Why traditional Project Management methodologies are not “bad” at all?

This may sound weird coming from someone who really believes in Agile and will predominantly recommend this framework over other methodologies, but we need always to put things into context in order to be successful.

If we really have at heart the business wellbeing of the company we are working with, we need to be objective and think about all the possibilities and opportunities the Project Management world can offer.

While studying for my Project Management certification, I came across different Project Management methods that can be adapted to different needs and circumstances.

One lesson that I learned, is that we can’t talk in “absolutes” in today’s world, where things are constantly changing and more complex|chaotic environments are emerging, but we need to keep our options open and choose the methodology that suits best our needs.

Each Project Management Methodology has strengths and weaknesses. They can also be combined together to extract the quintessence from each to make them work in real-world scenarios.

Let’s start by listing out the main Project Management methods to see how they differ, and what project type best fits them.

They can be divided into four main categories:

  • Traditional
  • Agile
  • Process-based
  • Change Management
Traditional Project Management Methodologies
Agile Project Management Methodologies
Process-based Project Management methodologies
Change Management methodologies

As we can see from the tables above, each methodology has its own perks!

  • If requirements are known upfront and there is a fixed scope|timeline|budget, then Waterfall is the one you should go for.
  • Frequently changing requirements andcustomers who want to regularly check the progressAgile (Scrum|Kanban|XP) is the answer.
  • Big projects with interrelated tasks and resources? Maybe you should look at Event Chain or Critical Path Methodologies.
  • If you need to streamline or update an outdated process with a focus on eliminating waste, all the process-based methodologies are a good source of insights, and they can be combined to match the perfect formula.
  • Focus on Continuous Delivery? Kanban might solve all your problems.
  • Lots of uncertainty and risk of unforeseen circumstancesExtreme Project Management gives you the elasticity to deal with these unknowns.

As in real life, one size doesn’t fit all! If our main objective is the success of a project, we need to be able to see the “good “and “bad” in each methodology.

But most of all, we need to experiment! Each organization is different and some processes/methods might work only in really specific circumstances.

Let’s be creative and craft our own project management methodology, and even if we fail, we can always learn from past mistakes and course-correct.

The important thing is to stay “agile”, even though the methodology chosen is not!

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