Agile project management methodologies are frameworks that help to integrate principles and values, with the aim of putting them into practise. Each business team has different requirements of their project management methods, fortunately there is several project management methods, most of which are adaptable and can be combined.
Agile, as the name suggests, aims to approach with as much adaptability as feasible. It is an approach for software development and is based on the principle that projects change, the end of one project informs what happens on the next. The concept of agile puts collaboration and breakthroughs over strict adherence to a set out plan, and delivery of the end-goal over perfection.
There are four basic stages to agile project management, the first of those being discovering project requirements as well as clients needs and the resources available. After that a working model of a solution can be designed along with a prototype. That then needs testing and feedback from the client gathered. However, the progression through each of these phases isn’t fixed and at any point a team may decide that they need to go back a stage and try something different. This set up means that agile teams can happily push projects through to the testing phase, because they know that the discovery lifecycle can easily be restarted.
There are many positives to agile projects including:
There are, however, some negatives to this way of working including:
Kanban was initially made as a method for improved coordination and control of production processes, it developed further as an agile process optimization tool for software development and is now widely used in project management. It has proven to get great results and is uncomplicated and easily implementable.
Kanban breaks down projects into small steps hence avoiding sudden change measures. Kanban uses visualisation, centring on the use of dynamic task boards which outline the parts of a project that are not started, in progress and done. A Kanban board has at least three columns (one for each not started, in progress and done) with movable cards for tasks. These categories can be extended as required. The Kanban system is enhanced by having defined principles that are intended to encourage positive changes, responsibility, and motivation. Kanban respects existing roles and structures and only requires that the organisation sets up and shares visual boards, usually through a platform like Atlassian Jira Work Management.
Positive features of Kanban as a project management method include:
Some negatives to this way of working include:
Waterfall planning is an example of linear planned project work which is divided into phases, which build on one another and follow a fixed sequence. This pre-developed plan requires a project manager to define the scope and requirements of the project. Workflows like a ‘Waterfall’ beginning and progressing in a specific sequence.
The positives of using this project management method includes:
However, some of the negatives for this method include:
Lean focuses on efficiency. It optimises value delivery whist eliminating sources of waste. Within this methodology there are three defined waste types including:
The lean project management methodology concentrates on optimisation of projects and work already in flow through the system rather than focusing on doing things in a specific way. Because of the flexible style of lean it can be a link between a traditional approach and other agile methods.
PRINCE2, Projects IN Controlled Environments is a process-based project management method that focusses on promoting fundamental skills for successful projects. Recognised all over the globe, PRINCE2 is completely adaptable. It has many benefits for business’s, including encouraging communication and accountability of teams by defining roles and responsibilities and providing common vocabulary.
Advantages of PRINCE2 include:
Disadvantages Of PRINCE2 Include:
Scrum although not classified as a project management method, originated in software development but is now used in other areas. Scrum has a methodological foundation and follows a more complex system than other methodologies such as Kanban. Scrum is a framework for implementing empiricism and lean thinking.
Initially, Scrum starts with a vision rather than a fixed goal, development is driven forward in stages, called sprints, which consist of steps for consulting, processing, reflecting and revision. Scrum also uses a task board, but it is more complex than Kanban. With customer satisfaction at the forefront, Scrum works with fixed roles such as a Product owner, Scrum Master, and the Scrum team.
This product management methodology has many positives including:
Negatives of Scrum as a project management method include:
PMBOK standards provide a set of universal terms, knowledge, and guidelines for project management. As part of the standard, it describes how projects should be managed. The PMBOK Guide weighs in at 756 pages in its 6th edition. (PMBOK vs PRINCE2: Comparison and Differences (knowledgehut.com))
PMBOK summarizes the stages of project management, the ideas behind processes, and the knowledge areas, but does not define how these aspects should be used.
In addition to these particularly popular methods, there are several other approaches worth investigating for your business needs, these include:
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