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

What is a PM Methodology?

We define a Project Management Methodology as a set of appropriate repeatable processes that help introduce consistency, flexibility and efficiency while improving quality in managing an enterprise's (or department's) projects. It typically consists of process descriptions, templates, roles and responsibilities, Life Cycles and Work Breakdown Structures, together with other support information.

Why use a PM Methodology?

Good reasons to adopt an appropriate methodology include:

  • Improve alignment of projects to Enterprise Strategy
  • Increase competitive advantage, where appropriate
  • Produce better business results faster and cheaper
  • Help predict staffing requirements on priority efforts
  • Improve Management information in the areas of least visibility for most Enterprises
  • Assure the best use of Enterprise funds and resources
  • Identify knowledge, skill and competence needs
  • Improve skill and performance of project teams
  • Assure appropriate ownership of process and results
  • Improve stakeholder satisfaction with all projects

Why this New Interest in PM Methodology?

In part, we can blame the "Prince". PRINCE2,[2] the UK-developed standard, may soon claim more people certified in project management than any other PM certification. Why? Because even though the Prince2 Certifications are based primarily on Knowledge (and not deep Skill, Behavioral Attributes or Competence), the market appears to perceive that Prince2 applies relevant knowledge for success. Other factors include the more recent popularity of Enterprise Project Management and Project Portfolio Management.

While this has been a focus of many methods for years, some have only recently discovered it. Add to this the fact that despite hundreds of millions of dollars spent in PM training, primarily just in pm knowledge (in the US), projects still disappoint their owners and executives, through failing to provide the intended benefit realization. Increasing rigor in Regulatory Compliance requirements also adds to the demand for consistent process with traceable results.

Just think of the opportunity presented by a method that applies the full performance suite of Knowledge, Skills, Behavioral Attributes and Competence![3] But before getting into the details about such a method, let's look at a brief history of PM Methodologies.

Background and PM Methods Experience  Background and PM Methods Experience

2. PRINCE2 is a Trade Mark of the Office of Government Commerce (UK).
3. For more information about the spectrum of steps in Competence Development, see our paper, presented at the 2006 World Congress, in Shanghai, China:
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