By Stacy Toof, Director, PMO, Solutions
You might be asking yourself, is there more than one methodology that can be used to manage a project? What are those methodologies? Do you always use one consistent methodology? What are the pros and cons of doing so? Can you shift mid-stream of a project? Ultimately, how do you know what methodology to use and when, or if it’s even necessary?
As you may or may not know, project management methodology is a conceptual framework for project and program management. It’s the specific development and documented approach that is called a methodology, allowing an organization to standardize its project management practices company-wide and aiding in the effectiveness and efficiency of resource utilization. The GreenPages-LogicsOne Project Management Office (PMO) has customized and documented project and program management processes to fit the specific objectives and needs of our business environment.
With that said, since there is no one-size-fits-all for each and every IT environment, there is no one-size-fits- all in project management methodology either. It’s our recommendation to start by researching and understanding what has already been successfully developed within the project management industry by recognizing and supporting the value of work that organizations such as the Project Management Institute (PMI) have already created. Take the information you gather and internalize and customize it to fit the needs of your business environment. Your thoughts and consideration should include management buy-in, a set of guidelines, standards, best practices and processes with a vehicle to constantly share feedback and communication of lessons learned, with a focus to adapt as business needs evolve.
The advantage in going through the process to define a project management methodology and determine whether or not you need one, is to help provide those individuals within your company who are managing projects the guidance, standardization and feedback mechanism for delivering better quality and consistent results. This allows a framework for sharing a common language and delivery of optimum value of cost, time and output through a defined workflow process of initiation to closure.
In addition, I would like to provide you with some insight into a couple of commonly used terms in project management; “Agile” & “Waterfall.”
It’s important to understand that these terms have a purpose in the world of project management, but understanding their definition and when to use them will contribute to your success. Agile is the ability to move quickly and easily. Therefore, Agile techniques are best used in small-scale projects or on elements of a wider program of work where requirements and solutions evolve through team collaboration iteratively throughout the project lifecycle, driving the need to support and adapt to change. You are able to recognize workable output/products, (quick wins) at the end of each tested stage. (I.e. software or product development projects). Waterfall is used when progress is seen as flowing steadily downwards within phased projects such as Conception, Initiation, Analysis, Design, Development, Testing, Implementation/Production and Support. The product is tested at the very end, resulting in the workable output/products being recognized upon completion of the last phase of the project. This means any bugs that are found result in the entire technique being performed over again. (I.e. phone implementation or infrastructure projects).
By taking time to consider these things upfront, it will help you ensure that you are on the right path to successfully establishing a project management methodology. As always, our Project Management Team at GreenPages-LogicsOne is available to help get you started, fill in any current gaps and offer you professional advice any time. What project management strategies and methodologies does your organization currently use?
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