Personal project methodology-part 2

In the first part of the article we talked about a system for selecting a proper project management methodology. In the second part we will look at the benefits of this particular system.

The table below is an illustration of disciplines and grades. You tick the intersection of rows and columns which show how your project used one or another area of expertise (check marks in the table below are arranged at random, it is not an existing project):


What this method offers?

  1. First - a clear overall picture of the project and a useful tool during the audit of your (or someone else's) project.
  2. Secondly - as soon as you see the overall picture, you understand where you have areas that you do not pay enough attention to, or vice versa – areas where you spend a lot of effort and resources, more than it might be necessary and sensible (reasonable).
  3. Thirdly - for those managers who have more than one project it is a useful tool to see the status of each of them on a single page in a very user-friendly way.

As usual the devil is in the details. How do you correctly place each of your projects on the "areas of knowledge vs. grading" matrix so that you manage them as successfully as possible? How do you determine the optimal configuration that best suits a certain project? And this is where the fun begins. You can start by reading Alistair Kouberna’s "Methodology per project". It begins by presenting some of the criteria or attributes of a project. In the first stage we have certain criteria or attributes of our project. Then there is the BFM stage. And the last part is where we get and access areas of knowledge that are valuable and measurable. But deciphering this is a subject for another article.


By having a Current State (according to the results of the audit of your test project) and a Target State (the optimal weight of each field of knowledge), you can build a roadmap from the current state of the project to the recommended stage based on your project’s configuration. It is clear that once the current project configuration changes, for example, the team grows by 10 to 50 people, you will need to revisit the scheme with BFM and define a new Target State.

Why should you do all of this? What benefit will you receive from this approach?

  1. You get a unified process (which is easier to sell to the customer and easier to manage).
  2. Management practices are clearly described and they are also easier to understand by new managers, reducing the amount of time it takes to familiarize themselves with the project.
  3. Initiation of new projects is quicker and easier.
  4. The process of transferring projects is easier and all the pitfalls are identified early on.
  5. When there are any changes in the project (from your team or from the contractor or any other sources) – it will be less difficult to recalculate the optimal management strategy.
  6. Reduced management risks.
  7. Increases the likelihood of project success.
  8. Significantly increases trust and transparency between you and the customer.

Findings

It’s not always to your best advantage to only use some methodologies simply because those are the only ones you know. Often it turns out that you need a mix of methodologies to make sure that you maximize the resources you have at your disposal. This mix also helps in counterbalancing any limitations and working out the risks and other factors that might affect a project. All in all this mix is more likely to lead you, as a project manager, to successfully carrying out your project, on time and within budget.

Personal Project Methodology - part 1

Alex Egoshin
Project Management and communication specialist


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