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How to Choose a Project Management Methodology

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Project Management methodologies are a dime a dozen. There are thousands of adherent organizations for each major school of thought about project management. And of course the fact that many of these organizations find success through their project management framework is why these frameworks stay around.

For those with experience in one (or less) project management framework, it can be hard to know where to start. Terminology is confusing; there are hundreds of books, courses, and videos on each management method. While many incognito branded pieces of content tout a “best” project management methodology, one should note that there is never only one choice of management that will work. Rather, many organizations employ a range of management techniques and tactics. And different teams will always need a slightly tailored approach to their success. With that in mind, one should begin by looking at the pros and cons of different management styles. Asking questions such as “which project management methodology

Addresses our goals,” “which project management methodology do members of our organization have experience with,” “do our organization values line up with those of this project management methodology,” and “is this methodology successfully employed by other organizations in our space?” Luckily, many organizations will report out to stakeholders about their project management methodology and lessons learned. These documents as well as white papers from consulting agencies can be a great resource for ascertaining whether or not a methodology may help your team.

With this basic overview of questions and the process for choosing a project management methodology in mind, the next step is obtain a basic overview of some of the schools of thought. This below graphic from offers a great overview of the basic schools of thought.

Finally one should beef up on some more of the specifics of a few schools of thought, comparing them in more detail. While there are many books covering these topics, a shorter (quality) primer may be found here.