There is no “one-size-fits-all” project management methodology. Success relies upon the expertise of the project manager to engage the right tools, techniques and people. So how can you bring together all the strategic ideas, knowledge, skills, tools and techniques that enable a project manager to understand what it may take to deliver a successful project?
“Project management is the process by which projects are defined, planned, monitored, controlled and delivered such that the agreed benefits are realised.” APM BOK
The (admittedly) simplistic (but nonetheless correct) diagram clearly demonstrates the limitations of what we currently think of as project management methods.
According to the various venerable organisations Project Management ensures that we must:
Understand need the project will address
Determine success criteria and benefits
Define what has to be accomplished
Plan how to deliver required accomplishments
Monitor and control to ensure progress is in line with objectives
Manage resources effectively
Yet think through (for a moment) which single methodology does all this? None!
The PMI® Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge has volumes that cover a framework of processes, their inputs and outputs
PRINCE2TM seeks to provide (only) a means of controlling a project environment
ISO 10006 provides guidelines to quality aspects of project management
Project management as a discipline recognises that there is a set of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques that enable organisations to successfully deliver projects that include:
Organisation, scope, cost, schedule, quality, communications, risk and opportunity, procurement, integration
Yet over two thirds of projects with a significant IT element fail to deliver to time, cost and quality, let alone realise organisational benefits. The introduction of professional qualifications such as PRINCE, MSP, APM and PMP has standardised “what” project managers should do, but not “how, when or why”. Similarly training courses are rarely trained by people who have ever done, or still do, the job!
Organisations need to be able to address these and many other issues head-on and provide a coherent means by which:
The true ‘need’ of a project can be addressed
Appropriate criteria for success are identified so that benefits can be tracked and delivered
A single definition of what has to be achieved is agreed
A coherent and realistic plan is in place
Control is established to proactively manage the project (not react to mistakes)