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Project Management Methodologies

Project Management methodologies refers to a systematic procedure for managing all the phases of a project effectively to ensure the success of a project. It is basically an effective project management technique that is consistently used throughout the project for successful project management.

Now that you know the objective of adopting a project management methodology, you would be wondering as to what it requires to apply a methodology. A project management methodology requires following a set of guidelines customized to your specific requirements throughout the different steps of the project management lifecycle. These guidelines could be in the form of steps, checklists, or even templates that will be used in each step of the project. The project management methodology should guide the work of all the team members throughout the project.

1.0 Types of Project Management Methodologies

There are a number of project management methodologies propagated by various organizations. Some of these are listed below:

1.1 PMBOK Guide

The Project Management Institute has laid down the detailed guidelines for project management in the PMBOK. As per the PMBOK guidelines, project management comprises nine knowledge areas:
  1. Integration
  2. Project Scope
  3. Time
  4. Project Cost
  5. Project Quality
  6. Human Resources
  7. Project Communications
  8. Project Risks
  9. Procurement
The project life cycle comprises five stages
  1. Initiating
  2. Planning
  3. Executing
  4. Control
  5. Closing

1.2 Prince2 Project Framework

The Prince2 project management methodology advocates a process-orientated approach for managing IT projects. Each process has its inputs, outputs and the project tasks and activities to be completed for the specific task. As per this methodology, there are four main areas of a project: Initiating, Stage boundaries, Ad hoc direction, and Project closure.

1.3 Rational Unified Process (RUP) Project Framework

This methodology is specifically targeted for software development projects. The key components of the RUP framework are: phases, iterations, workflows, activities, activity steps, artifacts, and roles. The different phases of a project as per the RUP methodology are: Inception, Elaboration, Construction, and Transition.

1.4 System Development Life Cycle (SDLC)

The generic approach for a project as propagated by the System development life cycle methodology is: Needs analysis, Project concept, Project design, Project training, Project delivery, and Project support. The complex approach for managing a project as per this methodology involves the following steps: Definition, Data collection, Develop model, Verification and validation, Optimization, and Delivery.

2.0 Selecting the Right Methodology

Before deciding on selecting a specific project management methodology, it is imperative to carefully analyze the following objectives:
  • The overall organizational strategy and how competitive your organization is
  • The project scope to be managed and the size of the project team
  • The criticality of the project for the organization
  • The flexibility of the project management methodology for customization as per your organization’s needs

3.0 Benefits of good Project Management Methodologies

A good project management methodology ensures the following benefits:
  • Defines processes to be followed and offers the flexibility of introducing improvements in the process
  • Focuses on quality to ensure that all the quality aspects of the project are addressed in a timely manner
  • Ensures that the project management documents are tight and are always up-to-date
  • Eliminates the need for crisis management by ensuring that things are planned proactively.
The key to success for any project is by selecting a good project management methodology based on industry best practices and then customizing it to fit your project and organizational requirements. You should always carefully analyze the feasibility of the selected project management methodology with respect to your business components and its ability to cater to your requirements.

Project Management Methodologies - Tip

You should not blindly follow any project management methodology. It is extremely important to select the right methodology and then customize it as per your organizational requirements.

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