A Beginner's Guide to Project Management Methodologies

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A beginners Guide to Project Management MethodologiesA crash course in all things project management, from Agile to Waterfall

IntroductionChances are, youve heard about project management and project management (PMM), but your knowledge on the topic might end there. What are the different methodologies and how do they help teams work better?Lets take it from the top

What are project management methodologies?Project management activities have taken place on an ad hoc or informal basis for thousands of years, but it wasnt until the 1950s that formal, disciplined methodologies began to be defined and used in a widespread fashion among organizations. These approaches to managing work are all about specifying the best way to initiate, plan, and execute projects.

What are project management methodologies?With the rise of so many different types of management methodologies, few can agree on which methodology is best. Some are in favor of a methodology referred to as Waterfall.

What is Waterfall methodology?Waterfall employs a sequential, top-down approach to project management, where project managers reduce risk and uncertainty by outlining all the steps in a project and defining its scope, budget, and schedule upfront. In Waterfall, one phase of a project must be 100% successfully completed before moving onto the next phase.

What is Waterfall methodology?The driving idea here is that you can save time and money by making sure everything is well-planned and all requirements are gathered at the outset of a project.This is quite different from the Agile methodology.

What is Agile methodology?Agile lends itself to faster turnaround and the ability to quickly adapt to needed changes or course corrections, based in ongoing feedback. It takes a more people-centric perspective, implementing short, iterative phases called sprints.

What is Agile methodology?After its success in the software development realm, Agile has seen a rapid rise among marketing groups. Marketing and creative teams say Agile frees them from the endless development cycles that often occur with more traditional task management methodologies, while giving their creativity a major boost.

Agile vs. WaterfallShould teams abandon Waterfall in favor or the Agile approach? The truth is, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Waterfall and Agile each have their advantages. And then there is a third option: a hybrid approach which combines the two

An Agile-Waterfall Hybrid?Yes, its true. Teams have been known to combine the best of both methodology worlds: the dynamic, responsiveness of Agile with the deliberate predictability of Waterfall.

An Agile-Waterfall Hybrid?While this approach can have its challenges, the right tools can go a long wayparticularly work management tools that can accommodate Waterfall and Agile at the same time and manage the flow of work information between the two.

Other Project Management MethodologiesOf course, there is more to project management methodologies than Agile and Waterfall. Here is just a sampling of the other methodologies, processes, and frameworks in use:Critical Path Method (CPM)Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM)Event Chain Methodology (ECM)Six SigmaScrumXP (Extreme Programming)CrystalFDD (Feature Drive Development)DSDM (Dynamic Systems Development)Adaptive Software DevelopmentRUP (Rational Unified Process)PRINCE2