Not only can implementing a new project management methodology vastly improve an organization’s efficiency, but it can also increase their capabilities. The trick, of course, is choosing the methodology which is most likely to fit the organization’s culture and business needs.
If you’d like to get up to speed on common enterprise project management methodologies, “Which Project Management Methodology is Right for You?” provides a useful overview. Once you’re familiar with the methodologies that your company might want to choose from, the following steps can guide you through the process of selecting the right approach.
Get Input from Project Stakeholders
From senior management to external vendors, everyone who works on projects within your organization will be affected by the project management methodology the company selects. The individuals involved in choosing a new methodology should begin by interviewing these stakeholders to find out which methodologies they are currently using, and what they feel are the benefits and drawbacks of the current model. Project managers will likely be the most valuable source of information in this regard, as they are most likely to have insight into how project methods are affecting entire teams, rather than simply how the methods affect themselves as individuals.
Evaluate Your Customer Needs
Few organizations are able to choose an enterprise project management methodology without accounting for the needs and working styles of their customers. Software developers, for example, often prefer to use an agile methodology, in order to accommodate their customer’s frequent requests for changes or enhancements while their software is still being written. Companies in the construction or manufacturing fields, on the other hand, frequently use a waterfall-based approach to project management, because their customers often need to finalize every aspect of the design before work begins.
Consider Staffing and Resource Patterns
Some organizations prefer to build project teams by allocating employees to each project on a full-time basis from beginning to end, in order to maximize consistency throughout the project. Other organizations find themselves adding, removing or shifting employees and contractors frequently in order to manage fluctuations in resource demand. Understanding your company’s strategy for resource allocation can help you determine the best method for project management.
Does One Size Fit All?
In many cases, however, there is no single “best method” for project management, especially within larger organizations. While consistency and repeatability are highly important in project and process management, many companies find that their project teams work best when they are allowed to choose the methodology that is most appropriate for their projects. The key to ensuring consistent quality in this type of environment is to use a strategic project and portfolio management solution like Clarizen, which supports multiple methodologies and allows teams to translate project information from one methodology to another. The ability to manage a project simultaneously in more than one methodology can also allow an organization to work more smoothly with outside companies, which may or may not have a standard methodology of their own.