Every project is different. While every new build follows a certain criteria in a specific order to get the job done properly and efficiently, that same criteria might not apply to the next project, or the one after that. In fact, the process could be so different that an entirely different method is needed to reach the end result. Because of this, there have been a number of different project management methods developed to cater to specific jobs. One is not necessarily better than another, but each method has its strengths to better fit a certain type of project. Here is a closer look at a few methods and why one might be the right choice over others.
Traditional (“PMI”) – As the name implies, a traditional project management style involves following a step-by-step process based on 5 stages; initiation, planning, execution, monitoring, and completion. Each stage is completed in chronological order before moving onto the next stage. The Project Management Institute (PMI) offers, among many other things, a guide detailing this method and the set of standards used to successfully apply it. This traditional type of project management is best suited for linear projects where little to no change is expected.
Agile – One of the more popular methodologies currently, agile involves dividing a project into smaller sections typically called iterations. As iterations are completed, the project management team discusses and critiques the work done, and then decides what the next steps for the project will be. Because of how adaptive and flexible this method is, agile is commonly used to deliver more complex projects. This method is also ideal for companies that are able to make quick decisions on their own without needing approval from a board or committee.
Scrum – scrum is a method derived from the agile method, and its goal is to develop and deliver complex products through a collaborative process that involves many small teams working in an interdependent manner. Using the scrum method, iterations are completed quickly with high levels of intensity to keep the project moving. This method is best suited for projects that consist of several iterations in which several small teams are able to work freely and flexibly to complete their task.
Critical Path – In this method, each task in the project is given a specific time frame and often an ‘earliest start date’ and an ‘earliest finish date’ are assigned. With these dates, each task has a firm timeline that needs to be upheld to complete the project on time. The critical path method aims to complete projects in the least amount of time possible, with high levels of efficiency.