Understanding Popular PM Methodologies and Frameworks

Whether you are a project management veteran or a rookie, there are oftentimes when you may find yourself in a pickle. You may wonder which of the popular PM methodologies and frameworks would be the right fit for this particular project! Sometimes, even the easiest ones might play with your head, and you may find it hard to implement them.

While these project management methodologies and frameworks might seem intimidating, they are not as mystifying as you might think. With that being said, let’s learn about these methodologies and frameworks in detail.

7 PM Methodologies and Frameworks: A Ladder to Success

By following pre-defined guidelines strictly, you can easily manage your projects. Mentioned below are the most common PM methodologies and frameworks that will help you achieve your goal in committed time-frame.

1. Waterfall: Follow a Streamlined Approach

Ideal for: manufacturing, construction, and media production.

Also known as linear-sequential life cycle model, Waterfall methodology focuses on planning every developmental step in advance. According to this methodology, it is assumed that everything required for the project can be gathered beforehand. There is no scope of any alterations in between and after completion.

Waterfall methodology is rigid and perfectly fits the projects where any later changes can amount to huge expenses. The methodology is divided into five phases, namely, requirements determination, design, implementation, verification, and maintenance. Until each phase is completed, the project cannot move to the next phase. Thus, the total cost of the project can be easily determined in this project management methodology with less probability of errors.

2. Six Sigma: Eliminate Defects and Bugs

Ideal for: engineering, manufacturing, healthcare, market research, and sectors where delivering high-quality products is the prime motive.

Six Sigma is a methodology followed to measure the quality of products or a process that strives for near perfection. It is based on two basic techniques – DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control) and DMADV (Define, Measure, Analyze, Design and Verify).

While DMAIC is used to improve the existing project process, DMADV is used to develop new process designs that result in defect-free performance.

Under this methodology, decisions are made in the beginning from existing data and statistics. This data-driven methodology helps in eliminating defects until they no longer affect a project or its results.

3. Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM): Clock the Project

Ideal for: construction and manufacturing.

Inspired by Dr. Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints (TOC), Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM) methodology is focuses on issues related to project timing, performance, increased costs, and under-delivery, versus traditional methods of managing a project.

For instance, under traditional methods, an idea is discussed and, then, plans are made to execute the idea to meet the results. However, under CCPM methodology, the focus lies on efficient use of resources rather than a time limit. To ensure this, buffers are created.

Let’s say if the cement workers were to arrive at the construction site, and there was no place to pour concrete, it would have loss of manpower and resources. However, using CCPM methodology, a project manager might delay an order with a concrete company if they experience delays while finalizing the foundation for the building.

As a result, the project completion might slow down a bit, but it will directly reduce the risks of expensive resource re-orders.

4. Scrum: Break into Short Work Cycles

Ideal for: software development and IT industry.

Under Scrum methodology, the project is divided in short sprints. Each and every member of the team is self-sufficient to handle their part of the job without any help. In this framework, the focus lies on delivering the project on the due deadline rather than how everything has to be done.

Simply put, the team lead or project manager divides the task to the team on the basis of their specializations. On the completion of the sprint (by default – 30 days), each member is expected to deliver work from their end to ensure delivery of the product.

By following this iterative cycle, the project impetus is maintained, and the most valuable work can be completed without fail. Everyone has a defined purpose, and full accountability can be imposed under this methodology.

5. PRiSM: Knitted around Environmental Factors

Ideal for: architecture, construction, landscape, and any other project that can impact the environment.

PRiSM stands for Projects integrating Sustainable Methods. This methodology is streamlined to take environmental factors into account while completing a project. Primarily, this methodology is useful for large-scale construction projects, such as real estate growth and development, where there are potential threats to the environment.

With real-time cost tracking and forecasting, project managers can easily forecast and influence capital projects and programs. This methodology helps construction companies to identify trends and react promptly to potential problems. Other than this, PRiSM methodology also helps in lowering project costs, maximizing productivity and reducing schedule overruns.

6. Crystal: Focused on Human Resources

Ideal for: software development and IT industry.

Unlike Scrum, Crystal methodology focuses on interactive method rather than stringent work areas. Under this methodology, an adaptable approach is applied to complete the project in time. Team communication is one of the highest priority factors of Crystal methodology.

This project management methodology is often used for businesses where creativity is a parameter for the completion of the project. By focusing on the traits and skills of the team members, projects are more flexible and exclusive.

Crystal methodology is divided into four sub-parts, each describing the strength of members of the team. For instance, Crystal Clear methodology is useful for a team of 2-8 people. Crystal Yellow is useful for a team of 10-20 people. Similarly, Crystal Orange and Red are suitable for a team of 20-50 and 50-100 people, respectively.

7. Agile: Finish One, Plan Ahead

Ideal for: software development and IT industry.

The Agile methodology focuses on the step-by-step approach. It suggests planning for a project and observing how it goes from there. The agile methodology allows a high possibility to accumulate any type of changes and alterations in the project. In other words, it is a highly flexible methodology in which a series of tasks are conceived, executed and modified as the situation demands.

Agile methodology is completely opposite of waterfall methodology as nothing is definite and pre-planned. This methodology helps the teams to respond to unpredictability through incremental, continual work processes.

So, Which Are the Best Project Management Methodologies and Frameworks?

Project management is not an easy task. A number of factors have to be considered even before thinking of adopting a methodology. Besides, it is a known fact that no two projects are same and neither are two teams.

Therefore, when it comes to making a methodology work to achieve the desired results, it is a brainstorming task. What framework may work for one project, may not work for the other. And, sometimes, more than one methodology can prove to be useful for a certain project.

Thus, before deciding on a particular methodology or framework, it is wise to consider these questions:

  • What is the nature of the project – complex or straightforward?
  • What is the working style of the business – flexible or dynamic?
  • Will, it change the workflow or evolve it?
  • Is the project open to risks?
  • Which methodology can help in minimizing the risk factor?

With the help of these questions, you will be able to apply some of the methodologies immediately. However, the complex projects might require a little experimentation. So, even if one methodology doesn’t work for you, try another until you find the one that works best for you.

Ayushi Bhatnagar

This article is presented by Ayushi Bhatnagar of Sharda University. Sharda University is one of the largest universities in Delhi National Capital Region (NCR) offering 216 varied programmes.

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