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The 22 Best Project Management Methodologies for 2022 

 May 28, 2022

By  Dave Litten

Choosing 22 Best Project Management Methodologies for 2022

Projects are simply a method for managing and delivering change, so selecting the project management methodology that is right for you (for a specific project of course), will ensure you deliver your project to a successful conclusion and outcome.

So how do you choose the Best Project Management Methodologies for any active business requirements?

Traditional methodologies tend to be plan-driven, that is, where requirements need to be defined upfront and a detailed plan created to deliver against. Such a method is delivered against a series of management stages and gate reviews.

Best Project Management Methodologies

As each gate review is passed, the project cannot return to the previous stage or phase. And like the fact that water cannot flow uphill, only down, this is also known as the waterfall project method.

Back in the 1990s, a different approach was envisaged and techniques such as rapid application development (RAD), and just in time (JIT), evolved into what is known today as agile and lean methods.

Methodologies can also be known as frameworks since they support the processes and tools used.

Traditional waterfall methods are more suited to projects that need a firm foundation and strict change control, they are typically used in industries such as construction. Whereas agile methods are more suited for when the project product or service is based on knowledge work, where the solution would normally be arrived at by iterative and incremental approaches.

It would be helpful to consider the way in which an artist paints a picture as being agile.
The artist would first sketch and pencil the main outline of the intended painting, start to fill in some detail, modify it as they proceeded, and gradually the finished painting would evolve.

While it can be daunting at first to understand how to apply a methodology, it will result in a far more successful project. Projects can come in all shapes and sizes and across many different industries. Some are simple, some are complex, some are business-critical, some are high or low risk, and so on.

No matter which types you are dealing with, projects which are successful have been found to use a common and consistent project management approach. For the rest of this blog, I will provide you with a clear distinction between the different types of project management methodologies and their frameworks.

Are you a practicing project manager or are you moving into the profession? No matter which, it should be an easy logical choice of the methodology to use.

It’s June 2022 – so let’s revisit the list from 2022 and refresh and re-order to build a list of the very Best of the Best Project Management Methodologies

Dave Litten – Lead Project Management Instructor
Project Management Methodologies Master Graphic

So, I have pulled together a list of different project management methodologies so you can determine which methods, tools, techniques, and approaches are best for your specific project.

Let’s make a start!

How do you choose the right management methodology?

I’m glad you asked! It is a set of principles, approaches, and practices designed to guide you and your project to a successful and optimum conclusion. It should also be chosen for the most efficient and effective performance of the project and the team.

The project management methodology chosen should also be consistent with your organization, its culture, and its goals.

Why are there so many different project management methodologies?

For a start, every project is a unique undertaking, no two are the same, often in different industries, so having a single method for all is unrealistic.

As a standard guideline, a project management framework provides an environment for the project to take place but lets you decide how the work gets done. By way of contrast, a methodology is more prescriptive and precise as it specifies why you should do it, what to do, when to do it and how to do it.

How a project management methodology helps

There are several important reasons why you would want to harness the power of a project management methodology.

It helps you to define roles and responsibilities, decision-making, and accountability. It clarifies what each member of the project team should be doing while avoiding conflicts of interest.

A project management methodology describes a set of processes for planning, monitoring, and controlling the project. It provides templates and project controls to ensure the project is delivered on time and to budget.
By following a project management methodology, you will create more robust plans and better estimates.

A typical project management lifecycle

Different names for the steps may be used, but here is a popular one used by the Project Management Institute: The Initiation process. Here, key stakeholders are identified, and the project charter is developed. The project business case is formed here including establishing the project scope (what is included within the project boundaries, and what is not).

  • The Planning process. Here, the project management plan is assembled and signed off. Project deliverables are agreed upon along with resources/costs and key milestone dates
  • The Executing Process. This is where the project products and the work to create them are performed as laid down in the project schedule
  • The Monitoring and Controlling process. The actual progress is captured and compared to the plan. It is where corrective actions are taken. Scope creep is closely watched, and a formal change control procedure is documented and used
  • The Closing process. This is where the customer accepts the final product where it is handed over to the business, and the project is shut down in a controlled manner

Choosing the most appropriate method will be driven by the type of project and its environment.

The most common choices here are Waterfall and Agile:

Best Project Management Methodologies - Project Uncertainty And Complexity Model

The Waterfall methodology model

A term referring to the graphical depiction of a development process in which the sequential phases of work are shown flowing steadily downwards like a cascading waterfall. This is also known as a plan-driven process.

This is a style of development that attempts to plan for and anticipate upfront all the features a user might want in the end product and determine how best to build those features.

The work plan is based on the execution of a sequential and linear set of work-specific phases where each step or stage in the project waits for the previous one to finish before the next can start, so progress cascades down from one stage to the next. Here is one example:

Best Project Management Methodologies - The Waterfall Model

Waterfall is a rigid approach to project management and assumes you have, or can get, all the requirements upfront and assumes changes will not cause you to deviate from the plan. For most project endeavors this is not realistic or highly optimistic and so causes budgets to be overdrawn and adds delay to project completion.

Waterfall or plan-driven processes are so named because they attempt to plan for and anticipate up front all the features a user might want in the end product and to determine how best to build those features.

The idea here is that the better the planning, the better the understanding, and therefore the better the execution.
Plan-driven processes are often called sequential processes because practitioners perform, in sequence, a complete requirements analysis followed by a complete design followed in turn by building, and then testing.

The Waterfall Method is best used when:

  • Your project end deliverable is clearly defined, and changes are highly unlikely
  • The project stakeholders have made clear the project requirements and features, and changes to those are highly unlikely
  • This approach works well when applied to problems that are well defined, predictable, unlikely to undergo any significant change, and your project delivery approach is consistent
  • It works well if your project will be delivered within a regulated industry sector demanding extensive project tracking and documentation
  • It is suitable when your project change control process is agreed upon and supported by senior management, and they, in turn, understand that extra funding or resources may be needed for such changes
  • The Waterfall methodology is good when your project is not taking place in a volatile environment and project risk is understood from the start so that mitigation responses can be put in place
  • It works when roles and responsibilities clearly understood from the outset

Waterfall projects normally require full funding from the start and business benefits are not realized until at some point after project completion.

The Agile methodology model

Agile is a specific set of values and principles as expressed in the agile manifesto. It is an umbrella term used for a group of related approaches to software and hardware development based on iterative and incremental development.

Best Project Management Methodologies - The Agile Manifesto Four Values

Key characteristics of agile project management methodologies are they are collaborative, quick, and open to data-driven change.

The frustrating limitations of waterfall methods that couldn’t adapt to a project as they progressed, caused a shift to more iterative models, allowing teams to revise their project if needed during the process instead of waiting until the project completion to review and amend.

Best Project Management Methodologies - The 12 Principles Of Agile

Iterative and Incremental Approaches

Work is completed in planned increments and each increment brings greater clarity as to what the outcome will be, and the agile approach is based on both iterative and incremental development.

Iterative development acknowledges that we will probably get things wrong before we get them right and that we will do things poorly before we do them well.

So iterative development is a planned rework strategy using multiple passes to improve what is being built so we can converge on a good solution.

Iterative development is an excellent way to improve the product as it is being developed however due to uncertainty it can be difficult at the start to plan how many improvement passes will be necessary.

Incremental development is based on building some of it before you build all of it, and in doing so avoid a Big Bang style event at the end of development. Instead, we break the product into smaller pieces so that we can build some of it, learn how each piece is to survive in the environment in which it must exist, adapt based on what we learn, and then build more of it.

Incremental development gives important information allowing us to adapt our development efforts and change how we proceed. In an Agile framework, the planning phase is shorter and combined with the project execution phase.

Sprints/Timeboxes

Within the executing stage, agile timeboxes (also called sprints), helps inform what the next sprint will deliver homing in on the project goals.

In an Agile project, sprints start in the executing stage. Each sprint informs what will be delivered next, edging the project closer to the end goal.

Best Project Management Methodologies - Simplified Scrum

The specialist team is self-empowered, with daily updates (sprint reviews) to address progress and issues, and a sprint-end retrospective to review lessons and apply those learnings to the upcoming sprints.

Agile project management methodologies involve short sprints with frequent testing, reassessment, and adaptation throughout.

In an agile project, the requirements are captured as user stories (what a requirement feels like from the perspective of a user) and prioritized into a Product Backlog. Stories that are most important to the customer are ordered at the top, with less important and less understood stories at the bottom.

The Product Owner role prioritizes the user stories and the team selects how many (from the top) they can do in the upcoming sprint.

At sprint start, the team plan determines the sprint tasks and activities to be carried out – and then work starts.
Sprints are fixed duration (up to four weeks) with constant team size, so by sprint end, the only variable is scope in terms of whole products created.

If any sprint products did not have time to complete a product it is placed back on the Product Backlog to be prioritized by the Product Owner.

Agile projects value self-organizing teams with no formal project manager this means the work is distributed by team consensus rather than by an authority. When problems arise the team works to resolve them internally because of the high degree of communication, visibility, and transparency.

Agile projects welcome change and are embraced by the team. Such changes almost always lead to improvement in the product.

Customer involvement is a key part of any agile methodology meaning that the customer participates in project meetings and has complete visibility into the team’s progress.

Work is delivered to the customer and users in small frequent releases keeping the team focus sharp with immediate priority giving functionality into the hands of the customer quickly allowing it to be used, tested, and providing a rapid feedback loop.

Agile works well in projects where there is a need for complex decision making and your stakeholders or client needs are frequent and collaborative.

Learning occurs throughout the project so processes and approaches can be continuously improved. Benefits are realized throughout project delivery rather than waiting until project closure, and agile is best when all key stakeholders are collocated

If neither Agile nor Waterfall seem like the perfect fit for your project, there’s another solution:

The Hybrid methodology

This approach combines the best of both Agile and Waterfall project management methodologies, but it can be challenging causing teams to work in ways they are comfortable with.

Best Project Management Methodologies - Blending Agile With Predictive Approaches

Senior management and stakeholders may need help gathering the metrics they need, possibly causing longer decision times, duplicating of data, and unclear responsibilities.
However, if such challenges are known, the hybrid approach may be worth these extra challenges.

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The top project management frameworks

The PRINCE2 methodology

PRINCE2 (PRojects IN Controlled Environments) is a project management methodology and certification that aims to equip project managers with knowledge of best practices and processes, clear steps, and well-defined responsibilities.

It doesn’t require several prerequisites, making it a good choice for project managers looking to get both a methodological grounding and a qualification.

PRINCE2 is a methodology. It’s guided by seven principles, which in turn dictate the seven processes (the chronological flow of the project) a project manager needs to use in each project when using PRINCE2.

Best Project Management Methodologies - The Structure Of Prince2
Best Project Management Methodologies - The Prince2 Process Timeline

PRINCE2 also has seven Themes which are the logical thread of key elements such as risk management used within each process.

The PRINCE2 Method is intended to be tailored to each project and it can be applied in any industry or project approach. For example, PRINCE2 can be tailored for both waterfall and agile project frameworks.

PRINCE2 places heavy emphasis on planning, business justification, cost analysis, and risk mitigation, and is an incredibly thorough framework for running large and predictable enterprise projects as well as being tailored for small, simple, and low-risk projects.

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Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) methodology

Created by the Project Management Institute (PMI), PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge), breaks down project management into five phases: conception and initiation, planning, execution, performance, monitoring, and closing.

PMI’s Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is one of the leading project management qualifications. This is not a methodology, but rather a set of best practices for managing projects.

Best Project Management Methodologies - Pmbok Process/Knowledge Summary

PMBOK is an industry-standard set of guiding principles used to ensure you meet the PMI’s high standards and comply with best practices for your projects across multiple types of teams and organizations. Although traditionally used for waterfall-type projects it now includes agile concepts and is probably the most sought-after project management accreditation in the world.

PMBOK consists of 10 knowledge areas and five process groups. there are several processes within each process group numbering 49 processes in total. The process groups are mostly sequential and can be used to represent the project as a whole, or could be used once for each stage or phase of a project.

Best Project Management Methodologies - Pmbok Process Products

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Scrum Methodology

Scrum is the Agile project management framework of choice of most product development teams today and is a form of agile project management. Scrum has its own techniques and tools such as “sprints,” “scrums,” “backlogs,” and “burn up/burn down charts.”

Scrum does not focus on projects but instead focuses on time: what can you achieve as a team in the next two weeks or a month?

Scrum uses story points to both estimate and manages the work within each sprint.

Best Project Management Methodologies - Story Points And Burndown Charts

Scrum is a framework for organizing and managing work and is based on a set of values, principles, and practices.

The development team self-organizes to determine the best way to accomplish the goal set out by the product owner.
The product owner is the single authority responsible for deciding which features and functionality to build and the order in which to build them. They are responsible for the overall success of the solution being developed or maintained.

Best Project Management Methodologies - Sprints And Iterations

Small teams (no more than nine people) divide work into two-week milestones known as “sprints” or “iterations.” They meet for daily 15-minute “stand-ups” led by a Scrum Master to discuss where things stand.

The Scrum Master acts as a facilitator whose job is to clear away obstacles and help the team work more efficiently.

This Agile approach is great for creative projects (the creation of “knowledge work”), where you can modify goals midway without derailing the entire project.

Small teams are led by a Scrum Master (who is not the same as the project manager) for the duration of the sprint, after which they review their performance in a “sprint retrospective” and make any necessary changes before starting the next sprint.

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The Lean Method

  • Lean focuses on achieving more by working with less and was created by the Toyota Production System (TPS) who defined three broad types of waste: muda, mura, muri:
  • Muda (wastefulness) consumes resources without adding value for the customer.
  • Mura (unevenness) occurs when you have overproduction in one area leaving you with too much inventory (wasteful!) or inefficient processes (also wasteful!).
  • Muri (overburden) occurs when there is too much strain on resources such as equipment and people, which can often lead to breakdowns — in both machines and humans.
Best Project Management Methodologies - The Origins And Goals Of Lean - 1
Best Project Management Methodologies - The Origins And Goals Of Lean - 2

Using the key principles of Lean, a project manager can reduce these types of waste to create more efficient workflows.

Best Project Management Methodologies - The Five Principles Of Lean

Lean will help when you want a set of principles that will help you cut the fat and optimize your flow while striving to improve and add value for the customer and decrease costs
You apply lean principles to your project management methods to maximize value, minimize waste, and work as efficiently as possible. It encourages you to strip away all the padding of your day-to-day, so you’re only left with the essentials that deliver real value.

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The Kanban Method

This is an agile approach overlaid on an existing process that advocates visualizing how work flows through a system, limiting the work in process, and measuring and optimizing the flow of work.

Best Project Management Methodologies - The Kanban Method

The term Kanban has evolved using a framework in which tasks are visually represented as they progress through columns on a Kanban board.

Work is pulled from the predefined product backlog on a continuous basis as the team has the capacity and moved through the columns on the board, with each column representing a stage of the process.

Best Project Management Methodologies - The Kanban Board

The Kanban board visually manages processes with several different columns that represent stages in your workflow. The stages could be as simple as “To-do,” “Working on it,” and “Done” or far more complex, as tailored to your process.

Work is visualized by cards or sticky notes, moving them from left to right as they progress through your workflow—this way you can easily evaluate points of inefficiency by noting where the sticky notes are building up by helping you to see where bottlenecks are at risk of forming

Kanban can be applied to basically any workflow that follows a predictable process – including software. Kanban is simple and flexible for when you need to focus on the present-day – however, you may need to focus on what is important rather than urgent!

Kanban provides everyone an immediate visual overview of where each piece of work stands at any given time.

Work in progress limits restricts the number of tasks in play at any given time, meaning that you can only have a certain number of tasks in each column (or on the board overall). This will prevent the team from spreading their energy and effort across too many tasks, and so help them work more productively by focusing on each task individually.

Kanban and the Kanban board work great if you are looking for a visual representation of your project’s progress and want at-a-glance status updates. By encouraging the use of WIP limits so your team can stay focused, where work is bought in on a continuous “pull” basis.

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Scrumban methodology

Scrumban is a hybrid agile project management methodology that has the nose of scrum and the eyes of Kanban.

Best Project Management Methodologies - The Scrumban Method

The benefits of Scrumban are that instead of deciding which task from the Product Backlog to work on in each sprint (as you do in a “traditional” scrum framework). Scrumban allows teams to continuously “pull” from the product backlog based on their capacity (as in a Kanban framework).

By using work in progress limits from kanban during your sprint cycle from Scrum, you can keep a continuous flow while retaining project planning, reviews, and retrospectives as required.

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eXtreme Programming (XP) methodology

The eXtreme Programming (XP) methodology is another form of agile project management that was designed for software development.

Best Project Management Methodologies - Extreme Programming (Xp)

It emphasizes teamwork and collaboration across managers, customers, and developers, with teams self-organizing.
It has a defined set of rules that teams should follow, which are based on its five values: simplicity, communication (face to face is preferred), feedback, respect, and courage.

Best Project Management Methodologies - Extreme Programming Flow

eXtreme programming works best if you need to foster teamwork and collaboration and have a small co-located team.

Best Project Management Methodologies - Extreme Programming Practices

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The Crystal methodology

Crystal is a family of methodologies. Crystal methodologies are designed to scale and provide a selection of methodology rigor based on project size (number of people involved in the project) and the criticality of the project

Best Project Management Methodologies - The Crystal Family Of Methods

Crystal is a family of methodologies and is an agile framework focusing on individuals and their interactions, as opposed to processes and tools. It is a direct outgrowth of one of the core values articulated in the Agile Manifesto

The Crystal Method - Values And Properties

Crystal methodologies are designed to scale and provide a selection of methodology rigor based on project size (number of people involved in the project) and the criticality of the project

The Crystal agile framework is built on two core beliefs:

  • Teams can find ways on their own to improve and optimize their workflows
  • Every project is unique and always changing, which is why that project’s team is best suited to determine how it will tackle the work

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Feature Driven Development (FDD)

Feature-Driven Development (FDD) was developed to meet the specific needs of a large software development project, where features relate to a small business value capability and is an agile framework that organizes software development around making progress on features, wherein the FDD context is like user stories in Scrum.

Best Project Management Methodologies - The Feature Driven Development Method (Fdd)

A feature is a small, client-valued function expressed in the form of action – result – object.

Examples are:
“Complete the login process”
“Calculate the total of a sale”
“Authorize the sales transaction of a customer”
“Validate the password of a user”

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Adaptive project framework (APF) methodology

Adaptive Project Framework (APF) is a type of agile project management framework that adapts to the changing situations and requirements of your client

Businesses often avoid change because traditional project management methods rely on adapting goals and outcomes to the process, rather than adapting the process to the goals.

Today’s fast-paced businesses have moving targets, goals, and outcomes and so must be flexible, so rather than react, you should be responsive to change.

It prepares teams to anticipate the unexpected and respond with a core principle of “learning by doing.” This requires regular communication with stakeholders at every level for the team to effectively adapt.

Best Project Management Methodologies - The Adaptive Project Framework (Apf) Methodology

The problem with this is project plans have little room to adapt when the needs or solutions evolve.

APF allows you to create new plans and find better solutions whenever a change occurs and adapts should unanticipated factors crop up during a project, and is helpful when your ultimate goals are known when you do not need predictability, the scope may creep, and you have sufficient resources to adapt as needed.

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Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM)

The Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM) is an agile project delivery framework developed in 1994 and first used for software development as an improvement on Rapid Application Development (RAD), which prioritized rapid prototyping and iteration based on user feedback. Today, DSDM Agile Project Framework has evolved into a more general project management tool.

Best Project Management Methodologies - The Seven Phases Of Dsdm Agile

The DSDM Foundation Phase of the project is where the definition of work and finished work is agreed upon, but because this is early on, it can lead to assumptions being made in planning. The DSDM eight agile principles are the guiding force behind every project:

  • Focus on the business need
  • Deliver on time
  • Collaborate
  • Never compromise quality
  • Build incrementally from firm foundations
  • Develop iteratively
  • Communicate continuously and clearly
  • Demonstrate control

What makes DSDM stand out amongst other system development methods are several techniques and practices:

  • Timeboxing
  • MoSCoW
  • Modelling and Iterative Development
  • Prototyping
  • Workshops

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The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe)

SAFe is a way to take the agile principles and scale them beyond a single project team. Used by larger businesses, it applies agility across your entire business enterprise.

Project management in an organization using SAFe happens at three levels. At the individual team level, it’s basically Scrum business as usual.

SAFe has ten principles:

  • Take an economic view
  • Apply systems thinking
  • Assume variability: preserve options
  • Build incrementally with fast, integrated learning cycles
  • Base milestones on an objective evaluation of working systems
  • Visualize and limit WIP (work in progress), reduce batch sizes, and manage queue lengths
  • Apply cadence, synchronize with cross-domain planning
  • Unlock the intrinsic motivation or knowledge workers
  • Decentralize decision-making
  • Organize around value

Small teams have specific goals and areas of responsibility, so they release iterations after each Sprint led by the Scrum Master. The only significant change is that these small teams now roll up into programs. The program level is where SAFe’s benefits are realized as each team’s output must stitch together with everyone else’s into something complementary, cohesive, and consistent.

The Scaled Agile Framework (Safe)

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Disciplined Agile (DA)

Disciplined Agile is a tool kit that brings together hundreds of Agile practices – guiding your team or organization to the best way of working. The DA tool kit provides guidance in helping organizations streamline their processes thus laying the ground for business agility.

Since business agility comes from freedom, not frameworks, Disciplined Agile shows you your options and guides you to your best next step.

Best Project Management Methodologies - The Disciplined Agile Toolkit

DA is a people-first agile framework and is a hybrid of various disciplined agile delivery methodologies like XP, Scrum, Kanban, and so on …

DA guides persons, teams, and organizations to optimize their processes, leading to business enhancement by collaborating and drawing together various activities like software development, IT Operations, Finance, Procurement, Portfolio Management, and Enterprise, helping to make better decisions Architecture can collaborate and work together.

The Disciplined Agile Method

DA provides a wide range of customized, context-sensitive ideas and helps make better decisions.

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Large Scale Scrum (LeSS)

LeSS is like a one-team Scrum, only extended.

Using LeSS there is one Product Backlog, one Product Owner, one Definition of Done, one common sprint, and one PSP (Potentially Shippable Product) increment at the end of the sprint.

All the cross-functional teams work on implementing the same product to deliver a common, shippable product each sprint. When scaling up occurs there is a risk to add more of everything which increases overhead and costs, so the LeSS goals for scaled agile projects do the opposite.

Best Project Management Methodologies The Large Scale Scrum (Less) Method

LeSS does not just stand for Large Scale Scrum, it also stands for “less”, so the goal is to solve things as simply as possible with “less roles, less management, less organizational structures”.

Technical Debt

Not many organizations know of this business approach.

Although it is a ‘method’ it is not a structure of management in the pure sense – yet a framework for technical debt management should be set up in your organization … and a change management project is a perfect way of doing this.

Rescuing Profit and Customer Satisfaction from The Silent Company Killer

Best Project Management Methodologies Technical Debt Projects

Technical Debt Rot is damaging your company’s business agility and competitiveness – RIGHT NOW!

Technical Debt has become more evident in the last decade as the pace and horizon of change continue to expand. Today’s developers focus on delivering products and services quickly to solve a market need. Developers who over-architect only delay the launch and waste money.

To do well, you need to stay on top of new technologies as well as a full understanding of your internal systems, your teams, as well as strategic initiatives, and business goals. Technical debt will paralyze products and decimate maintenance and support – making changes or upgrades a nightmare ordeal …

So, while shortcuts and assumptions help developers iterate quickly, they also cause products, hardware, systems, or software to accrue technical debt. Left unaddressed, this debt bogs down systems, and crashes software, causing months of delay in product and service releases or upgrades.

Technical Debt Method

This was first described as a technical debt concept, where the given example was:

“ Shipping first-time code is like going into debt. A little debt speeds development so long as it is paid back promptly with a rewrite … the danger occurs when the debt is not repaid. Every minute spent on not quite right code counts as interest on that debt. Entire engineering organizations can be brought to a standstill under the debt load of an unconsolidated implementation”

So creating software fast to get early feedback is a good thing. The team and organization need to be vigilant about repayment of the debt as their understanding of the business domain improves, and the design and implementation of the system need to evolve to better embrace that understanding.

But don’t run away with the idea that technical debt can only occur in software – it occurs in ANY product or service your organization supplies or creates.

There are three types of technical debt, the first being naive technical debt. This can often be due to business immaturity, process deficiencies, poor engineering design, and lack of testing. Put simply, this type of technical debt often occurs due to accidental or irresponsible activities within your organization.

The second type is unavoidable technical debt. This is unpredictable and unpreventable – often due to products and services needing to evolve over time – yet such actions were never taken.

The third type is strategic technical debt. Here, managing such debt is the need for organizations to quantify and leverage the economics of important, often time-sensitive, decisions.

Two such examples are taking a strategic decision to take development shortcuts to achieve short-term goals such as getting a product or service to market swiftly. Another might be getting a technical debt-ridden product to market to slash development costs.

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Technical Debt Masterclass

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Technical Debt Masterclass

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A Practical Guide to sound business decisions by implementing best practice technical debt management.

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  • This course is Project Management Technical Debt.

Lean Six Sigma

Six Sigma is a highly disciplined management approach to attain near perfection. Sigma (Ꝺ) is used to represent ‘Standard Deviation’. Sigma (standard deviation) was defined by Gauss, and popularised by Motorola who coined the term Six Sigma Standard Deviation is a measure of variation that exists in any process.

Five Key Principles of Lean

Involve people in the process to use their creative potential, equip them to be able, and feel able, to challenge and improve their processes and the way those processes work
Enable the value to flow
Identify and understand the value stream for each process and the waste within it
Continuously pursue perfection
(continuous improvement)
Let the customer pull the value through the process, according to their needs
Understand the customer and their perception of value

Lean Six Sigma Princples

Six Sigma is a method for improving processes with an emphasis on ensuring consistency in output and impeccable quality.

There are several variants, such as Lean Six Sigma and Agile Sigma, but ultimately Six Sigma is a business methodology that aims to eliminate defects and reduce variation by using its defined methodologies.

Six Sigma methods can be used to optimize and improve existing processes or create new ones.

To improve business processes, use the Six Sigma DMAIC process, which stands for the phases in the project methodology: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control.

To create new processes or products, you can use the Six Sigma DMADV process: Define, Measure, Analyze, Design, Verify.

As a set of principles and techniques Six Sigma methods can be blended with many other project management methodologies, like Lean and Agile.

Best Project Management Methodologies Lean Six Sigma Masters Series
Best Project Management Methodologies Lean And Six Sigma Summary
Best Project Management Methodologies Combining Lean And Six Sigma
Combining Lean And Six Sigma

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Critical chain project management

You might see this as a technique, but you would be wrong since it is a new approach to project management planning and control.

Critical chain project management (or CCPM) takes the critical path method (CPM) and includes the recognition of resource limitations.

You probably know the critical path method calculates which activities are time-critical and which are not. Since the addition of such critical activities determines the earliest finish date of the project – you focus on them.

But putting that concept into practice is often unrealistic, leading to uncontrolled slippage and cost overruns.

The Critical Chain Method

Critical chain project management resolves such issues by using aggressive resource and work estimating yet building in “buffers” at key schedule points plus at the end of the project. In this way, delays and unexpected resourcing issues are neatly side-stepped and keep your project on track.

Advantages Of Critical Chain

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Master the Critical Chain

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… in just 4 hours

The Critical Chain Management Method is a relatively recent method and news started spreading about this project management ‘new kid on the block’ a handful of years back when Eliyahu Goldratt published his novel about it. The novel was an interesting read, but focused how the technique evolved rather than HOW to apply it.

  • What is the Critical Chain?
  • How do I use it with project management methodologies such as PMP and PRINCE2?
  • Can it be applied to Agile projects?
  • How do I apply it to planning tools such as Microsoft Project ?

New product introduction (NPI)

New product introduction is a project management methodology for when you want to introduce a new product.
The introduction of new products that consumers want requires correct and thorough information, time, and resources from your organization, so it is important to follow an organized and well-planned process.

In today’s competitive marketplace successful organizations realize the importance of developing the right product, at the right time and at the right cost.

The New Product Introduction (NPI) method is designed to bring the right resources together at the right time. It is also known as new product development (NPD), covers all you need to define, develop and launch a new (or improved) product:

Best Project Management Methodologies New Product Introduction Benefits

A New Product Introduction process consists of various phases or gates, and these keep management apprised of the project progress and assures all activities are completed on time:

  • Define
  • Feasibility
  • Develop
  • Validate
  • Implement
  • Evaluate
New Product Introduction Phases

Each NPI phase feeds into the next. The NPI process is not a straight line, but rather, an endless circle or loop.

For each phase of an NPI project, there are inputs and outputs, including various requirements, tools, documentation, and processes within each phase.

The requirements for a successful new product introduction require a lot of cross-functional collaboration and communication.

A typical NPI project will include:

  • Defining the product specification and the scope of the project
  • Evaluating the product feasibility and developing a prototype
  • Validating the prototype via testing and analysis
  • Manufacture the product on a larger scale
  • Evaluate the product’s business benefits/success in the market after launch

There is a manufacturing focussed version of NPI, so I will briefly explain that too:

New Product Introduction Method

The New Product Introduction Method (Npi)

New Product Introduction Method is the step-by-step process to create an idea and carry it through to commercialization. It is called the new product introduction process, rather than the new product development process because NPI looks at the product from the viewpoint of manufacturing.

Although cross-functional processes differ depending on these factors, a new product idea is put through six steps. At the end of each step, the Senior Management team makes an up-or-down decision in a formal review (often called a “gate”). A typical NPI approach has six steps with five gates:

  • Step 1: Ideation (Initial Idea)
  • Step 2: Product Definition/Discovery/Scoping
  • Step 3: Prototyping/Feasibility
  • Step 4: Detailed Design
  • Step 5: Pre-Production (Validation/Testing)
  • Step 6: Manufacturing

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Package Enabled Reengineering (PER)

Package enabled Reengineering (PER) is a project management technique used by the business to redesign new products, services, or processes.
The focus of PER is on swift business transitions efficiently and strategically, whether by redesigning systems or reorienting people. It provides a fresh look at your products, services, or processes.
Innovation-driven organizations committed to growth follow this approach – it is easier and more productive for the organization to adapt and respond to evolving market conditions and customer needs thereby increasing their sales and return on investment.

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Outcome Mapping Method

Outcome mapping (OM) is a project management methodology for planning, monitoring, and evaluating development initiatives to bring sustainable social change. It does not focus on measurable deliverables, instead, it measures the influence on creating lasting behavioral change within a community.

OM is a common project management methodology often used in charitable projects in developing countries.

The Outcome Mapping Method

During the planning stage, outcome mapping helps a project team be specific about the stakeholders it intends to target, the changes it hopes to see, and the strategies appropriate to achieve these.

During ongoing monitoring, OM gathers information on the results of the change process, and these are measured in terms of the changes in behavior, actions, or relationships that can be influenced by the team.

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Rapid application development (RAD) methodology

Rapid Application Development (RAD) is a development model that prioritizes rapid prototyping and quick feedback over long-drawn-out development and testing cycles.

With rapid application development, developers can make multiple iterations and updates to software quickly without starting from scratch each time. This helps ensure that the outcome is more quality-focused and is in alignment with the end-users requirements.

One of the major advantages of rapid application development is that you can change the design, add functionality, and keep reiterating as frequently as possible without having to start from scratch each time.

Best Project Management Methodologies Rapid Application Development Method

A major challenge with the waterfall model is that once the product moves into the testing phase, the tester cannot go back to reiterate and make changes to the core functions and features.

This essentially leaves teams with software that may or may not fit the end-users evolving requirements.
Rapid application development (RAD) is an agile project management methodology used for faster software development.

RAD uses rapid prototype releases and iterations to gather feedback in a short period of time, and values user feedback over strict planning and requirements recording, and is great for when you want to give customers a reasonable/not perfect working model much sooner, speed is of the essence, and making/choosing multiple working prototypes.

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The Lean Startup Method (LSM)

The Lean Startup Method provides a scientific approach to creating and managing start-ups and get the desired product to customers’ hands faster. The Lean Startup Methodology shows how constant innovation creates radically successful businesses.

The method teaches you how to drive a Startup-how to steer, when to turn, and when to persevere and grow a business with maximum acceleration

Entrepreneurship is management

A Startup is an institution, not just a product, so it requires management, a new kind of management specifically geared to its context. A core component of Lean Startup methodology is the build-measure-learn feedback loop.

The first step is figuring out the problem that needs to be solved and then developing a minimum viable product (MVP) to begin the process of learning as quickly as possible.

Once the MVP is established, a Startup can work on tuning the engine. This will involve measurement and learning and must include actionable metrics that can demonstrate cause and effect questions.

The Lean Startup Method

Lean Startup is a new approach to business that’s being adopted across the globe – it’s a movement that is transforming not just the way companies are built, but also how new products are launched. LSM describes how to learn what your customers really want by testing your vision continuously, then adapting and adjusting.

The five principles of The Lean Startup Method are:

  1. Entrepreneurs are everywhere. The concept of entrepreneurship includes anyone who works within a start-up: a human institution designed to create new products and services under conditions of extreme uncertainty. The Lean Startup Method can work in any size company, even a very large enterprise, in any sector or industry
  1. Entrepreneurship is management. A start-up is an institution, not just the product, and so it requires a new kind of management specifically geared to its context of extreme uncertainty.
  2. Validated learning. Start-ups exist not just to make stuff, make money, or even serve customers. They exist to learn how to build a sustainable business. This learning can be validated scientifically by running frequent experiments that allow entrepreneurs to test each element of their vision.
  3. Build-measure-learn. The fundamental activity of a Startup is to turn ideas into products, measure how customers respond, and then learn whether to pivot or persevere. All successful startup processes should be geared to accelerate that feedback loop.
  4. Innovation accounting. To improve entrepreneurial outcomes and hold innovators accountable, we need to focus on the boring stuff how to measure progress, how to set up milestones, and how to prioritise work. This requires a new kind of accounting designed for start ups – and the people who hold them accountable

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Dave Litten


David spent 25 years as a senior project manager for USA multinationals, and has deep experience in project management. He now develops a wide range of Project Management Masterclasses, under the Projex Academy brand name. In addition, David runs project management training seminars across the world, and is a prolific writer on the many topics of project management.

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