Project Management Methodologies A Definition

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Achieving project management excellence, or maturity, is more likely with a repetitive process that can be used on each and every project. This repetitive process is referred to as the project management methodology.

If possible, companies should maintain and support a single methodology for project management. Good methodologies integrate other processes into the project management methodology, as shown in Figure 2-24. Companies such as Nortel, Ericsson, and Johnson Controls Automotive have all five of these processes integrated into their project management methodology.

During the 1990s, the following processes were integrated into a single methodology:

• Project Management: The basic principles of planning, scheduling, and controlling work

• Total Quality Management: The process of ensuring that the end result will meet the quality expectations of the customer

• Concurrent Engineering: The process of performing work in parallel rather than series in order to compress the schedule without incurring serious risks

• Scope Change Control: The process of controlling the configuration of the end result such that value added is provided to the customer

• Risk Management: The process of identifying, quantifying, and responding to the risks of the project without any material impact on the project's objectives

In the coming years, companies can be expected to integrate more of their business processes in the project management methodology. This is shown in Figure 2-25.

Project Management

Concurrent Engineering

Change Management

FIGURE 2-24. Integrated processes for the twenty-first century.

Total Quality Management

Risk Management

FIGURE 2-24. Integrated processes for the twenty-first century.

FIGURE 2-25. Integrated processes (past, present, and future).

Managing off of a single methodology lowers cost, reduces resource requirements for support, minimizes paperwork, and eliminates duplicated efforts.

The characteristics of a good methodology based upon integrated processes include:

• A recommended level of detail

• Use of templates

• Standardized planning, scheduling, and cost control techniques

• Standardized reporting format for both in-house and customer use

• Flexibility for application to all projects

• Flexibility for rapid improvements

• Easy for the customer to understand and follow

• Readily accepted and used throughout the entire company

• Use of standardized life-cycle phases (which can overlap) and end of phase reviews (Section 2.13)

• Based upon guidelines rather than policies and procedures (Section 2.9)

• Based upon a good work ethic

Methodologies do not manage projects; people do. It is the corporate culture that executes the methodology. Senior management must create a corporate culture that supports project management and demonstrates faith in the methodology. If this is done successfully, then the following benefits can be expected:

• Faster "time to market" through better control of the project's scope

• Lower overall project risk

• Better decision-making process

• Greater customer satisfaction, which leads to increased business

• More time available for value-added efforts, rather than internal politics and internal competition

One company found that its customers liked its methodology so much and that the projects were so successful, that the relationship between the contractor and the customer improved to the point where the customers began treating the contractor as a partner rather than as a supplier.

It has often been said that the most difficult projects to manage are those that involve the management of change. Figure 2-26 shows the four basic inputs needed to develop a project management methodology. Each has a "human" side that may require that people change.

Successful development and implementation of a project management methodology requires:

• Identification of the most common reasons for change in project management

• Identification of the ways to overcome the resistance to change

• Application of the principles of change management to ensure that the desired project management environment will be created and sustained

For simplicity's sake, resistance can be classified as professional resistance and personal resistance to change. Professional resistance occurs when each functional unit as a

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Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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