Project Management Methodologies – Select for Success

The project management methodology is often determined before a project starts.  In some cases, selection is made by inertia and custom, doing what has been done previously to good effect.  Other times, a company-wide initiative calls for review of other available methods to find one better suited or easier to use.

It is important to be aware of the many different project management methodologies, and to have understanding of the strengths and weaknesses in various methods.

A selection of Project Management Methodologies:

  • Adaptive Project Framework
    • The core values of the APF approach are:
      • Client-focused
      • Client-driven
      • Incremental results early and often
      • Continuous question and introspection
      • Change is progress to a better solution
      • Don’t speculate on the future
  • Agile Software Development
    • Agile software development is a conceptual framework for undertaking software engineering projects. Most agile methods attempt to minimize risk by developing software in short timeboxes, called iterations, which typically last one to four weeks.
  • Crystal Methods
    • Alistair Cockburn developed the Crystal Methods approach. His focus is on the people, interaction, community, skills, talents, and communications with the belief that these are what have the first-order effect on performance. Process, he says, is important, but secondary.  Cockburn’s philosophy translates into a recognition that each team has a different set of talents and skills and therefore each team should use a process uniquely tailored to it. And it means that the process should be minimized — barely significant.
  • Dynamic Systems Development Model (DSDM)
    • The nine principles of DSDM are:
      • Active user involvement
      • Empowered teams that the authority to can make decisions
      • A focus on frequent delivery of products
      • Using fitness for business purpose as the essential criterion for acceptance of deliverables
      • Iterative and incremental development to ensure convergence on an accurate business solution
      • Reversible changes during development
      • Requirements that are baselined at a high level
      • Integrated testing throughout the life cycle
      • Collaboration and cooperation between all stakeholders.
  • Extreme Programming (XP)
    • XP can be grouped into four areas (12 practices) as follows:
  • Fine scale feedback
    • Test driven development
    • Planning game
    • Whole team
    • Pair programming
  • Continuous process rather than batch
    • Continuous Integration
    • Design Improvement (a.k.a refactor)
    • Small Releases
  • Shared understanding
    • Simple design
    • System metaphor
    • Collective code ownership
    • Coding standards or coding conventions
  • Programmer welfare
    • Sustainable pace (i.e. forty hour week)
  • Feature Driven Development (FDD)
    • A system for building systems is necessary in order to scale to larger projects.
    • A simple, but well-define process will work best.
    • Process steps should be logical and their worth immediately obvious to each team member.
    • “Process pride” can keep the real work from happening.
    • Good processes move to the background so team members can focus on results.
    • Short, iterative, feature-driven life cycles are best.
    • Develop an overall model (10 percent initial, 4 percent ongoing)
    • Build a features list (4 percent initial, 1 percent ongoing)
    • Plan by feature (2 percent initial, 2 percent ongoing)
    • Design by feature
    • Build by feature (77 percent for design and build combined)

With these and many more project management methodologies available, finding the right method for the project and team is a straightforward matter.

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