In the January 2010 issue of PM Network published by the Project Management Institute (PMI), there was an article written by Jesse Fewell, PMP that stated that project methodology didn’t matter. His basic premise was that sometimes project managers get caught up discussing methodology instead of getting the project done. I understand his perspective as I’ve seen project managers waste valuable time trying to define something as simple as a “phase” of the project. Or, perhaps it was a subproject? Of perhaps it wasn’t either but separate projects. I’ve also seen them debate the project schedule. Should it be a waterfall or should it be iterative? Should it be Agile, or for software development a form of Rapid Application Development (RAD).
While I think there is sometimes too much discussion about a method, I think people are missing the point. There is no ONE method to manage all projects. However, having said that, that doesn’t mean that Any method will work for ANY project. Methodology does matter, and it should be discussed.
What gets lost though, is what is best for an organization? And, believe it or not, getting things done quickly isn’t always the deciding factor. Every organization has different tolerances for change. Every organization has different levels of formality and approvals. You must pick the method that is the best fit.
So while the question “which methodology is best?” is a waste of time, the question, “which methodology will work the best for a specific organization” is one that you can’t afford not to have.
All the best!
All the time!
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