Project Management Methodology

Project management methodology can be defined as the approach to project management. It is a logical order of steps or tasks to be performed such as to attain the goal of the project while staying within the bounds of “triple constraints” ‚Äì scope, cost and time. There are a number of methodologies that a manager or an organization may choose to adopt in order to develop and deliver projects. A manager may choose to take an Agile approach to managing projects or a phased approach to project management. PMI’s PMBOK and Prince -2 are 2 examples of such methodologies. These define each phase of the project life cycle in great detail and enlist a series of interrelated processes inclusive of tasks or activities. The chief aim of implementing these processes is to make sure that a structured and defined approach is taken to professionally managing and delivering projects.

Implementing a methodology implies that a level of formality and detail be adhered to. The first impressions may be challenging, while on the other hand, it is also necessary to check for short cuts that compromise the integrity of a method, thereby limiting its benefits. PMBOK in its fourth and latest edition defines 5 process groups namely

  1. Initiation
  2. Planning
  3. Execution
  4. Monitoring and Control
  5. Closure

These phases cover the entire life cycle of a project. The 5 process groups enlist processes that cater to managing a project during each of these phases, for example – A project when in its Initiation phase, requires undergoing 2 processes – Develop Project Charter and Identify Stakeholders. Thus defining that project manager follow the 2 processes , make necessary documents , receive go ahead from project sponsors, reserve necessary funding , make preliminary scope statements or SOW, make project charter and make a stakeholder register marking the onset of stakeholder management strategy planning. The GroupWise distribution of processes as described in PMBOK methodology are as follows

  1. Initiation – 2 processes
  2. Planning – 20 processes
  3. Execution – 8 processes
  4. Monitoring and Control – 10 processes
  5. Closure – 2 processes

These 42 processes can also be studied as part of knowledge areas. There are 9 project management knowledge areas and segregate the processes based on management of project integration, cost, time, scope, quality, human resource, communication and procurement.

These methodologies are very highly adaptable and it is up to the managers and the organization as a whole to devise a selective combination of these processes that work best for their project environment. It is never necessary to deploy the full fledged network of processes that may overwhelm a manager and team alike but it is always recommended that the right set of processes be standardized within an organization that enables the team to function and deliver most optimally as well as adhere to the necessary level of formality and processes required to plan, execute, monitor and control a project.

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Roli Pathak

Over the last 7 years, I have worked on a variety of tasks and projects assisting in many roles from Technical Writing to Business Analysis, from receiving instructions and executing to making work packages and distributing among team members.