To be able to answer that question, it is necessary to say that you’re probably looking to bring some structure and cohesiveness to your workflow. Project management methodologies provide an infrastructure for accomplishing projects. They’re a blueprint for how tasks and projects are planned, managed, and executed, from start to finish.
But with so many different approaches, that in some cases overlap, to manage the complexities of any project, how can you know which project management methodology is the best?
Project managers can help their organizations improve the way they implement methodologies in the most effective and efficient way while reducing the risks. But this requires much more than recognizing organizational priorities. You must have a deeper understanding of how each project management methodology can create the greatest positive impact, and how each can derail the likelihood of success for your organization.
Next we are going to review the most popular methodologies:
The waterfall has been a fundamental project management methodology for years. It is sequential in nature and is used in many industries, most commonly in software development. It comprises static phases (requirements analysis, design, testing, implementation and maintenance) that are executed in a specific order. The waterfall allows for greater control in each phase, but can be very inflexible if the scope of a project changes after it is already underway.
Initially it was developed for projects that require great flexibility and speed. To achieve this, Agile is composed of short delivery cycles, also known as “sprints”. Agile may be best suited for projects that require less control and real-time communication within self-motivated team environments. As a project management methodology, Agile is highly interactive, allowing quick adjustments throughout a project. It is commonly used in software development projects largely because it makes it easy to identify problems quickly and make changes early in the development process, rather than having to wait until the tests are completed.
Although many teams will favor cascade or agile, the benefits of both approaches can create a hybrid project management methodology solution, in which the planning phase and requirements are carried out under a cascade approach and the design, development, implementation and testing phases follow the agile methodology.
Critical path method:
The critical path method (CPM) is a step-by-step methodology used for projects with interdependent activities. It contains a list of activities and uses a work breakdown structure (WBS) and a timeline to complete, as well as dependencies, milestones and deliverables.
Critical chain project management:
Critical chain project management (CCPM) differs from CPM in that it focuses on the use of resources within a project rather than project activities. To address potential problems with resources, buffering is integrated to ensure that projects are on time and that security is not compromised.
It was originally developed by Motorola to eliminate waste and improve processes and profits. It is based on data and has three key components: DMAIC (define, measure, analyze, improve and control), DMADV (define, measure, analyze, design and verify) and DFSS (Design for Six Sigma).
It is a part of the agile development framework and is also interactive in nature. “Scrum sessions” or “30-day sprints” are used to determine the prioritized tasks.