Project Framework versus Development Methodology

There is a distinct difference between a project framework and a project methodology. The framework has always meant the various segments of the project and the development methodology are the means of getting from segment to segment. The following metaphor helps solve this subtle difference: If the project framework is seen as the "skeleton" of a building, the "floors" are seen as the different development methodologies allowing you to get through the building. Some get you there more quickly than others would.

Projects vary widely, depending on the size of the company, the size of the solution, the number of project staff assigned to the project, whether the testing is conducted in-house or in test labs, and so on. The question then arises as to what exactly project methodologies should offer us? Table 1.4 lists some of the most beneficial offerings of a good project methodology.

Table 1.4: Benefits offered by a project methodology

Benefits We Achieve

Allows Us To

Better process

Define processes and introduce improvements.

Flexibility

Adapt from project to project.

Integrated metrics support

Gather metrics during the project.

Quality focus

Ensure that all areas of quality are addressed.

Managing complexity

Manage complex situations.

Proper project documentation

Complete critical documentation per approach.

Standard approach

Provide all projects with a common approach.

Consistency

Deliver projects using a similar approach.

Containment of all project phases

Reassess the project per phase.

Project planning

Better plan projects.

Ability to get the job done

Guide the team to completion by the various phases.

Elimination of crises management

Reduce or eliminate any crisis.

Ease of use

Easily use and implement.

Knowledge

Review and improve future projects.

In other words, after identifying and selecting the correct methodology, it may be the best defense if you want to:

Avoid mistakes.

Reduce cost.

Reduce risk.

Meet project schedules.

Identify and correct errors early.

Avoid excessive documentation.

Many project managers are faced with developing products within a specific time with limited resources. Adopting an incorrect methodology or having no project framework in place can very easily cause you to have schedule and cost slippages, as well as miscommunication within the team. Some methodologies consume many hours, and you must follow project templates and processes, making the daily execution of the project difficult. Selecting the correct methodology allows you to develop a saleable "fit to sell" product within the correct time frame, forcing you to focus on the most appropriate documentation and processes, without wasting time on administrative tasks that have no purpose. You do not have to use the most detailed processes. But how do you know which methodology is right for you? It's like trying on a pair of shoes you have to select the right size, color, make, and style. We examine this question in detail in Chapter 3.

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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