Top 7 Project Management Methodologies in 2019

What is Project Management? Why is it important? Aren’t Project Management principles and project planning methodologies intrinsic to all? Read on to know more about why Project Management is crucial for everyone, the underlying principles of Project Management and the top seven methodologies in 2019.

Contents

What is Project Management Methodology?
Why is Project Management Important?
What is Scope Creep?
Trends Shaping the Project Management Industry
Agile is Here to Stay
Emotional Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence
The Internet of Things
Digital Tools
Kanban Boards
Hybrid Project Management Methodologies

What is Project Management Methodology?

Project Management means the coming together of people temporarily to achieve specific project objectives. To successfully complete the project, you need effective teamwork. Simply put, it’s about bringing together varying pieces to achieve a common goal.

“Project Management processes fall into five groups:

  • Initiating
  • Planning
  • Executing
  • Monitoring and Controlling
  • Closing

Project management knowledge draws on ten areas:

  • Integration
  • Scope
  • Time
  • Cost
  • Quality
  • Procurement
  • Human resources
  • Communications
  • Risk management
  • Stakeholder management”

Find out more in “What is Project Management?”

Let’s take a hypothetical example. Let’s Imagine that I am tasked with the responsibility of successfully managing different digital marketing campaigns. This would involve the entire campaign journey right from planning till ‘Go live’ and continue further with optimization. If I need to manage this for a specific geography, the scale and complexity would be much different from managing this for different geographies.

So, my objectives would remain the same but the scope changes.

What are my objectives and how do I define those?

  • outputs (successful campaign launch);
  • defined outcomes (high registration rates; high click-through-rates; higher conversion rates);
  • strategic objectives (increased revenue).

 

Why is Project Management Important?

We often come across questions like, “Do we really need a Project Manager, or Wouldn’t this increase our budget?” You can’t underestimate the role of Project Managers. They are the glue that binds the Project Team and different stakeholders. A Project Manager’s responsibility is to remain on top of all the tasks, identify potential blockers and take the right recourse.

Running projects without a Project Manager might be a recipe for disaster. Let’s think of the Golden Triangle – Cost, Quality and Scope and how crucial it is for the Project Manager to keep all parameters in place. Read “10 Reasons why Project Management matters” to know more.

Download Our Project Specification Template

What is Scope Creep?

Project Managers must understand the scope extremely well and ensure that the Executive Sponsors, Project Team, and different stakeholders reach an agreement. I have seen that at times, clients give a brief, which lacks key details and they would expect the team to get started with the work.

This is an indicator that the project is at a higher risk of failing. When requirements are not defined clearly, this leads to scope creep.  Know the “Top five causes of scope creep … and what to do about them.”

If I go back to my earlier example of managing digital marketing campaigns, obvious reasons for scope creep would entail the following:

  • Improper briefing by clients
  • Random and undocumented communication between the client and the Project Team.
  • Clients changing campaign objectives midway
  • Change in the nature of deliverables by clients

 

Trends Shaping the Project Management Industry

With four more months gone in, let’s look at how cutting edge, technology driven project management methods have transformed over the years and how they are no longer only confined to the IT industry. It’s much broader now and can be applied to any industry, whatsoever.

“According to a 2017 Project Management Institute report, companies that have a well-known planned Enterprise Project Management Office (EPMO) report that 38% more projects meet their original goals and business intentions, and 33% fewer projects fail.” Read more about this in “Project Management Trends to watch out for in 2018!”

While there are types of project management methodologies in the industry, we need to be mindful of the ones, which would work best for specific types of projects. Organizations need to be intelligent enough to draw up a comparison between the latest tools and technologies would help deliver the common outcome within a fixed budget.

This is the era of digital transformation. Digital tools have proved to be extremely beneficial in the managing projects successfully. While there is no “one-size fits all” approach, a Project Manager needs to be extremely meticulous and careful in choosing the right digital tool depending on the teams and workflow.

2018 has seen some significant shifts in Project Management, starting with the Project Management Institute (PMI) releasing the sixth edition of “A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®).” Going by the latest trends, the latest edition of PMBOK® Guide touches upon how to implement Project Management techniques in an agile environment. You can read more in “What’s New in the PMBOK® Guide – Sixth Edition?”

There has been a paradigm shift in the ways organizations manage projects now. As mentioned earlier, since Project Management is no longer limited to the IT industry alone, there are role changes, changes in resource management and the entire process is more data-driven, client-centric and outcome-focused.

Let’s look at a project management methodologies list relevant in 2018:

  1. Agile is here to stay
  2. Emotional Intelligence
  3. Artificial Intelligence
  4. The Internet of Things
  5. Digital Tools
  6. Kanban Boards
  7. Hybrid Project Management Methodologies

Know more about this in “Top 12 PM Trends for 2018.”

Agile is Here to Stay

Being agile is the need of the hour. Imagine managing a geographically dispersed team. Can we think of managing such a team using the traditional project management Waterfall method? That’s the reason smart organizations are turning to agile.

Agile rises above and beyond traditional software project management methodology. You can apply agile anywhere; be it Content Marketing or Visual Design or Product Development or Construction Management.

With each passing year, projects are becoming more complex and the need for flexibility has risen multiple folds. What has changed is that Project Managers are able to close complex projects successfully with predictable results.

In the past, Project Managers relied on daily face-to-face meetings with the team. With the emergence of sophisticated collaboration tools, face-to-face meetings have given way to online meetings.

With teams becoming more distributed, Project Managers need to constantly brush up their interpersonal skills. They need to have in-depth knowledge about using the right collaboration tools and understand the nuances of communication spanning various cultures and geographies. They need deep expertise and knowledge in time management, cross-cultural hiring, resource management and coaching skills.

Read “Agile project management: A comprehensive guide” to learn more about how agile methodology can increase the efficiency of your projects.

There’s no way that we talk about Agile without mentioning the importance of a Scrum Master’s role. There is a very thin line between the Project Manager and a Scrum Master. On a broader level, the roles might look very similar, but they do differ, and each has its reason for existence.

The minute we visualize the traits of a Project Manager, we attach attributes like the planner, leader, decision-maker, motivator, risk-taker, and time-agnostic. He is responsible for the successful completion of any project.

The Scrum Master’s role varies slightly in the fact that he has assumed the role of a coach and facilitator. They are not directly responsible for managing the project team. Their key objectives include coaching the team about Scrum processes and ensuring that the team abides by all Scrum processes.

Read How We Helped a Marketing Company to Build a Back-Office Custom Ads Dashboard

Emotional Intelligence

As a Project Manager, my team is my biggest asset. It is my prime responsibility to manage the emotions of my team skillfully. We underrate it at times, but we must nurture a healthy emotional environment always on any project team.

Productivity and efficiency get affected when as Project Managers, we overlook the emotional quotient. You can achieve great results only when you back yourself with the power of emotions. Emotions are an integral part of us and we need to respect that at any cost.

So, I would say that it is crucial for all Project Managers to gauge, acknowledge, manage and use the information gained from Emotional Intelligence in the right capacity. You can use it to hone your coaching and motivational skills. You can also use it to influence your team in a positive way.

Didn’t we speak about data-driven outcome earlier? Use the data given to you by your emotions to make the right decision. If you suppress it, you are only preventing yourself from helping others to reach their maximum potential. A good Emotional Intelligence quotient boosts us up and helps us stay competitive while applying the right reasoning skills.

Do you want to learn more about “Using emotional intelligence to improve project performance?

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence (AI) – powered solutions have taken the world by storm and organizations can’t ignore the tremendous effects AI and machine learning have on streamlining business processes. If organizations want to stay ahead of the competition, they must embrace AI for enhanced productivity and efficiency.

AI-powered solutions help in controlling cost, assessing risks and tracking time. These automated tools and processes help with managing workflows, promote team collaboration and provide deep insights into your plans to accelerate efficiency.

Most Project Management tools are well equipped to collect a plethora of information while safeguarding critical historical operational data. It depends on the Project Managers how they would want to utilize this goldmine of information. When such a wealth of information is at my disposal, I would use that data to produce actionable outcomes.

Are you interested to understand how you can apply AI to your processes? Read “The Rise of AI Powered Machines in the World of Project Management.”

The Internet of Things

What is the Internet of Things (IoT) and how does it blend with Project Management methodologies? The IoT is the global network of devices communicating with each other as well as the end users via the Internet.

According to Gartner, “8.4 Billion Connected ‘Things’ Will Be in Use in 2017, Up 31 Percent From 2016.” As Project Managers, are we ready for a connected workplace? The IoT is present at every bend of the Project Management journey right from breaking silos to enhanced team collaboration to maintaining a data repository and real-time reporting.

As historical data archival happens without any manual labor and data collection happens effortlessly and continuously, Project Managers can use deep-dive diagnostics to make better and more informed decisions. This will aid in the successful monitoring and control of projects.

Don’t fall back in the game. Use IoT to minimize risks, reduce errors and complete projects ahead of time. Read “How IoT will Change Project Management?” for further insights.

Digital Tools

Day-to-day project management activities would be very time-consuming and cumbersome without digital tools. Let’s embrace the smart way of working. With projects increasing in scale and complexity and a shift in the mindset of today’s workforce, we have no choice, but be a part of the digital journey.

However, a Project Manager must have the knowledge and expertise to evaluate different digital tools before deciding on the one that is best suited for his team’s needs. He needs to understand the processes, workflows and team dynamics before zeroing in on any digital tool.

So, this is the hardest part. Once we are successful in identifying the right tool, we will be able to iron out problems and make our day-to-day activities more productive and efficient. Since a lot of tasks would be automated, the project would surely turn out to be profitable in the future.

Kanban Boards

Toyota Company was the first to use Kanban Boards to improve its manufacturing processes. But, now Kanban Boards are seeing deeper integration with PM methodologies.

Kanban Boards are excellent tools for daily stand-up meetings with the project team. It is a lean scheduling technique and aims at identifying blockers and fosters collaborative problem-solving. It is a visual board that consists of grids and uses Kanban cards for workflow management.

The Kanban Board has five grids:

  • Backlog
  • To-do
  • In progress
  • Review
  • Done

You push Kanban cards from one grid to the other as and when the task gets completed. This visualization helps to quickly identify roadblocks and sets the right tone for tasks, which are in-progress for a long time. As teams get together during daily stand-ups, there is free-flow of information and better engagement.

This works extremely well in an agile environment where projects are more dynamic in nature. Kanban Board limits work-in-progress tasks and helps Project Managers have better control of the situation.

Use Kanban Boards to visualize, control and optimize workflow and collaborate effectively with the team. Learn more about Kanban Boards and how these help in maximizing project efficiencies.

Hybrid Project Management Methodologies

Hybrid Project Management methodologies combine the best of Agile and traditional waterfall method. This is a new Project Management concept that is gaining popularity. Since the nature of projects is radically different, there are chances that teams don’t get to adjust to either the Agile way or waterfall approach.

Hybrid Project Management comes to the rescue when waterfall approach seems too restrictive and the dynamic nature of Agile projects raises doubts about costs and completion.

So, why don’t we take the best of both worlds? Project teams can plan with the Work Breakdown Structure, while implementation and delivery follow the agile way.

Keeping in mind the dynamic nature of the market, the project team can be more proactive in responding to market changes. The hybrid approach also helps in better project planning and estimation. Read “Hybrid: A new project management approach” to understand where you can use this for faster project delivery.

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