What is a Methodology

In my quest to define methodology, I started by asking colleagues and associates some questions with the intent of "stirring the pot." I received at least 20 different definitions of what a methodology is and used only those definitions that seemed helpful. The questions I posed were: What is a methodology? Should there be many methodologies? Is one better than another? How would you know which phases to adopt? How can we apply these results to a project? The answers to those questions resulted in the following definition of a methodology:

A methodology is a set of guidelines or principles that can be tailored and applied to a specific situation. In a project environment, these guidelines might be a list of things to do. A methodology could also be a specific approach, templates, forms, and even checklists used over the project life cycle.

A methodology can also be defined in other ways; for example:

A process that documents a series of steps and procedures to bring about the successful completion of a project.

A defined process for accomplishing an end.

A series of steps through which the project progresses.

A collection of methods, procedures, and standards that define a synthesis of engineering and management approaches designed to deliver a product, service, or solution.

An integrated assembly of tasks, techniques, tools, roles and responsibilities, and milestones used for delivering the project.

A formal project methodology should lead the work of all team members throughout the life cycle of a project. All members of a team should be familiar with and use the chosen methodology throughout their projects. Many project management methodologies address the management of a single project, without appreciating that many other projects in a company compete for the very same resources and attention. The project management methodology should also provide project managers with the perspective that there is a project management framework and associated methodologies present in the company. It may be useful to think about what a project management methodology is not:

A quick fix.

A silver bullet.

A temporary solution.

A cookbook approach for project success.

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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