Project management framework methodologies have gained some popularity over the years since it helps various teams in accomplishing different projects at work.
The project management space has garnered the phrases done attention of well-known phrases that companies created project management software and tools for teams to use.
The different methodologies in project management have helped teams by giving them a framework to operate on and not be all over the place. These methodologies act as a compass on what direction they should take and what to focus on.
There are a lot of methodologies that surfaced in recent years; some of them stood the test of time and proved their efficiency, while others simply disappeared. We have enumerated the tested and proven project management methodologies that various teams use in the list below.
What Is Project Management Framework?
Project management is the planning and organization of resources to attain a project’s goal. On the other hand, a project management framework is a set of project management processes and templates used to plan and execute a project at hand.
Knowing what project management framework to use would allow teams to coordinate how to approach a project strategically. They’d have ease on delegation of tasks and a more efficient way of using the company’s resources.
Types Of Project Management Methodologies
Project management methodologies are like business productivity tools since it helps in creating a more efficient process and seamless workflow.
Below is a list of popular project management methodologies that businesses have used across all industries. It has guided teams to accomplish multiple projects with ease.
1. Waterfall Methodology
The Waterfall methodology is one of the most prominent and oldest methods in this list. It was introduced in 1970 by Winston Royce.
This methodology is a sequential and linear process project management methodology. In it are phases that need to be completed sequentially, wherein a phase can’t begin until the prior phase is completed.
The phases of the Waterfall methodology follows this sequence:
Given that this method relies heavily on completing a stage before advancing, it demands its users to have a clear idea of the project’s needs. It’s important to note that proper Waterfall management does not allow its users to return to a previous phase. If the team wants to do so, it needs to go back to phase one.
This shows that when choosing to go with this project, there is little room for error. It needs the team to gather all the information they can get regarding the project. Plus, it also demands proper planning to avoid going back to phase 1.
This methodology is for you if your company has clearly defined every detail of the project. It also works best for projects with long detailed plans that have a single timeline.
2. Agile Methodology
If you want a methodology that can adapt to the changes of a project as it progresses on the timeline, the agile methodology can be the one for you. The user research done in Agile methodology always affects the product or service in some way. That’s why teams that use this method embrace change even as they progress in the project.
The Agile methodology was first created for software development. It was made as a counter to the shortcomings of the Waterfall method. The developers wanted a more “agile” and speedier method that could keep up with the progress of projects.
Any project requires brainstorming and collaboration, which can yield constant changes and iterations. And that is exactly what the Agile method caters to. It supports changes and iterations as the projects develop.
The four values of agile methodology:
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools – The human element is always placed first for this method. Too much reliance on tools and processes yields the inability to change to circumstances.
- Working software over comprehensive documentation – This value is all about providing what the team needs to get the job done.
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation – Involving customers in the overall process can produce a more efficient outcome.
- Responding to change over following a plan – This methodology allows continuous change throughout the project’s lifespan.
The methodologies involved here require short phases with constant testing and reassessment. Teams can afford this since they don’t have to go back to the first phase, unlike the Waterfall method.
The Agile methodology works best for businesses that need constant change in their product to be finalized. For example, firms in the supplement industry need continuous testing and reassessment when deciding if they’ll go with Whey protein concentrate or whey protein isolate, or any supplement that has a ton of variations.
The same thing goes for Saas companies that cater to team collaboration, inventory management, CRM automation, and many more. They also need to test each aspect and feature of their software to see if it is completely functioning and doing its job.
3. Lean Methodology
This methodology is about applying lean principles to your project management. The goal of this method is to maximize value while minimizing waste.
The waste mentioned here first pertained to reduced physical waste since the methodology originated from the manufacturing industry. But now, as it is used more frequently in project management, it talks about wasteful project management practices, known as Muda, Mura, and Muri (3M’s).
Muda is about ridding an activity that does not add value to the progress of the project. These can be things that waste your time or something that wastes your resources.
An example of this in a marketing context would be the continuous use of Google ads. Any marketer or brand designer knows the power of Google ads, but unfortunately, it’s not for every business. If you’ve noticed that this marketing effort doesn’t give you a boost in your content metrics, then paying for Google ads is a waste. It wastes your time and your marketing budget (resources).
Mura pertains to the unevenness in a project’s lifetime. This is a significant “waste” to eliminate because it can hinder the progress of the project.
An example could be creating a cinematic poster templates as a project. But the marketing team took too much time on what cinematic filter to use for the image, which affected the production team’s time to finalize the poster.
By reducing the time picking the filter (the waste) or implementing a standard preset, everyone gets even time to work on their tasks.
Muri refers to the strain on resources or people involved in the project. Too much of this can lead to breakdowns, exhaustions, or burnouts. One can think that this waste is the same as overloading when someone or something overloads, its usual action slows down and may sometimes lead to confusion of work.
An example could be if Gili Sports overuse its machines and staff in creating big paddleboards. This can result in production slow down, absenteeism, or breakdown of devices and even people.
Standardized work can help avoid Muri by creating a more efficient process to distribute workload properly.
Using the Lean methodology, a project manager and their team can maximize their resources in progressing the project.
This methodology works best for teams that want efficient processes that cut out hindrances immediately.
4. Critical Path Methodology
The Critical Path methodology makes its users identify critical tasks that compromise a project. Users of this method first need to categorize all activities required to be completed. Next is to estimate the duration necessary for each exercise.
The mapping and estimation process of the project will allow the team to have a mental representation of all the things needed to be done and how much time is required for it to be accomplished.
There are six critical steps in the Critical Path methodology:
Step 1: Write down each activity
Identify each activity involved in creating a project. This identification process should include all types of activities – both high-level and low-level. What you can do is break down those higher-level activities into smaller chunks.
Step 2: Establish activity sequence
There would be some activities that depend on the completion of one another. By listing each of them, you’ll get to organize these activities in a much better workflow. This also prevents miscommunication and misunderstanding among team members.
Step 3: Draw the network.
It will be much easier for you to see the project’s overall process if you have a visual representation of it. You can draw the workflow or transfer it digitally. This also makes your team see the big picture.
Having an image of the whole process of the project will help you and your team determine which activities should be done first, which ones can be done simultaneously, and what activity can be done later on the timeline.
Step 4: Estimate activity completion time
Putting an estimated duration for your overall project can be beneficial for your team. It makes them focus on the goal and makes every action dedicated to the project’s progress.
Step 5: Identify the critical path
Your critical path can be identified by looking at the network you created above. One thing to note is to place more importance on the duration over the one with most nodes.
Step 6: Update the network along with the progress
As you progress with your project, the network diagrams need to be updated along with it. As you finish more activities, you will get a clearer estimation of the project’s completion time.
This methodology works best if you have a project that’s large-scale and complex. And your activities have a lot of dependencies attached to them.
5. New Product Introduction Methodology
New Product Introduction (NPI) methodology is perfect for teams that want to introduce a new product to its market. This is famously used in retail stores, especially those that keep serving new product lines like clothing and costume stores.
NPI is a multi-step plan that takes your product from the initial idea all the way down to selling it to your market. This method aligns your marketing and sales team since it covers everything that needs to be identified and defined in successfully bringing a new product to a market.
The method ideally begins before the product has moved out of the design stage. This means that the NPI is more efficient if it begins earlier in the process.
The NPI process typically follows the steps below:
Step 1: Concept/Idea
It is in this stage where a small team generates ideas for the business. This is where most productive online meetings happen to brainstorm and discuss happen about the new product.
In this stage, the initial definition of the product concept, business analysis, and market research are done.
Step 2: Refining and discovery
In this step, the team members will find themselves refining the definition of other product concepts. This is when the team goes deeper in assessing the market on what it truly needs.
Step 3: Develop the product
This is where prototypes get developed and are tested by beta users. At this stage, the team researches the new product’s competitive landscape and checks where the product fits in.
Step 4: Detailed design
In this stage, the focus is on looking at every aspect of the product design. But the refinement of the prototype is also done at this step since most prototypes can have a lot of improvements based on the experience of the beta testers.
Step 5: Manufacturing of the product
This is where the company introduces the product to the market. Teams here shouldn’t be relaxed, but they need to ensure the product’s quality. This is also where customer support for the product is started.
Step 6: Evaluate the results
Now that the general market has used the product, some would share their experience and feedback. It’s essential to take note of such reviews since it helps with further improvement of the product.
This methodology works best for companies planning to introduce a new innovative product to their market like those Baja hoodies, self-lacing shoes, and defrosting trays. It’s also excellent for businesses that are focused on a single product.
6. Adaptive Project Framework Methodology
The Adaptive Project Framework (APF) methodology considers the unknown factors that can come up during a project. It prepares teams to anticipate the unexpected and have a strategic response to it.
Given that this method was created to adapt to changing environments, it can be noted that nothing is fixed with this approach. The APF method demands project management skills and experience from its users when it comes to project management.
For this method to have success, the team needs to be reminded of two things:
- The team should not be resistant to change. It must learn to adapt and learn.
- Communication is a must. When everything is constantly changing, information could get easily lost in the process. So to make everyone be on the same page constantly, communication should be greatly used.
This method works best with an experienced team that quickly adapts to changes and acts on unexpected scenarios.
7. Six Sigma
Six Sigma is one of those methodologies that makes the whole project management efficient. It improves processes by placing importance on consistency and quality output.
This methodology aims to reduce errors by identifying what isn’t working and removing it immediately from the process.
To use this method, you need to understand the Six Sigma DMAIC to improve business processes:
Define the activities, projects, and goals.
Measure everything in detail of every process involved in the project
Analyze the data and look for improvements. Most importantly, get rid of the errors that delay the project.
Improve the process and methodologies
Control the process. Make sure everything is optimized and focused on progress,
Some see this methodology as a philosophy than a method to approach projects. But whatever definition people define it with, it’s important to note that it can also go hand in hand with other methodologies.
Six Sigma works best for teams looking for both a method and a philosophy in approaching any type of project.
8. Package Enable Reengineering
Package Enable Reengineering (PER) is a methodology that aims to help businesses redesign products and processes. It’s a methodology that supports business transition efficiently and strategically. It’s like when a business’s sales team transitions from using predictive dialers to face-to-face selling.
Using PER requires its users to analyze their current processes, design, structure, and management. It makes users identify inefficiencies and replace them immediately.
This benefits businesses looking to optimize their processes, like having a more excellent checkout process to reduce cart abandonment emails or having a more efficient communication process in the workplace for better collaboration.
Project managers or teams that are looking to update their processes should use PER in doing so.
9. Kanban Methodology
Kanban methodology is focused on optimizing workflow. This methodology is so efficient that it’s used by top project management software for its clients. It consists of principles, practices, Kanban boards, and cards.
Let’s first discuss the key principles behind Kanban:
- Start with what you’re doing now. Don’t be quick to change your process.
- Evolutionary change should be pursued and be done incrementally.
- Allow teams to collaborate and identify any changes needed to be done.
- Changes should be organic and not be forced and rushed.
Next up are Kanban boards. Utilizing this is a visual way to manage and monitor tasks and workflows. Some project management software uses this to help their clients have an easy experience. This is why Kanban methodology is widely used because of its ease of use and is visually appealing.
And finally, a Kanban card is where the task or activity is placed. These are easy to use since you need to drag them across the board depending on where you are. You can place the card under the “In progress” column or under the “Done” or “Revising” section.
This method works best for teams looking for a visual representation of the different tasks involved in a project. It can also be good for project managers who want an easy status update since you just need to look at the board.
10. PRINCE2 Methodology
PRINCE2 is known as Projects In Controlled Environments. This methodology was first seen used by the UK government for their IT projects but was seen by many teams as an efficient way for their business’s project management.
PRINCE2 is built on seven principles:
- Projects must have business justification – Each project should have every detail of it be defined.
- Teams should learn from every stage – Lessons should be noted for future use.
- Roles and responsibilities are clearly defined – Clearly define roles to avoid confusion and overlapping of tasks.
- Work is planned in stages – Projects in this method are broken up into individual work phases.
- Work is managed by stages – Difficult tasks can be broken into manageable chunks.
- Focus on quality – Quality control should be checked at all times.
- The methodology should be tailored to each project – Not every project is the same.
11. Dynamic Systems Development Method
The DSDM method addresses the entire lifecycle of a project and its impact on the business. It is an iterative approach to project management but more specifically tailored to software development.
This method puts great significance on discipline and structure in the overall process. The principle behind DDM is that “any project must be aligned to clearly defined strategic goals and focus upon early delivery of real benefits to the business.”
To further discuss this method, let’s talk about its key principles:
Focus on the business need – Users of DSDM should align the project to benefit the entire business.
Deliver on time – Work should be time-bounded.
Collaborate – The users of DSDM should involve stakeholders throughout the project and support team decisions over individual tasks.
Quality – Quality control should be carried out through the lifecycle of a project.
Build incrementally from firm foundations – The team should create enough design upfront to know what they want to build.
Develop iteratively – The team should be open to feedback and suggestions. Members of the team should constantly find ways to improve the product.
Communicate continuously and clearly – Healthy communication is the backbone of every successful team project management. Continuous communication keeps everyone updated and on the same page.
Demonstrate control – The team leaders should make plans and progress visible for everyone to see.
12. Scrum Methodology
The Scrum method is a fast, adaptable, and flexible methodology that allows users to value the customer throughout the project. It’s a methodology that’s widely used in big tech companies.
One of the main goals of this method is to satisfy the customer’s needs through transparency in communication.
With Scrum methodology, work is turned into short cycles known as “sprints,” which usually last about 1-2 weeks but can span out to 30 days.
Using Scrum requires its users to have roles in the duration of the project management:
The Scrum team – These professionals know how to make the project successful and create a working product.
Scrum master – This is the person who leads the Scrum team and guides them to follow the processes of the methodology. The Scrum master also must keep the whole process up to date, give support and coaching to the team, and help them technically if needed.
Product owner – This can be a single person or a group of people. But this role is responsible for the vision of the project. They are the ones who break down the tasks and prioritize them, so everything meets the goals of the customers and the overall market.
What’s great about Scrum is that it requires constant testing throughout the whole process. Since a sprint is reviewed first before moving on to the next one, the team reviews everything before moving on to the next set of tasks.
There are a lot of excellent project management methods out there, but the one that’s fit for your team is the methodology that brings out the best in your group.
If you haven’t found that certain methodology yet, then keep trying different ones. It might be uncomfortable to try something new, but it is vital to search for the right methodology for your team.
You’ll know you’ve found the right methodology for you if everything goes smoothly and the results are stellar.
Christian Cabaluna is a finance blogger at Novum™ with 5+ years of first-hand experience. When he is not writing in his favorite coffee shop, Christian spends most of his time reading (mainly about money-related topics), cooking, watching sitcoms, visiting beaches, and catching beautiful sunsets.