An Overview of the different Project Management Methods & Frameworks

There are many Project Management Methods & Frameworks. All have the same objective “a successful project” but differ in their industry use and focus as well as approach. Certain frameworks and methodologies are linked to certain types of projects or industries. It is also common for businesses to use approaches together depending on the nature of the requirement and project.

Here’s a quick overview of some of the most common project management methods linked to the most common projects today – IT/digital transformations & new product/ software development.

  • 1

    PRINCE2 is possibly most widely used and renowned project management industry standard in the UK. Prince2 is a process methodology that can used and tailored to organise and run any type of project. Its flexibility and approach to managing projects is based on 4 core and integrated elements:

    a. 7 Principles including learning from experience, focus and managing by stages
    b. 7 Themes covering different aspects of project management such as quality, risk and change
    c. 7 Processes that cover the stages of a project lifecycle such as initiating, controlling, managing and closing a project.
    d. Project environment to tailor the method to a specific project environment.

    In practical terms, Prince 2 includes process model and templates as well as step by step guidance on how to organise and run a project. It originated in UK but is popular world-wide in both public sector and private sector projects

  • 2

    Association for Project Management (APM) is a knowledge-based standard and qualification for Project management based on the APM Body of Knowledge guide as well as a competence framework providing clear project management standards across three domains – Technical, behavioural and contextual. APM is also widely use in the UK and globally through its links to International Project Management Institute (IPMA). Principle for APM and Prince 2 are often used together.

  • 3

    Project Management Institute (PMI) also provides a knowledge based standard and qualification (PMP) for project management based on the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) as a reference. This standard originated in the US project management circles and has become a global standard for project management

  • 4

    ITIL – ITIL is the most widely-used framework specifically for improving and managing the full lifecycle of IT services through 5 phases – Service strategy, design, transition, operations and continuous service improvement. For Projects that impact or involve IT, ITIL is widely considered as the gold standard for managing IT service management change. The latest version of ITIL 4 explicitly strengths the link between Service Management and project management. Ultimately, any implementation of ITIL governed services is often a project in itself and needs to be considered from a people, process and technology perspective. Furthermore, the process of continuous service improvement also implies change which needs to be project managed.

  • 5

    Waterfall – Traditional and sequential approach used for software development. It is structured and predictable but critics argue doesn’t respond fast enough to changing needs which is the source of Agile.

  • 6

    Agile – shortens software development timelines and release intervals to better respond to changing needs. Methodology is less about Process and more about values to adapt to change with particular focus on:

    a. People, instead of processes and tools.
    b. Working software instead of documentation,
    c. Customer focus and needs instead of contract,
    d. Responsive to change instead of plan

    Best when client, stakeholders are highly involved in the project, Frequent & strong collaboration among project team and stakeholders, System failure wouldn’t cause harm

    Agile principles are related to other software project management methods such as Scrum, Kanban and Lean

  • 7

    Scrum is a framework for effective team collaboration when developing a new software product of the highest value and to address associated complex problems

  • 8

    Kanban – Originated from Lean manufacturing. Kanban is commonly used in Software development and also knowledge work projects to provide a visual process management system to help make informed decisions around production, timing etc It is frequently used alongside other methods and frameworks

  • 9

    Lean Project Management – Lean principles originated in manufacturing and Toyota. Lean is philosophy for improving quality and reducing waste. Its principles can be applied to any process including project management to reduce wastes associated with unproductive or ineffective task around document management, planning, controls, meetings, requirements and reworks.

    Lean is based on 5 core concepts:
    1. Focussing on and specifying customer value
    2. Identifying value streams and removing waste
    3. Just in time delivery – shape delivery based on demand rather than planning to reduce inefficiency
    4. Inclusivity and empowerment of workforces to drive incremental improvements in operations and processes
    5. Target perfection through a principle of Continuous improvement

  • 10

    Six Sigma is a data-driven lean methodology for eliminating defects in any process or project. It is often used alongside other Project Management methodologies.”

Whilst there are certain Project Management methodologies that are used for specific types of projects and change – ie Agile for Software Development, ITIL for IT, Prince2 is widely considered in the UK is a leading Project Management methodology. It is also very common for Project management teams to leverage guiding principles of methodologies rather than the full standard as well as mix principles based on strengths and the nature of the project.

Ultimately, choosing a certain project management methodology doesn’t guarantee success but it does improve management of projects and chances of success. Learn about how we can help you with your IT and Business transformation projects here

Which Project Management Method Is Right for Your Project?

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