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5 Types of Project Management Methodologies

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Are you a project manager for a business? Do budget constraints and work outlines make an efficient outcome seem unattainable? Project management methodologies help to ensure a return on your staffing and resources. They also help to stay on deadline. With a keen eye for each element, and how they interact with each other, you'll have more control over the final results of your work. But which methodology works best for you? How do you go about managing your workload in a way that suits your unique needs? Join us today as we unpack five of the world's top project management systems, and how each works within its specific work environment.

Project Management Methodologies: What Are They?

Business projects can be complex at the best of times.

Whether you’re a small digital marketing agency or a massive Fortune 500 company, managing your workload without a plan is a bad idea.

You absolutely need to know which departments are working, what they’re doing, and how best to coordinate their output so you don’t fall behind.

Enter project management methodologies, or PMMs.

The idea of PMM dates as far back as the engineering and military defence projects of years gone by. As these methods developed, better methodologies emerged for managing and executing projects.

But, as with most things in business, there is some degree of disagreement over the best way to carry out project management methodologies.

Which is why we’ve assembled five of the most popular PMM options in business today. With these in your business arsenal, you can make an informed choice about which suits your project best.

Critical Path Method (CPM)

Our first entry today uses a combination of four elements to manage your project workload:

How to cut down time you spend on estimating projects?

  • A comprehensive list of the tasks necessary to complete the project
  • How much time the project will take to complete based on each task
  • The dependencies inherent to each task
  • Goals and milestones you can use to chart your progress

Using this method of project management, supervisors draw up a model of what needs to be done. Each item is given a weight by the project manager, meaning they can assign importance to completing them in any given order. Certain items are critical. Others have what the CPM refers to as “total float”, meaning you can delay them without affecting the deadline of the project as a whole.

Using this methodology, you can prioritize and allocate resources more efficiently. And if changes arise in your project (as they often do), you’ll be prepared to reallocate elements in a more meaningful way.

Waterfall

Waterfall is one of the most widely used project management techniques in use today. And it owes this popularity to the way it handles a project.

In one word: sequentially.

The most common approach to managing a project is to sequence the tasks that make up the project and tackle each of them in order. The Waterfall methodology embraces this mindset because, quite simply, it’s the simplest to understand.

One task has to be finished before the next one begins. Then that task is finished before the next one after it. This method creates a connected sequence of items that ultimately add up to the deliverable.

This method works especially well for projects where the deliverable is a physical object. This can mean anything from buildings to clothing, furniture or computers.

What’s more, project plans can be recycled and used again and again to create more of the final product. Small tweaks can be added where necessary.

Which brings us neatly to the one biggest problems with the Waterfall methodology. While it may be the simplest method, any significant changes in your customers’ priorities will disrupt the task sequence.

It’s a simple plan and works for certain projects. In work environments where the end goals shift, however, it can come up short.

Waterfall a simple and works for certain projects. In work environments where the end goals shift, however, it can come up short. Click To Tweet

Agile

Agile is a project management ideology with four main values at its core:

  • Prioritizing individuals and interactions before processes and tools
  • Prioritizing functional software before comprehensive documentation
  • Prioritizing customer collaboration before contract negotiation
  • Responding to changes before following plans

Agile is actually an umbrella term used to describe a family of frameworks. These include Scrum, Kanban, Extreme Programming, and Adaptive Project Framework.

The project team’s work cycles are iterative and under constant evaluation. Using these different methodologies, customer objectives are the focal point. The final deliverable is actually free to change, based on the results of the evaluations.

The driving force behind this method is collaboration, both between team members and with stakeholders.

Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM)

This method is considered, widely, to be a variation of CPM.

The chief difference between the two being CCPM’s focus on the resources needed for each task in a project.

Project managers are tasked with identifying resources, such as people, space, and equipment. These are the building blocks comprising each step in a project’s development.

The features in each project can be defined, controlled, and measured. Leading on from this, these measurements are comprehensive, and they can be improved as well.

Six Sigma

Our final entry is one of the most common project management methodologies.

It’s a management setup that makes efficiency and financial returns its ultimate goals. Project data is collected and catalogued, then used to encourage decision making as the project proceeds.

Using the Six Sigma method, projects are considered successful when process variation is reduced. Each step is refined to the point where fewer changes are required, making them more efficient.

The features in each project can be defined, controlled, and measured, and because these measurements are comprehensive, they can be improved, as well.

Get The Job Done, With Project Management Methodologies

Project management is a key element in any successful business operation.

Without a clear idea of how you’ll accomplish all the disparate elements of your job, things can fall apart quicker than you’d expect.

There are a wealth of management methods out there, and each has more than its share of benefits for accomplishing your goals efficiently.

Interested in learning more about how project management can help you stay on target and on budget? Check out some more of our blogs on the topic, and take control of your next project, the smart way.

 

Easily Forecast and Track project Budgets, Costs and Profitability

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