Organizational structures and process paradigms are constantly shifting nowadays. It’s not like the old days where you could follow a single defined methodology and you’ll be set for the whole quarter or the full year cycle. But nowadays we have many project management methodologies that can be shaped around your business.
Project Management Methodologies set the tone for the business and how they are going to process all of their different activities across the board. They are the pillars of developing the process cycle and how your team is going to take care of the business in the short and long run.
While there are a lot of options out there for the businesses when it comes to these methodologies, but instead of getting overwhelmed, they should study a little bit of every option, so that they can make an informed decision according to the needs and requirements of the business.
Let’s take a look at 15 best Project Management Methodologies that are being used nowadays.
1. Waterfall Project Management
Today, many businesses are using the simplest methodology of all to take care of their needs and that is the Waterfall methodology. This is the easiest because the tasks are not fumbled, and they tread straight like water in a waterfall.
In this methodology, every task has to be completed sequentially and no new task can be started until the first one hasn’t been completed.
This methodology is quite a favorite of the managers because they don’t have to spend a lot of time designing tasks that are random. They get the team to work on tasks straightforwardly and not randomly.
It is simple as writing a to-do list on paper and start doing things from top to bottom. It just wants you to start working. Simple. Team members also love this process because they don’t get confused about task priority and they simply know what task they have to do to get ahead.
This method is used the most by the managers especially in the areas of construction management and software integration. Where you have to do things sequentially and not be all over the place trying to complete all of the tasks at the same time.
There are many varieties of this methodology but still, there are some general elements that remain the same in every variant. They are:
- Concept, Design, and Planning
- Validation (Testing, Debugging, etc.)
- Ongoing Maintenance
- Specification of Consumer Requirements
- Creation of a Physical Product (Construction, Coding, etc.)
- Integration into Current Systems
- Product Installation
2. Critical Path Method (CPM)
CPM was created more than 50 years ago, where the manager has the teamwork on some critical tasks that are vital for the progression of the project.
In other words, there is more than one task, that should be completed simultaneously for the project to move further but not too much which can exhaust the workforce and no work would be done.
For example, while working on buildings, construction workers work on building the foundation and the structural works before laying in the wires and other electric stuff because the foundation work is more critical. This is a simple example of how CPM works in the real world.
Managers that opt for CPM make a string of different tasks that are dependent on each other. This string is shaped up to be the team’s critical path which they have to follow to get ahead.
By making an official critical path, the team focusses on following the agenda and just work on the tasks that are mentioned in it which helps to avoid severe bottlenecks that could tank the whole development process.
This also helps managers to work out task priority. This helps when there are some tasks lagging behind, the manager finds out what they are and then they can allocate some extra resources which will get rid of the delay and complete the project in time.
3. Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM)
The manager uses this extension of CPM to prioritize the critical resources that are necessary to finish the critical tasks on time. For Example, a house building project can not function when the contractor is present but there are no tools that their team could work with to build the house.
CCPM provides the project with the necessary tools that would hinder delays and the work can finish on time as planned. Having more resources is not always a good thing either and sometimes resources have to be dropped too which can be achieved by this extension.
To avoid delays and bottlenecks in ordering resources from the vendors, the managers put time buffers around the critical tasks. This can slightly slow down the project completion, but there are no risks of expensive re-ordering of resources.
4. Agile Project Management
An amazing group of experts developed the foundations of the Agile system a little over 15 years ago. They wanted a new way to deliver value to the customers and effectively communicate with them all within the same management model.
The four key points from the initial concept are as follows:
- Companies must prioritize responsiveness over rigid adherence to plans
- Project managers must value individual interactions over systems and tools
- The software should work well and not require extensive documentation
- Teams and customers should collaborate, not haggle over contracts
This methodology was so amazing and detailed that the PM experts soon implemented these concepts into four working frameworks. They are:
- Adaptive Project Framework (APF)
- Kanban Project Management
- Scrum Project Management
- Extreme Programming
Though the sequential strategy of the waterfall procedure was very alluring to the managers for a long time, they soon found out that it was too limiting they needed something different. Hence, Agile.
The Agile methodology is better suited for organizations that need to push their products out to their customers quickly and want to be properly vocal about it. This strategy is followed a lot in the software world where the companies want to update their product every few seconds so that their consumers can have the best possible version of it.
5. Agile Project Management: Scrum
This is a widely followed methodology where the project team meets up to break down tasks into little parts which they have to complete in a specific time frame called “sprints”. These sprints demand the attention of the employees and are a great way to get your project done without losing focus.
This methodology is very effective in the software world where they finish huge chunks of work broken down in little tasks to be completed in a week or two weekslong sprint. There is no project leader in this strategy and the whole hierarchy is divided between these three elements of the team.
This person just oversees all of the conversations that the team does on the project and makes sure that they don’t lose focus and stay determined to finish the work.
This is a sort of hype person which is normally a marketing expert that continuously reminds the team about their end goal as a team’s morale and concept of working on a project can change over time if the process development goes for a while.
They are what the name suggests. They meet up to talk about the project and are the key elements in completing any and every project.
6. Agile and Kanban
Agile and Kanban are the perfect match for each other because one relies on the precision ordering of resources that doesn’t let you waste any time and material (Kanban) and one pushes you further and further so that you can finish the product in time and get it to the customer. WIN-WIN.
This methodology is useful when the company consists of a small team that works in a shared location and not remotely. For a lot of projects people who fundamentally work independently, find this PM method quite useful.
7. Agile Project Management: Extreme Programming (EP)
Like every other Agile system, the extreme programming variant focusses on extreme teamwork and customer satisfaction that is rivaled by none. It has the following components in its structure.
Extreme programming teams work in shorter sprints which is a very typical strategy for Agile/ Scrum companies.
These short working cycles helps them to stick to a rigid work schedule that gets the job done quickly without anyone losing focus.
8. Agile Project Management: Adaptive Project Framework (APF)
APF allows the Agile teams to work with quite a lot of flexibility which is ironically not a big part of “Agile” companies. This framework gives the Agile companies some free space if they have started a task and they have to change or improvise their systems to complete it.
Through this framework, consumers can work directly with the development team and they can tell them about the features they want in their favorite products. This allows the company to develop better B2C relations.
Similarities between Agile Methodologies
As we saw, there are a lot of Agile methodologies that are quite different from one another. Still, there are a few key elements that are common in all of them. They are:
- Work in iterative cycles, constantly evaluating their results
- Maintain clear project objectives, though the final product may change as they work
- Optimize their deliverables to meet consumer needs
- Collaborate continuously with each other, stakeholders, and customers
9. Rapid Applications Development (RAD)
Another PM methodology that is a favorite of the software development world is the Rapid Application Development (sounds about right). This method facilitates interaction through certain unique techniques.
RAD teams create structured prototypes that are useful in finding out what the user actually needs, and the team can reiterate their design accordingly. They can repeat this process any number of times until they get it right.
This method is perfect for a team that is not customary to long interactions and deep development cycles.
10. New Product Introduction (NPI)
Businesses use NPI to focus very little steps related top a task and not the humongous aspects of entire projects. For example, the teams associated with NPI would not spend their precious time creating a Work Breakdown Structure for the tasks they are undergoing. They would also not spend time on budget allocation and resource distribution of vast, complicated projects.
They just focus on the little important things that are related to the development and not the interconnected elements of the project that can be handled by someone else.
The New Product Introduction PM strategy works best for product-based teams.
11. Packaged Enabled Reengineering (PER)
Project leaders that are using the PER management methodology, can easily change and reiterate their designs from the ground up. That gives you the flexibility of changing your entire organization model and bringing in fresh concepts for the world to see who has had it with your outdated business model and design.
PRINCE 2 is an amazing project management methodology that is used by the UK government and in many other private organizations across the globe. Also, this method is used in US organizations and has these key features to offer:
- A focus on End-User “Whos, Whens, and Whys”
- Greater Resource Control
- Clear and Structures Responsibility Allocation
- Consistent, Organized Planning and Execution
- Increased Project Risk Management
- Regular Review Justification Cycles
13. Outcome Mapping
The International Development Research Center (IDRC) created the outcome mapping methodology. This method is used by many large organizations in the private and government sector who want to spend large sums of money on development projects in underdeveloped countries, but they want to know beforehand if they are wasting money or not.
With this methodology charities can even measure the effect that a particular amount of money will have on the region, they are willing to spend money on.
14. Project Management Institute (PMI)
Some managers, loyal to the PMI, consider their guidebook “Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK)” as a sort of project management methodology in itself and they follow the rules and principles that are mentioned in it to cater to their business’s needs.
Certainly, that book is a stepping stone for all the methodologies and has a lot of potential but not all of the managers feel that way.
Regardless of the conflict in opinion, PMI has influenced many notable managers to break their projects into five effective steps:
15. Six Sigma
Six Sigma was initially developed by the team of Motorola which was a foolproof strategy to weed out defects from their products. They wanted their products to match the exact specs their team set out to develop. This idea might not appeal to some companies who reiterate their design as they move along in the development process.
This methodology is used teams who want to increase their efficiency in completing products, raising productivity in their team and deliver a uniform product to the consumers that help the company form more stronger B2C relations that last a lifetime.
There you have it. These are some of the most amazing project management methodologies that can help the organizations of today gain more attention in the world, help them complete their projects and tasks as they want, and not what the changing variables dictate.