Methodology. Whisper that word as you walk through any office halls and watch its effects unfold. Especially if a project manager hears you! Now why is methodology such an obsession, in the world of PMs? Let’s start with the definition. Methodology is the framework of your projects processes and management of it. It involves main tasks like initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and finalising the project.
There’s a wide variety of project management methodologies available and, to be quite honest, we have all been lost at one point or another while trying to decide which one suits us best. Kickstarting a project usually starts with the same question; should we go Waterfall or Agile?
We decided to put our two favorite methodologies to the test and what we ended up with, was what we’ve already known from years of managing large-scale complex collaborative projects.
There is no right or wrong methodology. It all depends on the project needs.
Agile: The new trend
It’s no wonder; Agile is everyone’s favorite buzzword these days. As the digital landscape changes constantly, organisations are trying to find ways to keep up. The Agile manifesto outlines 4 basic values and amongst them is the answer to its hype: “Responding to change over following a plan”.
In reality, an agile project management methodology is a flexible, iterative design and build process. Unlike other methodologies, it does not assume that everything is predictable and it is characterized by tasks that are conceptualized, executed and adapted on the spot, according to what the situation needs at a specific point in time. It helps project teams plan, execute and evaluate as they go along. Agile retains an ongoing communication amongst the team and the client and it is ideal for dynamic, fast paced environments that require changes and evolutions.
Waterfall: The good old solid friend
Waterfall is declining in popularity as the traditional and strict project management approach, but should we simply discard its solid planning approach? If project requirements are clear, the technology mature and the timeline short, a waterfall approach could actually provide solid and predictable end results. In waterfall methodologies, everything is defined from the start and executed in strict sequence with one main goal, to deliver the project in a single cycle.
But the bottom line of it all is that no matter which methodology you decide to use, you should not lose focus of what really matters.
Author: Kostas Thiveos.