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Chris Ostrander

Which Project Management Methodology is Best?

Project management is an essential part of any managerial position. While there are some key skills, such as organization and time management, that are relevant to any project, you'll find that more detailed methodologies can change dramatically from one industry to the next. Understanding which project management methodology is best will help you achieve the highest level of success in your area of business.

Project Management Methodology Definition

A project management methodology is broadly defined as any approach one can use to organize and execute a particular project. There are many different methodologies available, leaving managers asking the complex question of which one is best. 

Unfortunately, there's no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. One of the most important qualities of a good manager is the ability to assess various projects and determine the best methodology for each one. Understanding your options will give you a strong foundation from which to manage your own tasks effectively.

Project Management Methodology Types

You could potentially develop an endless number of approaches for your project management. However, there are a few key types that are used commonly, and most project management methodologies will ultimately fall under the umbrella of one of these. 

  • Sequential Methodologies – Sequential methodologies organize tasks by their position on the project's timeline. They require that you finish one task before progressing to the next. This approach is ideal for physical projects, such as construction. There are a few different types of sequential methods including Waterfall and Critical Path Methods.
  • PMBOK Methodology – The Project Management Institute defines five critical stages for project management. The PMBOK method follows these five processes, which include initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing.
  • PRiSM Methodologies – PRiSM (Projects integrating Sustainable Methods) is a methodology developed by GPM Global that puts a heavy focus on environmentalism. Managing projects with this methodology requires that you consider the environmental factors at play every step of the way, and work to ease the global footprint of your activities.
  • Agile Methodology – The Agile methodology prioritizes the customer over the process. The client's needs are the primary focus of the project with this approach, and teams will revisit the customer's requirements and satisfaction levels several times throughout the project.

Project Management at Work

Examining project management methodology examples will give you a better idea of how different approaches to your work can alter your everyday tasks and processes. If you were developing a product using the sequential Waterfall approach, for example, you would lay out your tasks in clear order, instructing everyone to work from step A to B to C with no variation. You would complete step A completely before beginning on B, and wouldn't have any overlap with teams working on separate phases simultaneously. 

If you were to approach your product development with the Agile methodology instead, you would be far more flexible with your strategy. You might find that your work on step A doesn't quite meet the customer's needs, and go back to re-work A. As you alter your processes in step A, you may find that step B is no longer necessary and alter your path to progress directly C. This is a very fluid methodology that's always changing.

Using PMBOK methodologies, you'll devote two whole stages to preparing your project before you begin any of the necessary steps. The initiation phase includes defining the project and getting authorization. During the planning phase, you establish your scope and lay out processes that align with your objectives. Next, you'll execute your plan. This is followed by careful monitoring and control tasks to review your performance and make necessary improvements before closing on the finished project and moving on to initiate a fresh task. 

PRiSM methodologies may work similarly to any of the above approaches, yet you will incorporate eco-minded evaluations along the way, making your project management greener and more mindful.

Choosing the Right Project Management Methodology

As a manager, it's important to familiarize yourself with all the available methodologies for project management. While you will probably find that one is better suited to your business and industry than another, you may also want to switch between methodologies as you approach new tasks. A solid education in general management will give you a better understanding of the different methodologies available, so you can choose the best option for anything on your agenda. 

Studying various project management methodologies is the best way to streamline your business activities and make sure you're completing your tasks as efficiently as possible.

For more information on business education at Bryant and Stratton College, contact the Admissions office at 1.888.273.2758 or check out our business programs here

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