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Comparison of Different Project Management Methodologies

Project Management Methodologies

Project management is an extensive discipline encompassing numerous approaches. Several methodologies are existing in this discipline. This article will concisely explain these project management methodologies so that it will become simpler for you to choose the methodology for your project.

Types of Methodologies

  • Change Management
  • Quality Management
  • Risk Management
  • Agile Methodology
  • Waterfall Methodology
  • Agile Versus Waterfall
  • Six Sigma/Lean Six Sigma

PRINCE2 (PRojects IN Controlled Environments)

PRINCE2 is an organized method for project management, based on the knowledge obtained from large number of projects executed successfully, and from the assistances offered by numerous project sponsors, project managers from all disciplines, project teams, researchers, instructors and professionals. PRINCE2 has separated the management features of project design, from the contributions by specialists, like design. The tasks of specialists is expected to be incorporated with PRINCE2 approach, and specifically included in PRINCE2.

Since PRINCE2 is non-specific and centered on established principles, implementation of PRINCE2 may substantively enhance the managerial proficiency and reliability across diverse fields like construction, change in business, IT, research, product development, mergers and acquisitions.

Change Management

This method facilitates changes which may be unplanned or planned, necessitated due to internal or external influences. Suitable change control process must be established to manage changes in projects. Basic features incorporate details regarding the authority who can propose changes, and how the changes will be managed. Organization change management system permits halt in projects if a problem is discovered, till the change is managed through the change control process, after which work on the project resumes. In this approach, change is resisted or discouraged as it involves complicated change control procedures. Project change management plan is prepared to manage changes in projects, by using change management tools.

Quality Management

Quality Management system ensures that product produced is according to the quality management plan, which is achieved by monitoring of the processes, and incorporating process improvement where required. PMBOK is the PMI standard on project management. It recommends the processes of Plan Quality, Quality Assurance, and Quality Control to be used in projects, with the aim to develop quality products. Organizations hire the services of Quality Manager and Quality Assurance Manager, who use quality management software and quality management tools to ensure efficient project quality management. A significant aspect of total quality management is continuous improvement and attention to customer needs.

Risk Management Approach

This risk management framework prevents project failure by the identification of risks, assessing their potential for loss, and formation of plans to manage the threats. Risk management process initially categorizes risks as financial, operational, or strategic, and subsequently risks are prioritized. Enterprise wide risk management creates risk management plan to assist risk prioritization. Risk management data includes risk registers to include risk details like analysis of affect that can be produced by risks on the project, mitigation plans to manage risks, and risk owners responsible for risk management. Some risks may also be categorized as acceptable, and no mitigation actions are proposed since the cost of mitigation is considered as too high with relation to the affect that the risks may create on the project. When the project is closed, risk analysis is conducted to evaluate the project risk management, create lessons learned for future projects, and maintain all the information related to risks in the risk management information system.


Agile Methodology

Agile methodology was initially applied in IT projects using agile collaboration tools, but later has been incorporated in all type of projects. Agile project management is focused on teams which are highly empowered, extensive customer participation, and has the proficiency to rapidly evaluate and implement changes in projects concerning scope, or other project elements. Agile management assists to articulate a precise definition of the project by intimate collaboration with project team and stakeholders, assignment of iterations to small groups, efficient monitoring, rapid change rather than intensive evaluation, and extensive communication with the sponsor, customer, and project team.

Waterfall Methodology

Waterfall process implies that after definition of the project scope, established targets and timelines are assigned to teams. All teams manages distinct project elements. This approach is normally employed in development of software. After an element is considered functional, it is delivered to the subsequent phase.

The accomplishment of a project using Waterfall approach is normally dependent on the customer. Opponents of the Waterfall technique maintain it does not permit change control if error is noticed during the execution. If work is passed between the teams, it is difficult to revert back. However, Waterfall is selected if timely input from the customer can be obtained.

Agile Development Vs Waterfall

In both the approaches, an iteration is not accepted until it has been completed according to the design. The dissimilarity is that in projects applying Agile development, assessment of an element is completed before it is moved to the next stage. However, in Waterfall, work is not discontinued and passes along with the expectation that outcome will be good, and if the final testing is not successful, work is started again.

Six Sigma/Lean Six Sigma

Six Sigma is a statistical method dealing with quantification of defects, with characteristic of delivering DMPO of only 3.4 defects per million opportunities. Phase one of Six Sigma was the DMAIC, which involved defining, measuring, analyzing, improving, and controlling to ensure projects remain within agreed standards. Phase 2 of Six Sigma was DMADV with focus on defining, measuring, analyzing, designing, and verifying.

Lean Six Sigma merges the two phases of Six Sigma, namely DMAIC and DMADV, due to which the process has become smaller for rapid realization of results. Shortening of the process does not refer to achieving the project deadline sooner, but it implies streamlining of the phase processes.

Difference between Lean and Six Sigma is that both have similar objectives of waste elimination, but they involve different styles for attaining this objective.

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