Exploring an Array of Methodologies
Choosing a project management methodology is not a light task. With many options
to choose from, a company or project manager must approach the selection process
carefully by examining the strengths and weaknesses of that approach and determining
how it will complement your specific needs and projects. Regardless of what style
is ultimately chosen, all OPM methods have a similar four- or five-stage process.
Before going into the different popular project management approaches, it is
important to identify the different roles and how they will work both together
and independently to ensure project success.
Project Management Roles:
- The project sponsor is in charge of funding the project and owns the outcome.
- Business experts will provide their needs and expectations for the end product. Other contributors may include auditors, procurement managers and risk analysts.
- The project manager creates and oversees the project.
- The project team participates in all the steps of a project, contributing
to its development and working to identify and eliminate quality and design issues
as well as any other risks.
- End users are those who will be utilizing the deliverables from the project outcome.
It is no surprise that the best team is going to struggle without an effective
leader. Note that a 'leader' differs from a 'manager.' How does one discern between
a leader and a manager? A simple way to distinguish the two is by the very words
themselves. Do you want to lead your team to success or do you want to manage
and oversee them? Managers tally success, while leaders add to success.
A successful project leader is a great communicator, facilitates learning and
development, and is flexible, organized and a problem-solver. He or she is also
trustworthy and schooled on conflict management. Above all, the leader encourages
teamwork, gives each member credit and emphasizes the "Knights of the Round Table"
sentiment - all are equal and important parts of a whole system.
Keep this in mind as you work with your team. Lead the project to a successful
completion; don't just manage the components as you work toward project end. The
end of the project isn't the final stage without completing an evaluation of the
project and other housekeeping needs that will help transition out this project
and prepare for future projects.
In the next section, we will outline the different phases of a project management
process. These can overlap through different methodologies.