Project Management Methodologies
Gary D. Rice
In Business, project management is used regularly to accomplish unique outcomes with limited resources under critical time constraints. There has been a rapid increase in the number of firms that use project management methodologies as the preferred way of accomplishing almost every business undertaking. There are a number of approaches to managing project activities and in project management these approaches are referred to as methodologies. This paper attempts to explore the many different methodologies in project management and allow the reader to determine the best approach for their organization.
Project Management Methodologies
What is a methodology? A methodology is a set of guidelines of principles that can be tailored and applied to a specific situation. In a project environment, these guidelines might be a list of things to do. A methodology could also be a specific approach, templates, forms, and even checklists used over the project life cycle.
Agile Software Development
Agile software development is a conceptual framework for undertaking software engineering projects. There are a number of agile software development methodologies such as Crystal Methods, Dynamic Systems Development Model (DSDM), Extreme Programming (XP), Rapid Product Development, Lean Development, and Scrum. It should be noted the Agile PM is not one set method, but a family of methods designed to respond to the challenges of unpredictable projects. While each of these methods has unique elements and applications, most are based on the following Agile principles: • Focus on customer value – Employ business-driven prioritizations of requirements and features. • Iterative and incremental delivery – Create a flow of value to customers by “chunking” project delivery into small, functioning increments. • Experimentation and adaptation – Test assumptions early and build working prototypes to solicit customer feedback and refine product requirements. • Self-organization – Team members decide amongst themselves who and what should be done. • Continuous improvement – Teams reflect, learn, and adapt to change; work informs the plan (Alexandrou, 2010).
Most agile methods attempt to minimize risk by developing software in short time boxes, called iterations, which typically last one to four weeks. Each iteration is like a miniature software project of its own, and includes all the tasks necessary to release the mini-increment of new functionality: planning, requirements analysis, design, coding, testing, and documentation. While an iteration may not add enough functionality to warrant releasing the product, an agile software project intends to be capable of releasing new software at the end of every iteration. At the end of each iteration, the team reevaluates project priorities. Agile methods emphasize real-time communication, preferably face-to-face, over written documents. Most agile teams are located in a bullpen and include all the people necessary to finish the software. At a minimum, this includes programmers and the people who define the product such as product managers, business analysts, or actual customers. The bullpen may also include testers, interface designers, technical writers, and management. Agile methods also emphasize working software as the primary measure of progress. Combined with the preference for face-to-face communication, agile methods produce very little written documentation relative to other methods (Larson, & Gray, 2010). Crystal Methods Methodology
Alistair Cockburn developed the Crystal Methods approach. His focus is on the people, interaction, community, skills, talents, and communications with the belief that these are what have the first-order effect on performance. Process, he says, is important, but secondary....