Project Smart ~ Exploring trends and developments in project management today

Calendar icon

7 Project Management Types and When to Use Them

~ By Meredith Wood

Abstract background to the project management planning process

So many people think actually seeing a new project through is the most stressful part. What they don't realise, is one of the most stressful parts of any project is ensuring you've chosen the right project management type.

Without the right project management methodology, a project can slow to a crawl, run into numerous roadblocks, or go off the rails completely and never see the finish line. Picking the wrong project management methodology is a lot like putting the wrong fuel in a car — even if the engine starts, you're not going to get very far.

Different Project Management Methodologies

Project management methodologies all ultimately accomplish the same thing — a completed project — but with very different approaches and journeys there. While there are numerous project management types, there are seven primary ones that get used the most often.

1. Waterfall Project Management

Waterfall project management is easily one of the oldest methods, but still used by many development teams. This style involves working in waves, with each step being heavily dependent on the one before it.

While waterfall style is much slower than its counterparts, it can be useful for those looking to have a lot of structure or predictability. Unfortunately, it can result in numerous hangups, especially if bugs are detected during a later step in the process and previous steps must be revisited.

2. Agile Project Management

Agile is a faster and more versatile solution to the dated waterfall model. Agile isn't a precise project management methodology, but a mindset or ethos that is applied to other versions of project management. It involves working in smaller chunks, or sprints, that allow projects to pivot when needed.

3. Scrum Project Management

Scrum is the epitome of agile. It's fast, very small in scope, and able to turn on a dime. Scrum is all about using sprints to accomplish projects in small pieces, often based on a one-month timetable. Scrum is great for smaller teams that are looking to iterate quickly.

4. Kanban Project Management

Kanban is another variant of agile project management. Unlike Scrum, which is focused on time-based pieces, Kanban is all about organisation. To accomplish this, Kanban looks primarily at the number of tasks that go into any process and how they can be streamlined, reduced, and so on. This is an especially great model for those with a factory-like output that doesn't vary.

5. Lean Project Management

Lean management is similar to Kanban in that it's all about process, but it has an even higher emphasis on trimming the fat. Lean is all about focusing on a customer-first mindset and how processes can be stripped away to deliver the best, most affordable, timely experience for customers.

6. Six Sigma Project Management

The Six Sigma method focuses on improving the quality of a project's output. This is especially helpful if you've undergone a lean management style and found the end result less than satisfactory, as Six Sigma emphasises creating a better end result for the customer. This method can be tacked onto other management styles, and is a great way to refine.

7. PRINCE2 Project Management

The PRINCE2 method is often used by private sectors in the government, and is focused on efficiency and minimising risks and errors. This detail-focused method is all about chunking projects up into product-based steps that can be tackled one at a time, ensuring no stone is unturned anywhere in the process.

Picking the Right Project Management Methodology

With so many project management methodologies available, knowing which one to pick can be overwhelming. To give you a better idea of when to use each one and what each method brings to the table, Fundera has created this helpful animation on project management methodologies

7 Project Management Methodologies Infographic

Comments (1)

Topic: 7 Project Management Types and When to Use Them
3/5 (1)
Gravatar
Full StarFull StarFull StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
16th July 2019 4:02am
Dr. Paul D. Giammalvo (Jakarta) says...
@Meredith, by your own admission, #2, #3, #4. #5 and #6 are nothing more than variants to Agile, which itself is nothing more than the "trial and error" method used by our ancestors to tame fire or 6000 years ago to invent the wheel, and around the 12th Century, became known as the "Scientific Method" which brought hundreds of thousands of new products and services including the telephone (Bell), the lightbulb (Edison) and penicillin (Fleming).

Let me suggest to you that you take a look at this paper https://is.gd/hrRHXi and see if looking at the issue from the perspective of the organizational ASSET creation life span not only makes sense but provides you with a FORMULA to determine which Asset Delivery Method makes the most sense?

BR,
Dr. PDG, Dubai UAE

Add a comment



(never displayed)



 
2000
Enter the fifth word of this sentence.
Notify me of new comments via email.
Remember my form inputs on this computer.

Top Three Causes of Project Failure

Businessman in a black suit holding up a white sign reading failed

The top three causes of project failure, which if addressed will greatly increase the chances of project success.

Work Breakdown Structure Made Easy

Work Breakdown Structure

The Work Breakdown Structure is a deliverable-oriented, hierarchical decomposition of the work to be completed by a project team.

Break Your PMP Studies Into Small Pieces

A mature student concentrating on her studies

Taking the PMP exam is one of the biggest steps you'll take in your career as a Project Manager. With careful planning you can pass with a minimum of stress.

Project Cost Management

Pile of British one pound coins

How do we know what a project will cost? We really don't until the project is complete because we can't accurately predict the future. What we can do is create an estimate.

PROJECT SMART is the project management resource that helps managers at all levels improve their performance. We provide an important knowledge base for those involved in managing projects of all kinds. With weekly exclusive updates, we keep you in touch with the latest project management thinking.

WE ARE CONNECTED ~ Follow us on social media to get regular updates and opinion on what's happening in the world of project management.


Latest Comments

Cornelia commented on…
Nine Ways to Contribute to Project Team Success
- Thu 28 May 4:37am

Sajja Divya commented on…
Use Your Whole Brain: Leveraging Right-Brained Thinking in a Left-Brained World
- Mon 25 May 10:03am

Tyler Meinecke commented on…
Better Coaching Using the GROW Model
- Tue 19 May 10:55pm

Latest tweets

RT @pmbydesignca: @ProjectSmart Found in Dean M. Brenner’s book, “Sharing the Sandbox-Building and Leading World-Class Teams in the 21st Ce… about 12 hours ago

General Project Management • Re: What Are The Most Effective Team Management Tips For Managers? https://t.co/MAOBstMYFH about 21 hours ago

General Project Management • End User Survey on Construction Planning and Scheduling https://t.co/nTYWnHCBCo about 1 day ago