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Topics: Innovation, PMI Standards, Schedule Management
If there was such a thing as a *BEST* Project Management methodology, what criteria would we use to decide that?
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The question, I'd like to ask is what do professional project managers view as the "Best" Project Management methodology. However, I suspect I'd receive a lot of "it depends" answers. Therefore, this topic backs up a bit. If we wanted to compare and contrast and judge different PM methodologies, what criteria would we use to do just that? I've some thoughts, but . . . you first!
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Not at all, not "it depends". FIRST PART:, project managerment method (methodology is widly used but incorrect) does not exists. The pyramid is: 1-the base: approach (Agile, Lean, PMI, mix of them). 2-one step above, life cycle model (predictive or adaptive). 3-one step above: process (based on life cyle model - iterative, predictive, sequential, waterfall, V, etc) 4-one step above, a method based on life cycle process: SDLC, V, XP, etc. etc. 4-one step above: tool based on the method. For exapmle, if after making an analysis the organization decide it is ready to use Agile approach, it is ready to use adaptive model, it is ready to use XP, and it is readky to use any tool then go for that. SECOND PART: how to know if the organization is ready? Business analyst role is accountable for that. Here comes, just in case it could help you, an article based on practical way to do that which was published by the PMI and the IIBA as best practice: https://www.projectmanagement.com/blog-pos...-right-solution
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1 reply by Rich Gargas
Jan 05, 2019 10:33 AM
Rich Gargas
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There is a LOT to unpack in your answer Sergio. But the top question in my mind is that many of the techniques you mention are applicable to IT projects (Software Development in particular. If we adopt criteria that a "best" approach should be able to apply to any type of project, these approaches are "specialized" for the subset of software development.

Or do you see it differently?
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Rich -

It might help to first define what is meant by a methodology (or rather, if we use the correct term, a method). Then, we would want to determine the criteria to identify "best".

While I have no suggestions on a "best" method, I'd suggest that it is the one which fits the full range of projects managed within its scope with minimal effort spent on tailoring and maximum guidance provided to support practitioners.

Kiron
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1 reply by Rich Gargas
Jan 03, 2019 8:33 AM
Rich Gargas
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Yes, Kiron, to evaluate a “best of” we must also define the alternate methods — our list of “candidates to evaluate against the criteria.” So let’s add that to this topic.

What are the PM methods we can compare to judge “best” and what is the criteria we should use to make that judgement?

When I think of different PM methods, I think of some of the following:

Agile (Iterative project management)
Stage Gate
Earned Value
Gantt
PERT / Critical Path (these might be separate, but I think they’re together)
Critical Chain
Prince2
Spreadsheet lists
Agile (Iterative projects
Collaboration Approaches (Using collaborative software such as Monday, MSTeams, Slack, and many others that advertise as project management software)

How do you see this list?
Network:496



"Minimal effort spent on tailoring" from Kiron is a good point.

Start from defining a success criteria. What does the company that you are working for define as a "Successful Project?"

is it a Project that produces a Quality Product or outcome over time ? a project that produces a product or outcome with a reduced time to market? a project that produces a product or outcome with incremental value?

Next , Look at what the company is already using in terms of Project management. Are there established templates and documentation ? (Organization process assets) .
Are there any policies or organizational structures in place ? (Enterprise Environment Factors).

Look at how you can use what already exists and then use your knowledge and experience to work with / or subtly modify what you can.

PMBOK gives you guidance on what facets of a project you need to concentrate on e.g Human Resource Management , Procurement Management , Quality Management , Risk Management , Stakeholder Management, Communication management, Integration Management , Cost Management.

within this body of knowledge, you have enough flexibility to cater to the specific needs of the company or the project.

You can also assess the levels of controls or stage gates needed. If the organization requires more control over the Business Case , maybe a combination of PRINCE2 stage gates with PMBOK might me more suitable.

Does your company prefer a more structured project organization with Senior User, Senior Supplier , Executive, Team Manager, Project Assurance or does it already have such roles in place or is it more generic with a PM reporting to a Steering committee ?

Does the company develop software OR prefer a more iterative and "agile" approach to provide incremental value and reduced time to market?

The short answer is that you can use a combination of approaches and here again, I cannot say which is the "Best".
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1 reply by Rich Gargas
Jan 03, 2019 8:48 AM
Rich Gargas
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A thoughtful reply, Deepesh. I like some of the criteria suggestions. You conclude with “cannot say which is Best” which I think is the prevailing theory — that’s the theory that I’m challenging.

For critieria, I think you suggest:
Minimal effort on tailoring (from Kiron) — Is that the same as “project agnostic” meaning the method can be used on any type of project in any industry?
Quality outcomes over time — This sounds more like a process reliability definition. There must be something about project quality, but what is it that we can measure and compare?
Reduced time to market — Definitely. Reduced time to complete the project, all other things equal, right?
Provides incremental value — I differ with this. Once can create incremental value by scoping smaller projects, which I don’t view as a “method.”
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I would say none are the best, only best for a particular purpose. Good suggestions from both Kiron and Deepesh, but I would follow a simpler standard: your profile mentions that you "bring a practical sense of best practices to project execution which can result in 30% shorter project timelines". What methodology/framework did you follow that resulted in these successful project timelines? That might be the answer, for you.
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1 reply by Rich Gargas
Jan 03, 2019 9:02 AM
Rich Gargas
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Ah, Sante you begin to reveal some motives. My theory is that writhin PMBOK (or even beyond) there is indeed a true “Best Practice.” I theorize this Best Practice is a subset of current standards. I have studied this first hand over two decades. During this time one method has stood out. In this topic, I am looking for insight into how to evaluate something that I suspect might be *BEST* in a more objective manner. If shorter project timelines is one of the critieria, I think I am on to something super powerful.

That viewpoint is subjective, of course. I’m “limited” by my own experiences. Here I seek the experience of many others to validate or change my own viewpoint — to continually improve.

Maybe that’s another critieria — a method should lead towards continual improvement of future projects in a given project environment.
Network:50



Jan 02, 2019 5:27 PM
Replying to Kiron Bondale
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Rich -

It might help to first define what is meant by a methodology (or rather, if we use the correct term, a method). Then, we would want to determine the criteria to identify "best".

While I have no suggestions on a "best" method, I'd suggest that it is the one which fits the full range of projects managed within its scope with minimal effort spent on tailoring and maximum guidance provided to support practitioners.

Kiron
Yes, Kiron, to evaluate a “best of” we must also define the alternate methods — our list of “candidates to evaluate against the criteria.” So let’s add that to this topic.

What are the PM methods we can compare to judge “best” and what is the criteria we should use to make that judgement?

When I think of different PM methods, I think of some of the following:

Agile (Iterative project management)
Stage Gate
Earned Value
Gantt
PERT / Critical Path (these might be separate, but I think they’re together)
Critical Chain
Prince2
Spreadsheet lists
Agile (Iterative projects
Collaboration Approaches (Using collaborative software such as Monday, MSTeams, Slack, and many others that advertise as project management software)

How do you see this list?
Network:50



Jan 02, 2019 5:55 PM
Replying to Deepesh Rammoorthy, PMP®AgilePM®
...
"Minimal effort spent on tailoring" from Kiron is a good point.

Start from defining a success criteria. What does the company that you are working for define as a "Successful Project?"

is it a Project that produces a Quality Product or outcome over time ? a project that produces a product or outcome with a reduced time to market? a project that produces a product or outcome with incremental value?

Next , Look at what the company is already using in terms of Project management. Are there established templates and documentation ? (Organization process assets) .
Are there any policies or organizational structures in place ? (Enterprise Environment Factors).

Look at how you can use what already exists and then use your knowledge and experience to work with / or subtly modify what you can.

PMBOK gives you guidance on what facets of a project you need to concentrate on e.g Human Resource Management , Procurement Management , Quality Management , Risk Management , Stakeholder Management, Communication management, Integration Management , Cost Management.

within this body of knowledge, you have enough flexibility to cater to the specific needs of the company or the project.

You can also assess the levels of controls or stage gates needed. If the organization requires more control over the Business Case , maybe a combination of PRINCE2 stage gates with PMBOK might me more suitable.

Does your company prefer a more structured project organization with Senior User, Senior Supplier , Executive, Team Manager, Project Assurance or does it already have such roles in place or is it more generic with a PM reporting to a Steering committee ?

Does the company develop software OR prefer a more iterative and "agile" approach to provide incremental value and reduced time to market?

The short answer is that you can use a combination of approaches and here again, I cannot say which is the "Best".
A thoughtful reply, Deepesh. I like some of the criteria suggestions. You conclude with “cannot say which is Best” which I think is the prevailing theory — that’s the theory that I’m challenging.

For critieria, I think you suggest:
Minimal effort on tailoring (from Kiron) — Is that the same as “project agnostic” meaning the method can be used on any type of project in any industry?
Quality outcomes over time — This sounds more like a process reliability definition. There must be something about project quality, but what is it that we can measure and compare?
Reduced time to market — Definitely. Reduced time to complete the project, all other things equal, right?
Provides incremental value — I differ with this. Once can create incremental value by scoping smaller projects, which I don’t view as a “method.”
Network:50



Jan 02, 2019 8:12 PM
Replying to Sante Vergini
...
I would say none are the best, only best for a particular purpose. Good suggestions from both Kiron and Deepesh, but I would follow a simpler standard: your profile mentions that you "bring a practical sense of best practices to project execution which can result in 30% shorter project timelines". What methodology/framework did you follow that resulted in these successful project timelines? That might be the answer, for you.
Ah, Sante you begin to reveal some motives. My theory is that writhin PMBOK (or even beyond) there is indeed a true “Best Practice.” I theorize this Best Practice is a subset of current standards. I have studied this first hand over two decades. During this time one method has stood out. In this topic, I am looking for insight into how to evaluate something that I suspect might be *BEST* in a more objective manner. If shorter project timelines is one of the critieria, I think I am on to something super powerful.

That viewpoint is subjective, of course. I’m “limited” by my own experiences. Here I seek the experience of many others to validate or change my own viewpoint — to continually improve.

Maybe that’s another critieria — a method should lead towards continual improvement of future projects in a given project environment.
Network:2483



Excellent discussions!
Network:138



If I were to define "best" from an engineering perspective, I would personally consider the PM methods considered as systems since there are inputs transformed into outputs via defined processes within a broader environment. Then I would develop a weighting model of the project management systems of interest, allowing objective comparison of different method architectures.

To do this I would pick about 5 key performance attributes that are measurable or at least rateable in some sense such as from "very bad" to "very good". That rating requires distinct criteria for each performance measure. KPAs and criteria I might pick are:

Execution cost - administrative burden over time
Visibility - Communication channels supported
Adaptability - number of customer use cases supported
Time Optimization - Tough one to measure as it's hard to measure success in advance so something like preferred optimization techniques supported might work
Cost Optimization - Similar to time optimization as far as measurement.

Comparing all those together at the system level tends to turn into numerical soup since the ratings of each are different (what is the conversion factor between time saved and approaches supported?) , but that's where techniques like fuzzy logic can identify which one scores highest on the 5 criteria in total.

That's just a systems architecture approach from engineering geek though.
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You should choose the approach that best suits your needs
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