3 Top Project Management Methodologies You Should Know - WorkDo.io

3 Top Project Management Methodologies You Should Know

The job of a project manager has become more important than ever due to high expectations and tight deadlines. The PMI (Project Management Institute) has estimated that 22 million new project management roles will spring up by 2027. This rise is predicted due to the increased need for quality process facilitation within businesses

A project manager’s role is complex too, and they have to handle various tasks apart from achieving project completion. Their simplest job is understanding the project scope and adhering to a set of ideas/objectives. For more complex tasks, project managers use several project management methodologies.

The PMI states that a methodology is a system of strategies, procedures, best practices, and rules that help set the foundation of any project and drive it toward completion. Several methods and techniques can be used for project guidance. These are also picked based on work scope and industry niche. T

What Are Some Popular Project Management Methodologies?

A few popular and common project management methodologies include:

  • Extreme Programming (XP)
  • Scrum
  • Critical Path Method (CMP)
  • Six Sigma Method
  • Critical Chain Project Management
  • Lean

What Are the Three Top Project Management Methodologies?

There is an array of methodologies that project managers can make use of. However, three main types/buckets are often used and have proven quite effective.

Let us look at each of these in detail below:

1. The Waterfall Project Management Methodology

The Waterfall project management methodology is a traditional approach where resources, scope, schedule, and task management are set before execution. This means that the project manager already defines a list of expectations and then guides their team through the entire process and towards project completion.

This methodology hopes to meet all expectations in an organized and timed manner. It is, therefore, often used in the construction industry. Specifications are set beforehand, and everything is clearly defined, including a budget, time, and resources right at the beginning. Everyone in the project will also know the final goal and what it should look like.

The Waterfall methodology eliminates the need for constant reevaluation, and the scope of work needs to be flexible.

  • Teams already have resources, time, budget, and constraints defined before execution.
  • Project managers can exercise a controlled and linear approach through this methodology.
  • Clearly defined team roles, singular timelines, and fixed expectations/requests are also commendable features of this methodology.
  • Communication with clients/customers is limited. They are only contacted once at the start of the project and once when the product is ready/at the end of a predetermined contract.

2. The Scrum Project Management Methodology

The PMI defines the Scrum methodology as an empirical technique that causes teams to react efficiently, effectively, and promptly. Scrum focuses on outcome delivery by enhancing development, speed, teamwork, and communication.

Increased focus on team collaboration and valuable and constant feedback help everyone stay involved throughout the project cycle. The Scrum approach is used when projects require short phases/sprints. Teams work for 2 to 3 weeks to attain one goal before getting back together to discuss the next phase and task scope.

Shippable project portions are delivered at regular or predetermined intervals throughout the process. The project manager shares one final result before the entire task completion. Instead, the achievements of each phase are communicated to the client.

The Scrum methodology is perfect for projects that do not have a very clear scope. Short phases and continuous adaptability help achieve the final goal and are often used in the IT and software niche.

  • Scrum project flexibility is the major reason the software industry relies greatly on this methodology.
  • Full-scope determination at the start of a software project is only sometimes feasible. Unpredictability makes Scrum a great strategy.
  • Changes in code and additional features may be challenging to identify at the beginning of a software project.
  • The Agile methodology works perfectly within the Scrum framework by preparing smaller phase outcomes to be delivered.

How Are Agile Methodology Principles Used Inside The Scrum Framework?

  • Agile project management aids in maximum flexibility. Teams that use Agile principles adapt easily, have better internal and external communication, and complete projects in smaller rounds/phases.
  • Most people believe that Agile is similar to Scrum. Others believe that Agile is a methodology project managers use to run several other methodologies.
  • Crystal, DSDM Atern, Feature Driven Development, Extreme Programming or XP, etc., are believed to work perfectly with Agile methodologies.
  • Scrum and Agile have such similar practices that it often confuses most people.
  • The Six Sigma And Lean Project Management Methodologies

The Six Sigma and Lean methodologies are often combined as the 3rd bucket. Both of these focus on waste reduction and high quality. Lean focuses greatly on reducing waste in all business phases. This concept is based on the ideology that cost and lead time reduction lead to higher output quality.

On the other hand, Six Sigma is based on eliminating waste and developing solid concepts regarding customer expectations for the outcome. Other important aspects that Six Sigma focuses on are a company’s financial standing and cost reduction to enable project completion with improved strategies.

Surprisingly, Six Sigma and Lean have been derived from product development environments. Lean was derived from Toyota/TPS (Toyota Production System), while Motorola first used six Sigma. Other famous organizations that adopted Six Sigma include Toshiba, General Electric, Boeing, etc.

How To Select The Correct Project Management Methodology?

Even though the 3 types discussed above are the most popular ones, project managers use several other types for different assignments. The correct methodology must be picked based on project and organization needs.

Project managers use 4 main factors to deduce which methodology will work best. These include:

  • Niche.
  • Working environment.
  • Goals/objectives.
  • Project complexity.

Understanding the working of each methodology and how the 4 factors above fit the toolbelt helps define what choice a project manager must make. Switching methodologies is common, and doing so based on work scope is also ideal.

However, project managers that often work with a particular type are more likely to lean towards it. Therefore, they may use a different approach without noticing what methodology can bring more benefits. This can cause harm to the outcome. A versatile project management approach is the best choice for success.


A great project manager and management tool like TASKLY will always use the correct methodologies for the desired niche and project type.

The right methodology, stakeholder management, corporate culture understanding, organization goals, soft skills, and proper communication can do wonders. Project managers who practice these can deliver quality outputs without breaking deadlines and lead a company toward success.

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