Prince2, PMI, Agile/Scrum, Waterfall, DMADV, LEAN, DFSS, DMAIC, etc. The literature is filled with Project Management Methodologies that all claim to be the nirvana of project management, the one and only methodology that will ensure your project’s success, keep your customers happy, and minimize project costs. But are they? Really?
The truth is that there is no panacea and no "one size fits all" methodology. They all have weaknesses and may not be suited to your specific business context.
In this post, we describe a decision-making logic that will help you choose the right methodology for your business problem, one that is aligned with your business requirements and will give you a leg up in your quest to solve that business problem. This logic is then summarized visually in a chart available at the end of the post.
First let’s start with the business problem. How well is it understood? Has the root cause been determined? Does a known solution or fix exist for this root cause?
A- KNOWN SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM’S ROOT CAUSE
If a known solution exists for the root cause, then a traditional methodology can be used to implement the solution. But which one to choose? This depends on how stable and well defined the solution’s features (i.e. Customers’ requirements) are at this stage:
A.1- FEATURES FULLY DEFINED AND STABLE
A waterfall methodology (preferably PMI) is best suited to the problem. An example of such contexts includes construction projects, and projects with a strong architectural component that has to be fully defined and set from the start.
A.2- FEATURES NOT FULLY DEFINED OR STABLE
However if the solution features are not fully defined or are likely to change significantly during the project, An Agile/Scrum methodology works better as it is best able to handle changing and evolving requirements. An example of such projects includes product design initiatives (website design, User Interface design, etc.). Architecture is less of a concern here.
B- SOLUTION TO THE ROOT CAUSE IS NOT FULLY KNOWN
If the solution to the root cause is not fully known, then the next step is to find out if the business problem is a process or a product problem.
B.1- PROCESS PROBLEM
If it is a process problem, then we need to find out if the process already exists or if we need to create a new one.
B.1.1- PROCESS ALREADY EXISTS
The recommended methodology is the LEAN methodology. It is better able to streamline the process, eliminate waste and render it more efficient.
B.1.2- NEW PROCESS NEEDED
The recommended methodology is the DMADV methodology.
B.2- PRODUCT PROBLEM
If it is a product problem, then we need to find out if the product already exists or if we need to create a new one.
B.2.1- PRODUCT ALREADY EXISTS
The recommended methodology is the DMAIC methodology. It is better able to reduce or prevent defects, improve accuracy and product quality.
B.2.2- NEW PRODUCT NEEDED
The recommended methodology is the DFSS methodology
DECISION LOGIC; PROJECT MANAGEMENT METHODOLOGY