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Lean can be a helpful mindset to adopt when reviewing your project delivery process. The values , or principles are very similar to Scrum, around simplicity, communication, feedback, respect, and courage. Where it really deviates from Scrum is in defining rules or prescriptive processes. Some of these are similar to Scrum but there are rules around technical practices around designing coding and testing that make it specific for development projects. These rules include making mandatory; Including user stories, Test-driven development TDD , Pair programming, and Continuous integration among many others.

Waterfall methodology, often referred to as SDLC Software Development Life Cycle is a project management methodology theme with a very simple approach that values solid planning, doing it once and doing it right, rather than the Agile approach of incremental and iterative delivery. The project manager tends to be large and in charge, and work is planned extensively up front and then executed, in strict sequence, adhering to requirements, to deliver the project in a single, and usually very long cycle.

Work then cascades, like water down a Waterfall through phases of the project. In a Waterfall model, each phase must be completed before the next phase can begin and there is no overlapping in the phases. Typically, in a Waterfall approach, the outcome of one phase acts as the input for the next phase sequentially.

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The project then flows through the process from requirements, through design, implementation, testing and into maintenance. You complete the project with a big fanfare and pray the client likes it. A Waterfall approach can actually provide more predictable end result for budget, timeline and scope. It is a process-oriented methodology , dividing projects into multiple stages, each with their own plans and processes to follow. The methodology defines inputs and outputs for every stage of a project so that nothing is left to chance.

The system emphasizes justification of the course taken by a business, and so the first step is identifying a clear need for the project, who the target customer is, whether there are realistic benefits, and a thorough cost assessment. A project board owns the project and is responsible for its success. They define the structures for the team, while a project manager oversees the lower level day-to-day activities.

PRNCE2 methodology is based on eight high-level processes and gives teams greater control of resources and the ability to mitigate risk effectively. It clarifies, what will be delivered, ensures a focus on the viability of the project, clearly defines roles and responsibilities, endorses management by exception arguably an Agile principle and similarly to PMBOK, provides a common vocabulary which we can apply to other methodologies. On the flipside, while the principles and themes are great, the process can make it laborious and onerous for small projects.

The PMBOK refers to the five process steps of project management: initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing. It contains many processes and techniques of project management by which to evaluate or complete the way you run your projects or the methodology you use. Interestingly, the majority of their Kanban-based teams started with Scrum and eventually migrated towards Kanban. Lessons learned from Vanguard? For them, this means monthly operations reviews with all teams, a replenishment meeting involving mid-level management, Kanban standup meetings for each team, enhanced collaboration among parallel teams, risk reviews with the project management office, and several other planning and review meetings.

They found that the monthly operations reviews and the replenishment meetings were the most effective in speeding up their flow of work. Multinational technology company Cisco has been shifting away from running Waterfall digital IT projects, switching to an Agile approach. Their employees were also happier, as they eliminated the need to for after-hours work and reduced the number of meetings and calls to attend. Lessons learned from Cisco? This means adapting your methodology to fit your objectives, teams, and processes.

We can find an example of eXtreme Programming in a development process pilot to add a new capability to the U. The project involved two developers, a development lead, a government functional manager, and a human factors engineer. The case study on this project can help us understand how all of the eXtreme Programming practices Incremental Planning, Small Releases, Simple Design, Test-first Development, etc translate into real life, as the participants recorded their observations about the extent to which each practice was actually implemented during the project.

Lessons learned from this U. Government eXtreme Programming example? The study found that most of the people involved were concerned with communication. Many of them made points about the importance of frequent, complete, and accurate communication among the XP development team. Due to the quickly evolving nature of XP projects, it was important to have emails responded to quickly and have everyone attend their required meetings in order to make appropriate decisions and keep everyone updated with accurate information about the project. Here are a few brief definitions of additional project methodologies:.

Project processes are given a low priority, while team communication, team member skills, people, and interaction are emphasized.

Project scope is variable, but the time and the cost are constant, making it possible to adjust the project scope during execution in order to get the maximum business value from the project. It extends beyond the project lifecycle to encompass pre-project planning as well as benefits realization in the environment where the project is being realized. Technique for modelling and scheduling project activities used in industries like construction, software development, and engineering. In this method, you determine the activities needed to complete a project, the time that each will take, the dependencies between them, and their deliverables or milestones.

In PERT, project activities are represented as nodes on a network diagram, with their durations listed on the lines connecting the activities. Rational Unified Process RUP is a process used in software development to reduce waste and development costs. It involves 4 phases Inception, Elaboration, Construction, Transition with specific plans that lend structure to the software creation process. Watch this overview of our upcoming digital project management course —get expert instruction for leading happy teams and delivering high-value projects in the digital world.

Selecting the most suitable project management methodology can be tricky. It depends on so many variables, many of which are outside of our control as project managers. Project management methodologies are just tools to help us deliver projects. What matters is to a commitment to doing quality work.

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Delivering Business Value l StrategyEx

Work that meets user needs and delivers great value to our clients. The best methodology is one that improves organically, adapting and increasing the value of the output so the sum is much greater than the parts. And to do this you need to be pragmatic, rather than dogmatic, about the methodology you use. How do you choose your project management methodology?


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Is there a methodology you prefer over others? If so, why? Please share in the comments below. Try Celxois, the all-in-one project management solution. Hello, thank you for the clear and easy digestable explanation. I am looking for a course in one of the methodologies but since there is so much variety it was difficult for me to make a choice. Now I think I will definitely focus on Agile or Lean. Would it be possible?

Thanks for the feedback.


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  6. Good stuff, a really clear and conversational way to explain the variations to project management. Really helped me to understand my options when planning workload in my small digital agency. Great information.

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    Since last week, I am gathering details about project management experience. Great article. Love it! Specially the visual.

    Project Management Organizational Structure - Its Definition, Types and Charts - AIMS Lecture

    This is the article to read if you are looking for clarity. As a previous comment mentioned, I would also like to see Lean 6 Sigma overlayed into this analysis. Well done! This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. The Digital Project Manager is the home of digital project management inspiration, how-to guides, tips, tricks, tools, funnies, training, and jobs.

    This was confirmed in a recent McKinsey Quarterly survey report of 2, business leaders. According to the results, few companies have achieved organization-wide agility but many have already started pursuing it in performance units.


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    For instance, nearly one-quarter of performance units are agile. The remaining performance units in companies lack dynamism, stability, or both.