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Project management: Which method is the right one?
19. July 2019

Project management - taking the right path.

 

How nice would it be if there was a real project management method? Always the same process, prefabricated evaluation tools, etc...

 

Each project has a specific goal. For example, the development of software within a certain period of time.

But every project has its own opportunities and challenges. In addition, the size of the project, the goals set, the size of the company, the size of the project and many other factors play a role.

 

Whether waterfall method, milestone, milestone trend analysis, agile project management, Six Sigma, Kanban, Scrum or Lean project management, is usually determined by the specifications of the respective project, so here is a small list of when which method is advantageous. Here a very shortened analysis:

 

The waterfall method

A classic. The name says it all: step by step, like a waterfall, the individual elements of the project are worked through. The steps include:

  • Requirements
  • draft
  • implementation
  • Execution, monitoring, checking Control system maintenance

In a waterfall model, each phase has predefined start and end points with clearly defined results. In most cases, the model also describes individual activities that have to be performed to produce the results. At certain milestones and at the end of each phase, the planned development documents are adopted as part of project management.

 

When is the waterfall method used?

The waterfall project management method is particularly suitable for projects whose tasks are interdependent. It is often used for software development.

 

The Milestone Trend Analysis

Also known as milestone or milestone. In short, a method with intermediate goals.

Such an event is for example to make a decision about the further progress of the project, the existence of delivery items, acceptance, interim acceptance and testing, merging or showing project paths. Milestones mark the beginning of a project phase, the release of a phase, or the end of a phase, the completion of a phase. Milestones can also lie within a project phase.

 

When do you use the milestone method?

Projects of low complexity, with plannable processes whose tasks are to be processed sequentially, are very well suited for this project management methodology.

 

Agile project management

The method describes approaches in the software development process that increase transparency and flexibility and lead to a faster deployment of the developed systems in order to minimize risks in the development process.

 

What is this project management method suitable for?

Agile project management methods are flexibly applicable. They are therefore ideally suited for large, complex projects with unpredictable requirements and high risks. 

 

The Kanban Methodology

Kanban is a method in software development in which the number of parallel tasks, the Work in Progress (WiP), is limited and thus shorter processing times are achieved and problems - especially bottlenecks - are quickly made visible.

Kanban contains a culture of continuous improvement (CIP) as an integral part, but does not provide detailed practices for this. In many Kanban teams, however, at least the following three practices have been established:

Daily Status Meetings (Standup Meetings)

The team meets daily (usually in the morning) in front of the Kanban board. There the progress of the project since the last meeting is made clear by means of the tickets. In addition, problems are clarified and solutions are discussed. However, the meeting is scheduled for a short time (about 15 minutes), so that longer discussions are outsourced.

 

Operations Reviews

So-called operation reviews are held in Kanban. These are meetings that serve the continuous improvement. They have similarities to retrospectives as they are known from other agile methods. However, Operations Reviews take place irregularly. And they strive for a high degree of objectivity by referring more strongly to the data collected from the past. Furthermore, it is tried that participants from the entire organization (including management), and not only the development team, participate in these meetings.

 

Root Cause Analysis

Problems should not be managed in KANBAN, but solved. This is essentially done by the fact that errors quickly become clear through the Kanban board, for example because work is jammed, individual stations are not fully utilized, the processing times are too long, or individual tickets constantly remain at the same station. The causes of errors should be quickly identified and eliminated (if necessary by the cooperation of the entire team).

 

What is this project management method suitable for?

Originally developed by Toyota in production and transferred to software development by David Anderson in 2007, Kanban can be used to implement any project that benefits from continuous improvements and feedback processes during project execution due to its transparent structures and high flexibility. By the way: you can also use the Kanban project management method for private purposes.

 

The Scrum Method

Scrum is also considered to be one of the agile methods, but is distinguished by its own fixed rules, roles and processes. This project management method is based on the view that large projects are too complex to plan precisely in advance. The majority of possible risks and requirements are therefore still unclear at the beginning of the project. This fact should be counteracted by setting up and discussing intermediate results.

At the beginning of the project Scrum defines a long-term plan (Product Backlog). Unlike traditional waterfall methods, this plan is regularly adjusted and optimized during the implementation of the project.  Tasks and actions associated with the project are implemented in repetitive processes (sprints). Every sprint has the goal of being able to present a functioning intermediate product.

 

What is the Scrum project management method suitable for?

The Scrum Project Management Method supports extensive, complex projects whose character is difficult to define in advance and which therefore require a flexible project management method. Especially teams consisting of less than seven people benefit from Scrum.

 

The Six Sigma Project Management

The Six Sigma Project ManagementThe Six Sigma method was developed in 1987 in the USA by Motorola. Six Sigma is based on the assumption that it is possible to represent any business process as a mathematical function. The description, measurement, analysis, control and optimization of these processes is performed by statistical means.

The main tool of this project management method is the DMAIC cycle. DMAIC should make business processes measurable and optimize. The following actions determine the DMAIC cycle (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve & Control):

The management of Six-Sigma projects is subject to specially trained employees. The role designations in Six Sigma teams are based on the belt colors in Japanese martial arts, which function as ranking indicators. For example, there is the Master Black Belt (coach and trainer) or the Black Belt (project manager). A comprehensive explanation of all team roles of this project management method can be found here.

 

What is this project management method suitable for?

This project management method is particularly popular in large companies. Popular industries include manufacturing, services, software development and finance, where variants of the Six Sigma method have established themselves. Six-Sigma is ideal for projects with clearly measurable results and a duration of between three and six months.

 

Lean Project Management

Lean, i.e. lean project management, should create value without waste. Customer benefits and process efficiency are optimized without wasting resources. The Lean Project Management method distinguishes between three different types of waste of resources:

 

Muda

Muda refers to activities or processes that do not create value. Lean identifies possible waste of resources in 7 processes:

  • transport
  • holdings
  • Movement (of the employee)
  • waiting times
  • overproduction
  • Incorrect use of technology or defective manufacturing process
  • Rejects and rework if necessary

 

Mura

Mura refers to losses caused by unbalanced processes. If the individual process steps are not coordinated with each other, deviations, irregularities and malfunctions occur.

 

Muri

Muri means an unbalanced load on employees and machines. According to the lean principle, processes should be neither too fast nor too slow. Ideally, lean reduces monotonous activities without overburdening employees and machines.

 

What is this project management method suitable for?

Since lean (project) management is much more a project management philosophy than a pure tool, this project management method is suitable for any company that is interested in creating a value change in its project management in order to save costs and other resources in the long run.

Important prerequisites for a comprehensive implementation of the Lean Project Management method are:

  • Breaking down traditional thought structures and working processes
  • Possibility to flexibly design projects and processes
  • Distinctive team culture
  • Support of the entire management level
  • Firm anchoring of the corporate value "customer proximity

 

Source links:

  • https://zenkit.com/de/blog/7-meistgenutzte-projektmanagement-methoden-im-vergleich/
  • Wikipedia
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Project management: Which method is the right one?
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Project management - a challenge.

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