Project Management Methodologies. Which One Should I Use? (Part II)

Hello everybody!

We bring back the subject that we started last week and we continue talking about the project management methodologies. If a few days ago, we wrote about their origin and characteristics of predictive methodologies, now it is the turn of the agile methodologies that were born to address weaknesses identified in the predictive techniques.


Agile Project Management

The agile methodologies are recommended, for example, for software development projects. The key points of agile methodologies are:

  • People are more valuable than processes or technologies. Processes have to adapt to the activities that are to be performed to reach a goal, whereas technology has to be considered the foundation of the tools that are necessary to perform those activities. Both elements are important, but without the participation of people with the necessary competences and attitudes it is impossible to eventually achieve any goal. Thus, agile methodologies are particularly suited for teams with members with senior profiles, with knowledge and experience.
  • Exhaustively documenting the project has to be avoided. Although documentation can have a number of benefits, like having a way to transfer knowledge among members of the team or serve as a historical register for the project, at the end it doesn’t add value to the final result. It is for this reason that agile methodologies focus on direct communication among members of the team and the use of prototypes during project development.
  • Interaction with the client is focused on communication rather than on the terms of the contract. The prototypes serve as the main way of getting feedback from the client.
  • It is more important to adapt to customer response than following a plan. Since agile methodologies assume a dynamic and always changing environment, it is important that all the members of the team are able to work around unforeseen events and change plans according to circumstances. Thus, it is more valuable that the team can react to events than to adapt to pre-fixed plans. In sum, the key elements are anticipation and adaptation.

One example of agile methodology is Scrum.

Summing up

As we have seen over these two posts, project management methodologies are used to avoid common problems that usually appear during the development of most projects.

Project management can be either predictive or agile, and the choice between one and the other depends on the priorities within the project. In the following table there is a summary of the main differences between both:

Predictive Agile
Priority Carry out a plan Final result value
Context Changeless environment Dynamic, changing
Use of prototypes Low High
Required experience Junior Senior
Development focus Processes People

As you know now more about project management, it’s time you give us your opinion. What kind of methodology do you use? What have been the advantages of working based on any methodology?

We are looking forward to your comments!


Up With Your Projects!

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