The following Guest article was initially published at and and is republished here with permission, © Stacy Goff, 2007.
Published here August 2008.

Introduction | Background and PM Methods Experience | What is a PM Methodology? 
Moving Target or Consistent Characteristics? | Consistent Characteristics in Detail
Is Methods Benefit Realization Important? | Conclusions | Appendix A

Background and PM Methods Experience

First, we share a bit of our background in this topic. For over 25 years, we have developed or helped clients adapt or improve 50+ commercial or homegrown methodologies. Part of our PM Practice in the early 1980's was to help companies scale down and improve their internal or purchased PM Methodologies. Starting with Defense Department Program Management monoliths or Consultancies' 24,000 hour-target methods, we helped them scale down to low-overhead methods that were more appropriate for their 1,000-3,000 (or 15,000) hour projects.

We adapted multiple new PM methodologies, including one for Information Technology projects, working with Dan Myers (now in Requirements Solutions Group[1]). One of the "Big Eight" firms wrapped our PM Methodology together with their Systems Engineering Methodology in a software bundle that proliferated in the late 1980's. In 1987 we developed a universal methodology for Small Projects, those that are 8-360+ hours of effort. Today, thousands on five continents use that method.

During the 1990's, our PM Consulting work exposed us to a variety of new twists on PM Methods. Ken Schwaber's Scrum and some of the more Extreme methods all had strengths. With the emergence of true Object Oriented projects, and then of the World Wide Web, there were many new methods to evaluate and adapt. But these were mostly for Information Technology projects - an obvious area for the greatest improvement through methods application. Construction Engineering has always been more efficient, with possibly less opportunity for improvement.

In the late 1990's we started seeing more universal methods, designed for "all the rest of your projects", like our Small Project Guide. And the last 10 years has seen more proliferation in this space than in the entire 30 years before, as Project Management Offices realize they need organizational consistency, at least at the roll-up level, to properly prioritize, staff and report the portfolios of projects and programs. This brings up the question, "Just what is a Project Management Methodology?"

Introduction  Introduction

1. Requirements Solution Group specializes in establishing better Business Requirements, earlier. See them at
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