Monday, December 1, 2014

Project Management Methodology: Helpful Guide or Bureaucratic Nonsense?

A methodology or system of project management helps those in the organization involved with projects to know what to expect.  The definition of best practices and templates will normally speed up a project and improve its overall quality.
A project management methodology is created by an organization to establish a pattern for a type of projects.  The key to whether the methodology is a helpful guide or bureaucratic nonsense is whether your project fits the pattern type.  If it does, you should follow the pattern or methodology.  If your project does not fit the pattern type, you should use the correct methodology or create a custom one for your project.  In my experience, a “one size fits all” methodology turns into a “one size fits none” impact.

So here are some suggestions for how to decide if a methodology is right for your project:

·         When assigned to lead a project, meet with stakeholders to understand the goals, objectives, and constraints on the project.
·         Based upon those meetings, determine if your project fits the criteria of an established project management methodology in your organization.
·         If so, follow the methodology.
·         If not, determine if you project fits the criteria for a well-documented industry-standard approach.
·         If you have access to that approach, follow it.
·         If your project does not fit an established methodology, you will need to spend additional time and effort in the project planning and project control aspects of project management since there will likely be confusion about what should be done and how to do it.
If you have been tasked with developing your organization’s methodology, here are some suggestions:
·         To develop a methodology, consider industry best practices for the type of project and examples of that type of project in your organization that went well.
·         Do not automatically adopt the best practice written about in books or on blogs.  There is a culture that must accompany any methodology for it to be successful.  If your organization is a “hero-based” culture, don’t adopt a methodology that requires strict process discipline.  If your culture is data driven, rely on analytical project management approaches, not one that require extensive team meetings and integration activities.
·         For a methodology to succeed, senior management must understand the methodology and how they are to interact with projects.  Senior managers who routinely direct the project teams to do things that violate the methodology will ensure that the methodology is not followed.  If senior management wants to change the methodology, change it.  It is better to have an imperfect methodology that is followed than no methodology at all.
·         A Project Management Office (PMO) is often needed to ensure that the methodology is both kept current and that it is followed.  Many methodologies require elements of program or portfolio management and a PMO is almost always needed to for that level of project management planning and control.  

1 comment:

  1. Tag: PM202A56. Let me share all of you about #5 Tips for Project Management Success,, I hope you enjoy it

    1. Plan your day using time management techniques

    As a project manager, time management skills are essential because you are dealing with a wide range of tasks that demand a quick turnaround time. Planning your day will go a long way in keeping you organized and increasing your productivity. Assist your task planning by using project management software which helps you track the work of you and your team.

    If you are not very tech savvy, a simple to-do list can also be a great organizational tool. Prioritize your most important tasks by putting them at the top of the list and less important ones at the bottom. Having a visual plan of your daily tasks helps to keep you on track and aware of time.

    Related post: Free ebook 104 secrets to become a great project manager

    2. Include stakeholders in important project conversations

    While you will have plenty of responsibilities regarding the project, don’t neglect your clients.

    Good communication is essential is keeping both parties informed of project progression, curtailing scope creep, and apprised of changing requirements. Some clients may have different expectations when it comes to communication, so make sure to establish the frequency and type of communication (like emails, phone calls, and face-to-face conversations) at the beginning of your project.

    Establishing communication expectations early helps alleviate stakeholder uncertainty about communication frequency and delivery.

    3. Regularly communicate with your team

    Daily team communication helps keep misunderstandings and unclear requirements under control. Keeping your team informed in every step of the project is essential to project management success.

    For example, a study published by Procedia Technology found that good communication skills were the cornerstone of project management. The study examined over 300 “construction project managers, architects, construction managers, engineers and quantity surveyors” and their successes and failures on various construction projects.

    4. Anticipate project setbacks

    Even the best-laid plans often go awry.

    Remember that even with a high amount of planning and attention to detail, your project may still encounter some challenges. Pay attention to complaints from stakeholders or colleagues, and other warning signs, like a missed deadline or cost overrun, that there may be a problem.

    Preventing a crisis will keep your project running smoothly, save you a lot of time, and keep you, your team, and your stakeholders confident in progressing with the project.

    Unfortunately not every complication can be avoided. Crisis management skills are essential for dealing with the unexpected. Project managers need to be flexible and pragmatic. Improvise and make sharp decisions when needed.

    Related post: 92 free project management templates

    5. Stay focused on the details

    A common problem project managers encounter is having the project aims not aligned with the organization’s objectives. A great project manager will strategize a plan for the project to lead back to the overall success of the business.

    Know your project’s scope by heart and avoid wandering outside of the project’s requirements. It’s too easy to get lost in minor details and forget what your focus is, so a well-planned project scope is essential for success.

    And final, you should use KPI to measure effectiveness of the project, here are full list: 76 project management KPIs