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How to select a project management methodology?

I am always perplexed when selecting a project management methodology. Some (senior) project managers recommend using Agile/Scrum/XP for software projects and waterfall for construction/engineering projects. But this formula doesn't always seem to work.

Sometimes I use Agile for software projects and the project still fails. Any recommendation on how can I select the right PM methodology? Is the selection based on the project type, the project size, AND the type of the organization?
asked 8 years ago by anonymous

1 Answer

I believe the advice in http://projectmanagementquestions.com/1083/how-to-choose-a-methodology-for-a-project goes a long way to defining a starting point, however there is a little more to it.

First, if the project team does not buy into the methodology, its not going to work -- the team won't want to follow it.

Second, be sure you really understand the methodology.  I'd like to see you definition of "Agile".  Many software teams I've encountered like to say the are "Agile" because its the latest buzz word.  But when you inspect what they are actually doing, they are failing because they really do not understand how to run an Agile project.

Finally, there is a lot more to methodology than just selecting an approach.  At Siebel Systems where I worked on the continuing development of the eRoadmap and ePlan methodologies, we studied all aspects of the work going into a Siebel implementation.  We produced tools, documentation, templates, training, and other artifacts to support each step of the implementation.  The methodology was very complete and relatively new project managers would find it possible to successfully manage projects if they employed the methodology.  You may want to take this whole systems look at what you are doing.

Drop me a line if you would like to discuss further.
answered 8 years ago by sdcapmp (45,840 points)

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