This Guest paper was submitted for publication May 2020
It is copyright to Melissa Calvert © 2020
Published here July 2020

The Importance of Team Work | Best Strategies for Managing Projects  
Some Specific Gaps | Popular Methodologies | Conclusion

Popular Methodologies

Some of the popular methodologies include:

4. Agile

This methodology is best suited for projects that are progressive and repetitive in nature. This means a project that adds a little more every time an operation is performed and carries out the repetition of tasks in a given period of time. Agile methodology was originally designed to cater to software development needs. It includes four fundamental values: individual interactions over processes and tools; working software over extensive documentation; collaboration with a customer over contract negotiation; and responding to change rather than following a static plan.

Some of the key principles for this methodology include customer satisfaction, early delivery, accommodating changing requirements, a collaboration between stakeholders, face to face interactions, consistent pace, simplicity, regular reflections for improvements, and self-organizing teams.

5. Lean

The Lean methodology is all about promoting customer value and reducing waste. Hence the idea is to create more output with fewer resources while completely eliminating waste from the system. There are three types of wastage that it focuses on eliminating, namely: Muda, mura, and muri. Muda refers to any activity that is not adding value and is a waste of resources.

Types of Muda include defects, unwanted or useless inventory, purposeless motion, impractical transport, wastage of time, overproduction, and over-processing. Mura, on the other hand, are the variations in the workflow that are not according to plan or schedule, such as using too many resources or time to complete a mundane task. And finally, Muri deals with work overloads, barriers to work, things that cause friction in the process.

6. Kanban

Considered as a framework of Agile that is similar to Scrum, this methodology focuses on collaborative and self-managing teams. It deploys a very visual method to achieve high-quality results. A picture of the workflow is created that can help identify bottlenecks. Six principles involved in this methodology include workflow management, visualization, limiting work in progress, explicit policies, usage of feedback loops, and collaborative evolution that can be experimental as well.

The Kanban Board provides a visualization of the development process. Kanban Cards are used to depict tasks and work items. Finally, Kanban Swimlanes are for categorizing task items so that they can be distinguished from each other.

7. Scrum

Scrum methodology is quite popular. It uses roles, events, and artifacts to help manage projects. The Scrum team roles include product owner who is the voice of the stakeholders, development team who deliver work as professionals, and scrum master who makes sure that execution of the project is followed. Then we have Scrum Events such as a "sprint", which is a time frame for a goal to be accomplished.

A daily Scrum is a 15-minute meeting held every day to review previous work delivered and planning for the current day's work. And finally, there is a sprint review or retrospective where previous sprints are analyzed, and feedback is collected. For Scrum Artifacts, we have a sprint backlog that outlines tasks for the next sprint, and a product backlog that caters to any changes required in the end product or any fixtures. Scrum methodology is best suited for teams that have less than seven people and have a flexible approach towards delivering a product or a service.

8. Six Sigma

Six Sigma is based on improving the quality of work by reduction of errors within the process. In Six Sigma we have Green Belts, Black Belts, and Master Black Belts. Then there is DMAIC[10] which focuses on improving the business process and DMADV that centers around creating new processes.

DMAIC stands for Defining problems, Measuring the current process, Analyzing data, Improving the process, and Controlling future related processes. DMADV[11] stands for Defining goals, Measuring critical components, Analyzing data, Design tests, and Verifying pilot program. Six Sigma is best suited for larger companies that want to improve their quality of work through the data-driven methodology.

9. Waterfall

Considerably the most traditional methodology, waterfall follows a sequential design approach where progress flows downwards in a singular direction. However, the waterfall is a kind of methodology that emphasizes extensive documentation. The basic idea is that if a person in your team wants to leave the project in the middle while work is still in progress, then they can be easily replaced by another with the help of data described in the documents.

Theoretically, this methodology is best suited for projects that have been repeated several times and present little to no chance of any changes during the production process.

10. PMBOK Guide used as a Baseline

The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) Guide is a set of standard guidelines and terminologies that have evolved over time and are presented in guide-book format. In 2017. the Project Management Institute (PMI), located in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, USA, published the sixth edition. PMI is a global nonprofit professional organization that deals with project management. In the Guide, you will find references to concepts such as Critical Path Method (CPM) and Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). Other areas included in the Guide focus on financial forecasting, budgeting, organizational behavior, and management sciences.

The PMBOK Guide advocates for the application of five major processes to be applied at all levels of a complex project breakdown. These processes are:

  • Initiation
  • Planning
  • Execution
  • Monitoring & Controlling, and
  • Closing

However, this book is large, nearly 1,000 pages, expensive, and not intended to be used as a "How to" reference. Nevertheless, you can apply the principles of PMBOK when you want to choose the best practices in your projects.

Some Specific Gaps  Some Specific Gaps

10. DMAIC means Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control.
11. DMADV means Define, Measure, Analyze, Design, and Verify.
Home | Issacons | PM Glossary | Papers & Books | Max's Musings
Guest Articles | Contact Info | Search My Site | Site Map | Top of Page