Project Methodologies Demystified

We now examine the relationship between methodology size, project size, and problem size. This discussion can be tricky because there is a tendency to think that more people must solve larger problems.

Project size and methodology are connected by a positive feedback loop. With relatively few people, relatively little methodology is needed. With less "weight," they work more productively. With greater productivity, they can address a larger problem with their smaller team and lighter methodology. On the other hand, when more people are assigned to a project, they need more coordination (i.e., more methodology). The heavier methodology lowers their productivity; therefore, more people are needed to accomplish the same work. Methodology grows more slowly than project size, so eventually they get to a point where they can solve the problem and manage the coordination activities (assuming sensible management).

Therefore, for a given problem, you need fewer people if you use a lighter methodology and more people if you use a heavier methodology. However, there is a limit to the size of problem that can be solved with a given number of people, and that limit is higher for a large team using a heavier methodology than for a small team using a lighter methodology (i.e., at some point, you will need both a large team and a heavier methodology). The difficulty is that there is no reliable way to determine the problem size at the start of a project and no way to know the minimum number of people needed to solve it. The number of people varies with the people in question. Finally, as the project grows in size, a different combination of methodology and project size becomes optimal.

To begin to consider what constitutes a good and effective project management or development methodology, you need to clearly understand what phases are available to use, within all the project and development methodologies that face you as a project manager. The most common phases you would likely encounter when discussing or designing a methodology are discussed in the following sections.

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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