How to Choose an Effective Project Management Methodology [Guest Post]
Effective managers do more than just see a project from beginning to completion. They also anticipate risks, come up with solutions, and guide teams through unforeseen circumstances all while hitting strategic objectives and deadlines.
Great managers start with the project’s foundation and build success from there. Spotting weaknesses, and improving upon them, before the project even starts is one key ingredient to success.
One of the best ways to streamline objectives and solve problems is by choosing the correct project management methodology. No two projects are the same, and some require a change in methodology from the normal way a business operates.
When choosing a methodology, it’s important to consider company standards and the overall mission of not just the project, but the company as a whole. For example: are you willing to risk user experience to gain project speed? It’s these type of questions project managers must ask themselves, and answer, when choosing a project management methodology.
You’ll find some of the most popular project management methodologies, along with the pros and cons of each.
7 Popular Project Management Styles
If you prefer quality over quantity, waterfall may be the project management style for you. This popular project management style is becoming outdated to some due to its slow speed, but is still a great choice for projects that don’t have a speedy deadline.
Why does waterfall move so slow? This style moves projects along in waves. Each step of the project must be completed before the next step begins. Due to its structure, it is easy to track success and trace mishaps back to the source. It’s also the most popular method used in construction.
If speed is the name of your game, consider adopting the agile project management structure to hit deadlines on time (or ahead of schedule!)
To get things done quickly, you’ll break up project tasks among numerous teams and have them work on their various tasks at the same time. The digital era has made this project management style easier due to project management software and communication tools.
Agile project management has a few different idealogies, one being the scrum method that uses project sprints to complete tasks. These sprints focus on micro-goals that are completed in waves in order to reach the overall objective.
One major benefit to scrum is that it allows time for reflection on each specific task, so if a pivot is needed you can make changes throughout the project timeline. For example: if one step of the project is taking too long or seems unachievable due to budgeting or time, this becomes clear during the sprint and allows the project manager to identify the problem and come up with a solution.
The scrum project management method is very popular for software builders and developers.
Kanban project management is all about streamlining project tasks. Can tasks be combined together or done faster? If so, use the kanban method to maximize efficiency. This is the most popular in factory-like settings where advances in technology and machinery often speed up output while trimming tasks.
If you emphasize user experience as a part of your strategy, the lean project management method may be for you. While speed plays an essential role, quality reigns king. Project managers will focus on thinking of ways to streamline tasks without sacrificing customer experience – think Amazon. This style is popular among retail sites and businesses who rely on customer experience.
6. Six Sigma
You can improve your output quality by using the Six Stigma project management method. This methodology focuses on improving your product quality by consistently reviewing performance once the delivery phase of the project is complete. Try combining this method with Lean management or Kanban.
Adopt the PRINCE2 method to reduce project errors and risks. This methodology evaluates how many tasks can be juggled at once without sacrificing quality or increasing risks.
How to Choose the Right Methodology for You
No two projects are the same, and with so many popular project management methodology styles to choose from, it can be difficult to determine the right one for you. Be sure to consider both speed and quality, and decide which is more important. If they are weighted the same, consider a method that speeds things up without increasing risk, such as the PRINCE2 method.
Your job as a project manager is to anticipate project tasks, deadlines, and risks, all while meeting deadlines and project goals. Below, you’ll find a helpful animation from Fundera to learn more about each project management style and how it’s used.
Guest Author Bio
Meredith Wood is Editor-in-Chief at Fundera. Specializing in financial advice for small business owners, Meredith is a current and past contributor to Yahoo!, Amex OPEN Forum, Fox Business, SCORE, AllBusiness and more.