Top 20 project management methodologies


That said, my goal here is to help you identify methodologies—and particular aspects of methodologies—that you can bring to your practice and deliver projects effectively in the world of digital agencies. You’ll find an overview of PM methodology, descriptions of popular project management methodologies, examples from real companies, and steps to help you choose the right methodology. This may be the most straightforward and linear of all the project management methods in this list, as well as the most traditional approach. The name is apt, as the waterfall methodology is a process in which the phases of the project flow downward.

project administration methodology

There are varying levels of PMM complexity, and different ways of classifying them. Finishing a project isn’t as simple as going from point A to point B in a straight line. In real life, this metaphorical “line” can be a zig-zag, a wave, several interconnected lines, etc.

The process-based methodologies

Depending on the results of these evaluations, the final deliverable may be modified to better answer the customer’s needs. Continuous collaboration is key, both within the project team and with project stakeholders. The power of this methodology is that every step is preplanned and laid out in the proper sequence. While this may be the simplest method to implement initially, any changes in stakeholders’ needs or priorities will disrupt the series of tasks, making it very difficult to manage. Other critical aspects of the Six Sigma approach include an emphasis on the project or organization’s financial performance and the reduction of costs related to completing a project through a focus on improving processes. Tasks are delegated, team members will move these cards across sections depending on the task status.

  • The objective of project management is to produce a complete project which complies with the client’s objectives.
  • This may be the most straightforward and linear of all the project management methods in this list, as well as the most traditional approach.
  • Waterfall methods have been popular for decades and are the most commonly used approaches to project management.
  • On the one hand, contracts offer a set of rules and incentives often supported by potential penalties and sanctions.
  • For this reason, it is also the most commonly used methodology within the information technology and software industries.

In PERT, project activities are represented as nodes on a network diagram, with their durations listed on the lines connecting the activities. Project scope is variable, but the time and the cost are constant, making it possible to adjust the project scope during execution in order to get the maximum business value from the project. We can find an example of eXtreme Programming in a development process pilot to add a new capability to the U.S. The project involved two developers, a development lead, a government functional manager, and a human factors engineer. Lean is focused on changing the way we operate to be laser focused on delivering value. It’s a theme with principles, rather than a methodology dictating process and things to do.

Project Management Methodologies 101: The What, Why, How, & Types Explained

Some of these are similar to Scrum but there are rules around technical practices around designing coding and testing that make it specific for development projects. These rules include making mandatory; Including user stories, Test-driven development , Pair programming, and Continuous integration among many others. First off, PMBOK® is an acronym for Project Management Body of Knowledge. It’s a book, published by PMI, that collects the processes, best practices, terminologies and guidelines that are the accepted norm in the industry.

Although the original CPM program and approach is no longer used, the term is generally applied to any approach used to analyze a project network logic diagram. Waterfall is certainly among the most widely known and practiced PM methodologies. The key ingredient in running a Waterfall project is to complete a task and hand it down for it to be used, or built on, in a following task or phase. This requires a fair amount of planning and requirement-gathering before work begins.

project administration methodology

Agile is a common project management methodology based on fast, continuous improvement. Originally popularized by software developers, this strategy has been adopted by all types of teams and industries. Agile uses sprints, which are short project cycles, to continually release enhancements to products or services.

What is the Critical Path Project Management Method?

Alternative to Monday and Asana for managing projects, teams, and all types of work. The Critical Path Method is a methodology that focuses on building a model that predicts the longest path the project activities can take from start to finish. It then works in retrospect to define the “critical” paths the activities can take without making the project longer — or even reducing its length. The basic nature of this methodology Project Management Best Practices is not flexible, as it relies on all previous steps being completed perfectly, before going onto the next one. This also means that sudden changes are not anticipated, and can only be fixed once the project process is over, and another one is started from the beginning. The most notable feature of Kanban is how it organizes workflow in a visual manner, with the creation of what is known as a Kanban board.

These are characterized by known knowns, stability, and clear cause-and-effect relationships. They can be solved with standard operating procedures and best practices. Closing includes the formal acceptance of the project and the ending thereof. Administrative activities include the archiving of the files and documenting lessons learned.

project administration methodology

Another challenge is that in order to be successful and truly Agile, clients have to make themselves available and be empowered to make decisions (which is rare in hierarchical and board-orientated organizations). They need to provide ongoing feedback and prioritization on the fly to keep the project moving, which is often very tricky. The catch and the rest of the story is that that level of flexibility is expensive. Yes, you can change your mind—but it eats up time, and time costs money.

Several models of iterative and incremental project management have evolved, including agile project management, dynamic systems development method, extreme project management, and Innovation Engineering®. Because it’s more of a reference guide than an actual project management methodology, you can’t implement PMI/PMBOK to a project. However, it can be used when you want to weigh in on the best practices for your project. How your company is organized, its culture and its past records will have a big impact on your choice of project management methodology.

While it’s less useful for projects that require a lot of flexibility, are subject to change, or require multiple, dependent tasks to be completed in tandem, like software development. This approach follows some key processes that include developing an overall model, compiling a list of features, planning based on each of the identified features, designing the features, and building the features. FDD may not work best for smaller teams, and limited written stakeholder documentation may become an issue. Scrumban provides product development and support teams with the best features from Scrum and Kanban. By combining Kanban’s pull system and Scrum’s backlog prioritization and short cycles, teams are not only able to complete work quickly and effectively, but also improve processes by exposing areas of weakness.


Then evaluate your project, team, organization, stakeholders and existing tools to pick methodology that aligns with your strengths and requirements. Large agencies with diverse teams and processes benefit the most from Integrated Project Management. It works best for complex creative projects where you need resources from multiple teams and departments to interface with each other. It was first outlined by Dr. Winston Royce in 1970 as a response to managing the increasingly complex nature of software development. Since then, it has become widely adopted, most prominently in the software industry. In short, it is a set of practices applicable when combining two methodologies in one project portfolio.

WThe PMBOK collects set processes, best practices, terminologies, and guidelines that the project management industry accepts as standards. You’ll find it documented in the book, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge , compiled and overseen by the Project Management Institute . This methodology ensures that you provide real value to customers and stakeholders. The first step is to create a work process breakdown to identify and eliminate bottlenecks and delays. The goal is to do more with less — to deliver value to the customer using less manpower, less money, and less time.

project administration methodology

This methodology emphasizes sharing and standardization of processes across the organization. In reality, most project management tools are specialized to use a handful of methodologies. This will be a factor in what methodology you eventually choose to use. What methodology you pick will have a profound and ongoing impact on how you and your team works. Different project management methodologies have their own pros and cons for different project types. As tasks are completed, they move through the columns that represent the stages of the process to maintain the timeline.

Scrum methodology

Waterfall is generally regarded with some disdain within agencies as an inefficient and passé traditional project management approach. A Waterfall approach can actually provide more predictable end result for budget, timeline and scope. Below, I’ve put together a project management methodologies list describing the most popular PM approaches.

It is widely used in the country and is a requirement for government projects. Additionally, one of the guiding principles of PRINCE2 is to “Learn from experience”. Success with the PRiSM approach also requires every part of the project team – including outside contractors and stakeholders – to be onboard with the sustainability principle – a hard ask in most organizations. As hinted by the creator’s name, the PRiSM approach focuses on accounting for and minimizing adverse environmental impacts of the project. It is different from traditional methodologies in that it extends beyond the end of the project. Instead, it factors in the entire lifecycle of the project post-delivery to maximize sustainability.

Benefits Realization Management

Learn what IT leaders are doing to integrate technology, business processes, and people to drive business agility and innovation. If environmental sustainability is a core value of your organization and essential to the delivery of your product, try PRiSM. Ashley DiFranza is a marketing content producer at Northeastern University. Some past organizations Ashley has worked with include Captivate Network, OnStage Blog, PartnerSolve LLC, VinCompass, and many more.

This means project managers and stakeholders work together at the beginning of the process to define and outline benefits, and ensure they evaluate all tasks according to the standard they help businesses reach. BRM also focuses on executing benefits management and sustaining the realization of benefits. CCPM differs from CPM in that it focuses on the use of resources within a project instead of project activities. To address potential issues with resources, buffers are built in to ensure projects are on time and that safety is not compromised. It requires ensuring everyone is up to speed on critical chain and effort to gain buy-in into this methodology from all stakeholders.

PRiSM (Projects Integrating Sustainable Methods)

Respect is earned through contributions and grows with each new experience. Courage refers to a brave venture into ever-changing requirements, both in terms of customer needs as well as the technology required to achieve the desired goal. As you can see from the list of pros and cons, applying the Agile methodology in your projects can offer a boost in the way your product responds to the needs of your customers. Aside from that, the final product is likely to be more polished and released faster.

The goal of the Hybrid methodology is to blend the benefits of both Classic and Agile while eliminating their drawbacks. One of the most popular frameworks – Scrum – wasn’t meant to be used at scale. However, Jeff Sunderland and Ken Schwaber, the framework’s founders, stumbled upon complex projects that required coordination between multiple teams. The duo wanted to see whether a modified version of the Scrum framework would work in such environments, and it did. It begins with a Sprint Planning meeting when the stakeholders, clients, and team members discuss the scope of a given sprint as well as requirements and tasks.