By Alexis de Roquemaurel, Managing Partner at ABONEO

What is the good Project Management methodology?

What is a project?

A project is a temporary period with a defined beginning and end, undertaken to meet unique objectives, typically to bring added value or beneficial change. The temporary nature stands in contrast with operations, which are repetitive, or permanent functional activities to produce products or services. A project is usually time-cost-scope constrained.

Why doing projects ?

In a fast-changing world, projects are key to implement innovation but also corporate initiatives. Project management expertise is an absolute must to successfully deliver these projects to reach innovation, higher performance and differentiation from the competition.

To optimize project chance of success, companies tries to industrialize project management and methodologies. But in the same time and by definition, each project is unique, each company is culturally unique, each team and project manager are unique…

This apparent contradiction between “Industrialization” and “uniqueness” of projects, makes very difficult to find the good project manager and methodology, able to adapt themselves to the company change while successfully delivering project.

What is Project Management?

Project management is the discipline of planning, organizing, securing, and managing resources to achieve project. In other words, Project Management is the set of methods, processes and systems supporting project and program delivery.

2 main project approaches exist:

  • The waterfall approach is sequential and require very clear gates and signatures before moving from one phase to the next, from Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Closing.
  • The agile approach is iterative and allows to move forward and deliver value rapidly. check-out the Agile Manifesto values, from http://agilemanifesto.org/ :

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
Working software over comprehensive documentation
Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
Responding to change over following a plan

With no possible doubt, the best project methodology, at least for business transformation projects, is … to go agile inside a waterfall backbone.

Concretely, this means to manage iterations inside each phase of the company project gates. This is a common-sense statement based on many concrete project experiences, but requires strong Project Manager to sell, support and deliver this approach.

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