IT Project Management Methodology - Edge Solutions

Choosing the Right Project Management Methodology

Project management models help organizations find the best way to plan and execute their IT projects. There are so many popular project management methodologies to choose from, many organizations that don’t already have a dominant model in place find it difficult to decide which methodology would be best for their needs. Edge Solutions is all about helping you increase IT efficiency, so we’ve outlined the unique benefits of most popular models to help you discover which would be the best fit with your needs.

Any Project Management Methodology Will Help

Organizations that adopt a step-by-step guide to successful project management tend to do a better job staying on time, on budget and on business need than those that don’t. In other words, using any project management solution is better than not using one. That being said, there are differences in the primary project management methodologies so it makes sense to understand how to select the most appropriate solution for your business.

Top Project Management Methodologies

There are literally hundreds of methodologies to choose from. Below outlines fifteen of the most commonly used models: 

Methodology Primary Benefit
1 Adaptive Project Framework (APF) Helps teams learn from past experience. Good for when you know your goal but not how to get there.
2 Agile Planning focuses on visioning end state. Teams work in cycles of planning, executing and evaluating. Continuous collaboration – good for creative projects.
3 Benefits Realization Works backwards from a goal. Ensures projects contribute measurable business value.
4 Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM) Supply chain approach to guarantee resources available when needed. Good for managing deadlines and keeping on track.
5 Critical Path Method (CPM) Calculates shortest timeline using “longest pole” approach. Optimal for projects with short deadlines.
6 Event Chain Methodology (ECM) Helps teams recognized likely risks and creates diagrams to see how external factors can impact project completion.
7 Extreme Programming (XP) For short development cycles and frequent releases. Good for complex or undefined projects – focus is on simplification.
8 Kanban Helps teams improve efficiency by visualizing where time is actually being spent. Good for optimizing steady stream of deliverables.
9 Lean Finds path of least resistance to get desired results. Finds and eliminates bottlenecks and focuses on continuous process improvement.
10 PRINCE2 Stands for Projects in Controlled Environments. Extensive documentation is helpful with planning and performance tracking.
11 PRiSM Blends project planning with environmental sustainability metrics to increase project efficiency while reducing carbon footprint.
12 Process-Based Project Management Links project to organizations’ overall strategic vision to ensure that priorities are aligned.
13 Scrum Maximizes team productivity by appointing scrum master to remove barriers to team success. Work completed in two-week sprints with specific roles for each team member.
14 Six Sigma End-to-end production methodology focused on reducing bugs or defects.
15 Waterfall Extensive planning to help teams manage tasks in the most efficient sequence.

Which Project Management Methodology to Choose?

All of these methodologies will bring benefits to an organization, but choosing, training and implementing a new methodology is no small task, so take time to ensure you select the best fit for your team. First ask team members and others in your personal network which methodologies they’ve used and had the most success with. This is an area where IT managers and project managers have strong opinions, so leverage the experience of your colleagues.

Next you can hone in on the most appropriate tools based on your needs. Chances are, you don’t want to adopt a new project management methodology for each new project. Therefore it makes sense to look at the breadth of projects you expect to apply the process to and determine your primary needs, such as:

  • To speed the development process
  • To reduce errors and bugs in the final deliverable
  • Take a basic vision and define/build the ultimate solution
  • Improve communications between business and development teams
  • Improve overall usefulness of tools developed
  • Minimize finger pointing
  • Better define project scopes and timelines.

Your core needs will be critical in narrowing the list of applicable methodologies.

Organizational fit is another key factor in selecting a project management methodology. Each methodology has a personality and that personality should mesh with your organizational culture. For instance, in Scrum, team members are assigned roles as either pigs or chickens. Pigs are ultimately responsible for task completion while chickens are just doers, and communications are managed through daily scrum meetings. This may be a great fit for younger development teams and start-ups, but might be a mismatch at a company like IBM.

How to Use this Information

Edge Solutions is a big proponent of implementing a defined project management methodology and our team members have experience with a broad variety of models. If you’re not sure which makes the most sense for your organization, give us a call at 888-861-8884 and we can share our experiences and recommendations.