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There are many different project management methodologies that companies use to bring their projects to completion. Most people have a basic understanding that these methodologies are good to follow, but have never really stopped to consider some of:
The Benefits of Using a PM Methodology
If you are currently using a project management methodology or considering implementing one in your company, consider the following four benefits of having such a roadmap to follow.
Reason 1: It Increases the Chances of Project Success
Failure always lurks on the fringes when something new is tried. That's what makes being a project manager so exciting. Your job is to keep failure at bay and prevent it from negatively impacting your projects. But, there are enough variables that could cause problems for your project that the methodology that you use should never be one of them. In fact, having a project management methodology in place will absolutely increase the chances of your project succeeding.
Why is this? Because a methodology is a tried and true way of getting your projects done. Following a certain methodology ensures that all the necessary steps are taken, no shortcuts are introduced, and the work is done to the highest standard that the company can perform. Following such a well-thought out road map is certain to increase the chances of your project making it successfully to completion.
Reason 2: It Increases the Amount of Time Available to Spend on Work
What happens at times in companies is that multiple methodologies may be introduced across different groups. This is a natural evolution that occurs as departments grow and projects need to be complete. One department may adopt a waterfall methodology where one phase of the project needs to be 100% complete before moving into the next phase of the project. Other departments may adopt a more agile form of project management where the understanding is that the requirements and needs of the customer will unfold along the way and become clearer as the project progresses.
Each methodology may work just fine for each department. But, there will always be the need for resources to be shared amongst departments. This may introduce confusion when a resource has to switch from one PM methodology to the next and they need to be trained on their new methodology. Having one clear, consistent project management methodology in place throughout the entire company will reduce the need for training people in different methodologies and increase the time that they can spend doing the actual work.
Reason 3: It Eliminates Choices Where None are Required
There's an interesting phenomenon that occurs when decisions need to be made on a project. There is usually less input given into large, complicated decisions than there is for decisions that are routine and simple. Why does this occur? Because most people aren't necessarily familiar with the subject and background surrounding the large, complicated decisions but they are familiar with the context of the smaller and more routine decisions. This causes everyone to want to chime in and give their two cents worth to the discussion about the smaller decisions.
A project management methodology eliminates this phenomenon from occurring. All the small decisions that needed to have been made have been made ahead of time. The results of these decisions have been included in the methodology and become part of the roadmap for everyone to follow. This allows teams to educate themselves on the bigger decisions and issues and provide input in those areas that really matter.
Reason 4: It Allows for Consistent Reporting and Analysis
When you look in the dictionary there are usually 2 or 3 definitions for the same word. There's nothing wrong with that because it's the context of the conversation that aids in the final understanding of the proper definition. Reporting and Analysis on project progress and results do not have the same luxury. The terminology that is used in these reports must be consistent across the board or confusion will result.
Here's a great example that most project managers are well too familiar with... What is the definition of "done?" If you ask a developer, "done" is defined as he has finished his part of the coding and is moving on to his next task. This is regardless of whether it has been tested or not and may have to be sent back to the developer for more rework. On the other hand, a client's definition of "done" may be that the software he has paid for has been up and running in his company for 3 months and all the bugs have been ironed out.
A project management methodology will introduce just one definition for the word "done"...and other words for that matter which allows for consistent, meaningful, and actionable reports across the organization.
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