • quality management, continuous improvement
  • measuring > analyzing > improving
  • large organizations or efficiency is an issue

Integrated Project Management (IPM)

  • focus on documents like project charter, plan, execution, monitoring and change control
  • meet regularly as team
  • accountability
  • time for planning

PRiSM Projects Integrating Sustainable Methods

  • developed by Green Project Management Global
  • account and minimize adverse environmental impacts
  • extends beyond the end of the project
  • factors in environmental costs and sustainability is key success criteria
  • mostly geared to real estate and industrial projects

Approaches also worth noting: Human-centered design - creative approach to problem solving with three phases: inspiration, ideation, implementation; start with people in mind, try it out and test with people in an iterative process. Participatory decision-making - creative approach to enabling the entire group ownership and participation in decisions. It includes an emphasis on facilitation and concensus-building. Participatory Action Research (PAR) is an approach to research emphasizing co-creation, participation, and action by members of communities affected by the research.

Factors in choosing a PM Method

  • Project goals, objectives, and complexity
  • Team - size, level of experience/training, location - remote/on-site, specialization of roles
  • Timeline
  • Budget
  • Stakeholder expectations
  • Values/organizational culture
  • Ability to take risk
  • Flexibility for change

References

There are lots of great articles, presentations and grey lit out there on project management and digital libraries. We've created a Zotero Group library at https://www.zotero.org/groups/2205688/dlf_pmg? and encourage you to add more when you read something good.