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What is a Project Management methodology?

A project management methodology is a pre-defined set of management procedures that are designed to provide a guide for developing, planning, managing and implementing projects. It is the quality management framework within which projects are conducted.

Why use a Project Management methodology

In recent years there has been increased accountability requirements placed on private and public sector environments leading to a greater focus on effectiveness and efficiency in the way business is conducted. In a rapidly changing environment with diverse opportunities and requirements, project management can support the achievement of project and organisational goals, as well as give greater assurance to stakeholders that resources are being effectively managed.

Applying a formalised project management framework or methodology to projects can help to clarify and agree to goals, identify resources needed, ensure accountability for results and performance, and foster a focus on benefits to be achieved.

When would you use a Project Management methodology?

Deciding to use a project management methodology will depend on both the project and the organisational environment in which the project occurs. Many organisations mandate the use of a project management methodology with all projects, while others have processes that in effect provide a methodology.

If the project is complex, dynamic or has a large degree of uncertainty, then the use of a project management methodology is advisable. Use of a methodology increases the likelihood of the project succeeding as it adds additional rigor, ensures that all facets of the project are covered and that there is a common understanding about the project.

What are the benefits of using a Project Management methodology?

The primary reason for using a project management methodology is to increase the likelihood of the project succeeding. This utilises past experiences to feed into projects which results in:

  • Accomplishing more work in less time, with fewer resources
  • Reduced overall project risk (as risks are identified and managed)
  • Greater customer satisfaction
  • Deliverables (outputs) of a better quality
  • Reduced learning requirements with less likelihood of repeating past mistakes
  • Everyone knowing what to expect
  • If there is a change of Project Manager, it is known what documents to look for and where to find them