Project management (PM) keeps teams focused and effective. In many ways, more efficiency allows you to take on more work, create more value, and increase profitability. But with so many philosophies to PM, how do IT leaders know which is right? The choice depends on where you place value. Are you flexible on deadline but not cost and scope? Is the scope of work flexible but not the schedule? Two of the most popular methodologies value these attributes differently. Let’s look at what ways each excels, so you can make an informed choice.
Agile is effective for large projects and cross-functional teams. It was created to provide teams with a way to create project plans that can adapt while the work is ongoing (think software development). There are many principles that drive Agile methodology, but here’s a quick overview:
There are also many methodologies that fit under the Agile banner and build on its principles. Here are some of the most popular:
A widely discussed alternative to Agile is Waterfall. Waterfall is effective for projects where changes in scope become expensive quickly (like building a building). Waterfall is often used in construction, manufacturing, or on projects with predictable outcomes (like many IT projects). Waterfall is less flexible for software development because it’s not built for ongoing projects that constantly need new features and iterations.
If your team doesn’t use the method, it will fail. Your team must understand how your chosen method works, why it’s useful, and what’s expected of them. Here are some principles to consider:
Streamlining processes will help you grow. Your project management process is about minimizing duplicate effort and getting work done efficiently and effectively. So, pick something that works and stick with it. Be rigorous about your process discipline and you’ll see how quickly it leads to more profit and opportunity.