8 Common Project Management Methodologies

Project management methodologies provide standards and guidelines to ensure that information technology projects are conducted in a well-managed, consistent and disciplined manner. The methodologies make certain that the project is completed correctly, on time and on budget. There are several different project management methodologies.

Project Management Methods

There are many project management methods available for different projects like software development, construction etc. Here are 8 commonly used methods described briefly.

  • Agile

This method provides continuous and fast delivery of a product for the customer. The Agile method has a prioritization process. The non-static requirements, flexibility communications and changes are considered a part of the culture and process. This is considered to be the most commonly used methodology in software development. The development process is broken into small sections or milestones.

  • Waterfall

This methodology is the most widely used across all industries. It is common in software development and construction. The original waterfall model includes requirement specifications, design, construction/coding, integration, testing/debugging, installation and maintenance.

  • Scrum

This is a form of the Agile methodology and it focuses on 30 day milestones and then monthly scrum sessions to break down the project into 30 day intervals. This enables those working on the project to see the project progressing along and gives encouragement. There is no specified project manager in this methodology; there is what is called the Scrum Master.

  • Rapid Applications Development (RAD)

RAD is mostly used in software development and uses interactive structured techniques and prototypes. It uses a cycle of models and prototypes throughout the project.

  • New Product Introduction (NPI)

NPI is not a full methodology because it doe not have all the required project management steps needed for project success. It is still the process that several organizations use for their product related projects.

  • Packaged Enable Re-engineering (PER)

PER is not a common methodology used today but it has a familiarity with the service and business approach to project management. In many ways it parallels the traditional project management style.

  • Kanban

This methodology is generally displayed on a board, usually a white board using removable stickers from left to right. It is a visual display that helps the project manager to see and reprioritize the project. This type of methodology works well for small project teams.

  • Six Sigma

This is a very disciplined and data driven methodology that is focused on process improvement. This follows six steps called DMAIC.

  1. Define – find out who the customers will be and what their needs will be. Define the project purpose and scope as well as the current process.
  2. Measure – decide how the process is performing and how it is measured. Data is gathered on the current process and how well it meets the needs of the customers.
  3. Analyze – determine the most problematic causes. Examine performance gaps and find the root causes.
  4. Improve – ask questions as to how to fix the problems and eliminate the root causes.
  5. Control – this is the maintenance step where future improvements and such are anticipated.
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