According to PMBOK Guide, A methodology is a system of practices, techniques, procedures and rules used by those who work in a discipline. Lean practices, Kanban and Six Sigma are the examples of project management methodologies. Project managers use several methods to complete projects. Usually they apply various processes, systems, frameworks and principles all together to deliver their projects. They choose the most suitable methodology which fits best to their organization structure and the project conditions. Methodologies may be changed from one project to another based on the size and the goals of the project. In this article we will take a look at 5 Effective Project Management Methodologies and understand the key aspects of them.
Project Management Methodologies
Agile methodology includes a set of values and principles for developing software. The Agile Manifesto includes four values and twelve principles.
Below are the four values of the Agile Manifesto
• Individuals and interactions over processes and tools.
• Working software over comprehensive documentation.
• Customer collaboration over contract negotiation.
• Responding to change over following a plan.
Agile methodology provides a flexible, iterative design and build process. Agile is more than a methodology. It covers a set of processes for extensive projects in dynamic environments.
Kanban is a Japanese word which means signal card. So that this method relied on Kanban cards. Tasks are represented visually on a board, allowing team members to see the state of every piece of work at any time.Kanban methodology uses lean principles and aims to increase productivity by eliminating wasted time and resources. This methodology can be used in conjunction with Agile.
Lean is a problem solving tool of eliminating wastes and removing wasteful activities that don’t add value to the process. By the help of this problem solving tool only the activities which add value to the process can be considered. Activities can be categorized by their values in the process. Lean methodology relies on 3M’s.
– Muda – about removing the waste
– Mura – about eliminating variations
– Muri – about removing overload
Six Sigma Methodology
Six Sigma is a useful problem solving technique for process improvement which was introduced by engineer Bill Smith while working at Motorola in 1986 then became a popular management approach at General Electric (GE) in 1995 by the studies of Jack Welch .
Six sigma methodology relies on 5 process steps, called DMAIC.
1. Define: Identify the customer requirements and project goals.
2. Measure: Realise the current project performance and measure the various aspects of it.
3. Analyze: Analyze the data and determine root causes of any defects.
4. Improve: Optimize the current process and etablish ways to improve the process.
5. Control: Implemet control systems to control the future performance of the process.
Waterfall method is a simple method for planning projects. Therefore it is widely used in many organizations. Tasks are in a sequential order. In this method the team completes one task or step then performs the next step. All the requirements and the activity sequences are defined at the beginning. Then all the tasks are performed as a waterfall from the beginning up to the end of the project. In this methodology, production of the first step is the input of the next step.
The most suitable project management methodology is based on your projects requirements and industry. In construction industry, waterfall is more useful than the others. In software industry, agile is more applicable.