Chapter Understanding Project Methodologies


Many project management methodologies used today are either the wrong methodologies or are not applied fully. Some project managers see methodologies as impractical and bureaucratic, relying on their gut instinct when it comes to managing projects. This book will reassure you of the importance of methodologies. If project management methodologies come across as too complex to use in real world projects, project managers will look for their own shortcuts. Given enough time, anyone can be trained to adhere to a project methodology. Good project management is the key throughout this book. There is no right or wrong project methodology provided you apply it in the right situation.

Miyamoto Musashi, a seventeenth-century samurai, stated:

One can win with the long sword, and one can win with the short sword as well. For this reason, the precise size of the sword is not fixed. The way of my school is the spirit of gaining victory by any means (p. 20)

If an organization's business is project orientated, it must master project management to be successful in the marketplace. This applies to construction, engineering, finance, education, government, information technology, or any other type of industry. The key point is: How can we build and deploy quality projects or services? Just look at Disney, Nokia, J&J, Vodafone, and Virgin as prime examples of how companies have produced phenomenal products, starting with innovative ideas, designed and built against their own project/development methodologies, and then deployed globally. What is the secret to their success? These companies used project/development methodologies that allowed them the innovativeness to deliver their projects more quickly to market than their competitors. If a methodology looks orientated to information technology (IT), you can use it effectively elsewhere, in the energy, aeronautical, social, government, construction, financial, or consulting industries.

Using project methodologies is a business strategy allowing companies to maximize the project's value to the organization. The methodologies must evolve and be "tweaked" to accommodate a company's changing focus or direction. It is almost a mind-set, a way that reshapes entire organizational processes: sales and marketing, product design, planning, deployment, recruitment, finance, and operations and support. It presents a radical cultural shift for many organizations. As industries and companies change, so must their methodologies. If not, they're losing the point (Figure 1.1)._

Figure 1.1: Cartoon showing importance of using correct methodology.


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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