Project Management Methodologies
There are many different models and methodologies prevalent that are used in projects depending on the size and nature of the project.
Waterfall methodology is one of the oldest and most widely used methodologies across all industries. The various phases involved in a waterfall methodology are:
- Requirement specification
Agile methodology is about applying and responding to iterative and incremental rhythms as and when requirements evolve through cross-functional, self-organized teams during software or solution development. These iterative incremental work cadences of requirements are called sprints.
Agile methodology facilitates responding to sprints in a planned approach, allows evolutionary development of software solutions and encourages strategic response to change. This method is much appreciated by the customers because it provides more strategic and planned approach to developing requirements during a project and gives more visibility to the progress of the project.
Waterfall methodology is not very adaptive to changes during software cycle while agile methodology is very responsive and adaptive to evolving requirements during project phases. Agile methodology provides rapid and continuous delivery of software product to the customer, while waterfall methodology provides the product as it was planned at initiation state and is very stringent to adopt changes during software life cycle.
In an agile methodology, the project development is broken up into sprints with small deliverables and every sprint is planned, tracked and reported individually. Agile methodology brings effective governance and provides high quality software in a cost effective and timely manner meeting the changing needs of the customer.
Scrum methodology is a type of agile methodology where project approach is carried out iteratively in sprints and each sprint is of fixed duration as one, two to four weeks. At the end of each sprint, the project progress is assessed meeting stakeholders and team members, planning for the next steps. This enables easy prioritization of work or sprints gaining productivity as the project progresses. This methodology is well suited where the project requirements are unpredictable and rapidly changing especially in software development projects.
The role of the person who manages a scrum project is termed as ‚ÄòScrum Master‚Äô rather than a Project Manager. His role is to facilitate the daily project communications and handle any deviations to the project.
Scrum model is more prevalent in geographically collocated teams where multiple small teams are working in an intensive, dedicated and independent environment in a project. This entitles for clear definition and prioritization of tasks, efficient planning, identification and evaluation of risks, execution of project in frequent work sessions.
Scrum methodology allows the Scrum Master to control the project based on real time accurate assessment of the progress with sprints. It helps the team to remain creative and productive while making sure the project success is visible to the stakeholders.
Six Sigma is a disciplined, data-driven product and process improvement methodology that was originally developed by Motorola. The idea was to improve processes by eliminating defects, which are defined as ‚Äònon-conformity of a product or service to its specifications‚Äô.
For those of us in project management, we generally do not think of it as a project management methodology. The process steps go by the acronym DMAIC-S, which stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control and when it is done Synergize through the organization.
PMBOK & PRINCE2:
PMBOK and PRINCE2 are both not said as methodologies rather called as de-facto standards that is recognized by Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK). These are both a broad collection of good and best practices widely recognized and used by the private and government sector.