In project management, a one-size-fits-all approach is rarely successful. This is because all projects are different. Yes, even those projects that you manage with templates from previous projects.
Speaking of templates, when you look up advice about buying the right project management software, free trials are given a lot of importance.
However, without knowing the various project management methodologies, you will not be able to see if the project management software you choose will be able to support your project’s and team’s needs.
While there are several project management methodologies to choose from, some have emerged as more popular than the others.
Let’s learn a bit more about the most popular project management methodologies out there:
Agile is perhaps the most used buzzword in project management circles. However, contrary to what you may be thinking, Agile is not a methodology, but a set of principles that guide smooth and adaptive project management.
The Agile manifesto, developed by software developers, has the following four principles (quoted from Wikipedia):
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- Working software over comprehensive documentation
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Responding to change over following a plan
These principals dictate a flexible process that allows project management teams to adapt to unpredictable situations and changes that may occur when the project is going on.
The methodologies discussed in the following sections of this article are all based on the Agile framework.
With the Scrum methodology, work is fragmented into smaller parts called “sprints” that usually last between one and two weeks. Each sprint is undertaken and completed by a small team. In most projects, multiple cross-functional and independent teams collaborate to complete a sprint.
Each team is also assigned a scrum master, that isn’t the project manager. After each sprint, a sprint retrospective is conducted to analyse the performance of the team. The knowledge gained during the scrum retrospective is then used to optimise future sprints.
The lean project management methodology is designed to improve the value that a project can produce, while minimising the waste of resources and budgets. Originally developed for manufacturing units, specifically the Toyota Manufacturing Process, Lean methodology is all about efficiency.
The Lean project management methodology identifies three types of waste that should be minimised, these are known as the 3Ms- Mura, Muda, and Muri.
Muda refers to the process or activities that waste resources without adding any value to the customers.
Mura refers to unevenness in the production process that may disrupt the smooth flow of codependent processes, leading to inefficient use of processes and resources.
Muri refers to the overbearing pressure that is sometimes felt by the resources working for a project. Such pressure is known to cause a burnout, regardless of whether your resources are human beings or machines.
The Kanban methodology was first used in a Toyota factory back in the 1940s. The methodology is all about creating a visual representation of the whole process, enabling project managers and stakeholders to identify potential problems and bottlenecks in the early stages of the project.
This visual representation is usually called the Kanban Board, which is a standard feature in most project management software. Each column of the board represents a step in a process and as the project progresses, tasks are pulled and placed on the Kanban board.
This way, each contributor and stakeholder of the project remains updated with the progress of the project.
Just like Scrum methodology, Kanban methodology also depends on collaboration between small, independents, and cross-functional teams.
These were just a few of the project management methodologies guided by Agile principles. Did we miss mentioning your preferred project management methodology? Share it with us in the comment section below.