Project management is not a straightforward undertaking. Project managers have to deal with a number of stakeholders and contributors, interact with clients, and engage in delegation that enables them and their team to function with efficiency and beat project deadlines.
Managing complex projects with multiple variables that involve even more contributors cannot be done without a set project management approach.
Choosing a project management methodology will enable project managers and contributors to work in tandem, as they will be aware of the process and workflows involved within the methodology or approach being used for the management of the project.
It is no secret that choosing the right project management methodology can prove to be extremely beneficial for any organisation. On the other hand, choosing the wrong methodology can prove to be an expensive mistake that can compromise your team's and organisation's ability to complete the project on time.
The Challenge With Selecting The Right Methodology For Project Management
The complex part about choosing the right methodology is that there is no one-size-fits-all methodology that you can use for any and all projects.
Since each project is (usually) different in nature, the methodology used may also be different for each project. Think about it, each project has its own set of deliverables, deadlines, contributors, technologies, objectives, and stakeholders.
With so many variables, finding one approach that satisfies the needs of all sorts of projects is not feasible.
Besides this, the availability of technology and the technical expertise of your team also matters. For instance, if you are using a free project management software, you must first ensure that it supports the charts, graphs, or any other management tools that your selected project management methodology demands.
Similarly, if these management features or tools require the users to be technically adept, you may also want to consider the technical capabilities of your team while selecting the project management methodology for your project.
In other words, choosing the right project management methodology depends on a myriad of internal and external factors.
Selecting A Project Management Methodology
Clearly, with so many variables affecting your decision, you need a process that enables you to select the right project management methodology.
While the process employed for this purpose may vary for different organisations and project managers, there are certain considerations and steps that are common in all such processes. These are:
Analysing the internal and external variables that will affect the choice of project management methodology. These may include project objectives, the nature of the project, client preferences, contributors, timelines, and any other factors that you may find relevant to this decision.
Determining which project management methodology will align best with your project's goals and timelines will require you to consider the pros and cons of all relevant methodologies. Consider each methodology individually and think about how it will influence the outcomes of the project. The objective here is to find a project management methodology that will produce the best efficiency with the least amount of risk.
Implementing the methodology chosen in the previous step will allow you to test your hypothesis. Remember, even at this point, it is alright to pivot your project management methodology. In fact, this is our next step.
Measure results after you have implemented the methodology of your choice. See how it is affecting the productivity, analyse if your project is progressing as it should. It is also a good idea to take feedback from your team members.
Optimise based on the intelligence gathered in the previous step.
The above-mentioned steps are a great starting point for selecting the right project management methodology. Keep in mind that the process of selecting a project management methodology is a continuous one. In many projects, different methodologies work best at different stages of the project.