Understanding Methodology Trends

Some of the most common questions that arise on the topic of project methodologies are:

Do we honestly say that we understand the working of a basic project management methodology?

Do we understand why the various project management methodologies differ?

Why does the life cycle vary between project types?

What does this tell us about the generic practice of project management?

If technology managers repeatedly tell us they need more time to plan the implementation and that they should have used fewer tools, hired more outside consultants, and allowed more time for training users and retraining staff, what does it tell us about our project? It tells us that the project planning was inadequate and that, most likely, the project methodology was not followed correctly.

Instead of following a standard methodology for conducting projects, many companies have been relying on technical wizardry to get projects done. In fact, communication is often so bad that it outweighs their tool-centric approach to managing the project. This leads to project management burnout. Project management is not about deadlines; it is about tracking, controlling, and improving the process of change. Lack of time may be the excuse, but why isn't the initiative planned more carefully? Perhaps it is that organizations compelled to reengineer their business processes don't have the luxury of time due to the amount of projects being undertaken by organizations as well as the speed-to-market factor. Are competitive pressures so intense that project management succumbs in the triage of crisis management?

The methodology process itself is sometimes part of the problem because when you start fiddling with the building blocks of your business, projects take on a life of their own. Therefore, an assessment of the business components must be brought into a more realistic relationship with the methodology that is going to be used. The relationship among these variables is often not linear, and this needs to be noted.

Perhaps we all have unrealistic expectations of the power of technology and the human dynamics of change. No matter how rapidly business requirements shift and technologies improve, some steps in project management cannot be combined. To keep a project methodology in sync with reality, learn from those who have gone before you. Brian Hurley, founder of Musk industries succinctly defined the situation: "Deliver your projects as you would a newborn. Conceive decisively. Gestate, prepare and then again. Don't bash your ship on the siren of complacency. Procrastination will lure you past your due date, and no late-stage boom in the headcount of gestating mothers will hasten the outcome" (p. 15).

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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