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Agile, Scrum, Waterfall, and More – top project management methodologies and how they’re different

For project managers, understanding the need of the right project management methodology is critical for executing projects. A project management methodology is a set of methods and techniques that are used to plan, execute, and manage a project. They help managers lead the project while also managing the team working behind it.

There are many project management methodologies to choose from, each having their own set of practices and processes. However, the methodology you should adapt will depend on the type of project you’re leading. And the whole idea behind choosing a project management methodology is to maximize the productivity, and completing the project efficiently. So which project management methodology should you go for? While you have a slew of options, here’s a look at the most popular project management methodologies, and how they differ from each other.  

Top project management methodologies

Software teams across industries adapted different methodologies to fit specific project needs and as a result, there are a lot of project management methodologies available to choose from. So how do you know which one is right for you and your project(s)? Keep reading to know.

Agile project management methodology

Agile is one of the most talked about project management methodologies which is best suited for projects that are continuously evolving. In this type of process, demands and supply or solutions improve through the efforts of a self-organizing team, and its customers or users. Hence, in Agile, there’s a big focus on team collaborations and self-organizing teams. The basics of Agile methodology are:

  • Iterative and evolving
  • Collaborative
  • Fast and supports changing requirements
  • Values individuals over processes

Agile project management is best suited for:

The Agile methodology can be used by any project manager for its team because its working principle is universal. However, its best suited for teams handling fast deliverables like tech products or projects that evolve with time and do not have clear target at the beginning.

Scrum project management methodology

Scrum is another popular methodology which is used across the software development industry. It basically focuses on commitment, focus, and openness. The goal behind it is to develop, and deliver complex products through collaboration. However, unlike Agile, Scrum process operates by using its own certain roles for team members, instead of working collaboratively with each individual. These roles include:

  • Product owner: An expert who represents the product in front of customers or shareholders
  • Development team: A team of professionals including programmers and designers.
  • Scrum master: An organized team leader who makes sure an effective execution of Scrum.

Scrum project management methodology is best suited for:

Although all teams that use Agile approach should also try the Scrum methodology at least once to see whether it works for them. That said, in this methodology, groups are divided into small teams, hence this approach works best for large teams working on a single product.

Waterfall project management methodology

The waterfall model is also a very popular project management methodology. This is a straightforward methodology in which work flows down (just like a waterfall) and then it is organized in sequential order by the manager. This approach is also known as software development life cycle (SDLC). The phases in this linear process are followed in this order:

  • System requirements
  • Analysis
  • Design
  • Coding
  • Testing
  • Operations

Waterfall project management methodology is best suited for: The waterfall methodology is detailed and it’s simple and linear. That’s why it is great for large projects with multiple stakeholders. Because it has clear steps throughout the project that helps tracking the work at a large level.

Kanban project management methodology

The Kanban approach lets the team see a clear understanding of project workflows and the status of their work while reducing the possibility of bottlenecks. Though it’s not necessary, it also works like software application that enables smooth switching and dragging within between boards and projects. Many teams employ this strategy in various ways because it lacks the same set procedures as other approaches. The key idea to remember is that Kanban strives to simplify the overall framework by concentrating on the most crucial project activities. It runs on six general principles, which are as follows:

  • Visualization
  • limiting active projects
  • Management of flow
  • Explicating policies
  • Feedback loops are used
  • Evolution through cooperation or experimentation.

Kanban project management methodology is best suited for: Kanban approach is great for teams of all sizes, however, it’s best suited for remote teams. Because the capabilities of Kanban board help remote team members stay on a similar track no matter where they are.

Six Sigma project management methodology

Six Sigma is utilized for quality management, in contrast to other project management techniques. Sometimes it’s referred to as a philosophy rather than a methodology. Additionally, it is usually combined with either an Agile framework or a lean methodology. Six Sigma aims to continuously enhance processes and get rid of product flaws. This is accomplished by specialists defining and managing processes continuously through improvement. Once can also use the Six Sigma DMAIC methodology, which is a staged approach. The stages are following:

  • Define: Set project scope and initial stand-up meeting.
  • Measure: Gather data to inform improvement needs.
  • Analyze: Identify the cause of problems.
  • Improve: Fix the causes found.
  • Control: Sustain these solutions for future projects.

Six Sigma project management methodology is best suited for: Six Sigma is best suited for bigger organizations, those with a hundred or more employees. This is best used when the need to eliminate project waste starts having an impact on your project.

Lean project management methodology

The goal of the lean project management methodology is to reduce waste in a project and provide a straightforward framework that is tailored to the project’s requirements. With the help of teamwork, this practice ensures getting more done with fewer resources. Reducing waste currently refers to inefficient behaviors in a team or project, whereas it originally related to a tangible product (which Toyota and Motorola uses). This strategy is represented by the following three Ms:

  • Muda (wastefulness): Practices that consume resources but don’t add value. 
  • Mura (unevenness): A result of overproduction and thus leaving waste.
  • Muri (overburden): A result of too much strain on resources.

A project manager should prevent these three Ms in order to better execute the projects.

Lean project management methodology is best suited for: Since lean methodology is all about reducing waste from a project, it’s best suited for teams having efficiency issues while completing a project. Since this leaves a greater impact on organizations, this approach can be helpful for all types of projects.

Critical path method (CPM)

You create a model of the project using the critical path method (CPM). This includes all the tasks listed in a work breakdown structure, their durations, irrespective of the fact that there are any task dependencies, and the marking off of milestones to denote the completion of various project phases or the dates on which your deliverables are due. With this knowledge, you can determine the “critical path”—the longest set of tasks required to complete the project. The project will be delayed if one of those jobs isn’t completed on time, so you’ll need to keep an eye on them. The actions below must be taken if you plan to use CPM:

  • Determine all the necessary actions you must do to fulfill your project’s objective.
  • Calculate the time each of jobs will require (bearing in mind that some tasks need to be completed so others can be started).
  • Utilize all of that data to plan the “critical path” you’ll need to follow to complete the project as soon as feasible without skipping any essential tasks.

Critical path method is best suited for: The critical path method is best suited for small and mid-size teams because large projects require more deliverables and the CPM isn’t built to manage such complex projects.

Which project management methodology is right for you?

After reading about these approaches, you might have realized that there’s no one-size-fits-all  when it comes to project management methodologies. Each of them offers their unique set of principles to complete a project from an initial plan to final execution. The things you can keep in mind while choosing the right approach is the size of your team and how team likes to work. If your team prefers a visual process, go for Kanban or for a more traditional approach, go for the waterfall method. On the other hand, Agile and Scrum are the most popular approaches as they help in handling a large team that’s working on multiple projects. Overall, there’s an option for every team and these processes will help you and your team to focus on the things that matter.

Moreover, if someone wants to take the methodology one step further and make the most of it, they can also consider a project management tool like Flow.

July 9, 2022

Productivity

Top project management statistics to know in 2022

As the world is still reeling after the effects of the pandemic, organizations are adopting new methods of working, considering “remote work” and “work from home” have become a norm. However, in these times, managing a project has become quite a task because Project Managers are constantly dealing with the ever-changing demands while coordinating and controlling everything from their end. Since we all know how critical project management is to a company’s success, it’s better to understand the latest statistics about its popularity. Today, we’ll discuss the top project management statistics that one should know in 2022.

General statistics

1. 73% of the survey respondents met their original goals / business intent when it comes to projects completed.

2. 32% of organizations consider any and all methods to solve the given problem, while 30% of the organizations go for the conventional methods that have worked in the past. The former category is dubbed Gymnastic enterprises as they adapt to the changes across the world quickly.

3. Gymnastic enterprises also beat the traditional companies quite easily with 75% of such organizations being able to meet their goals / business intent.

4. There are ~200 companies producing project management technologies.

5. Project management software market is growing at a CAGR of 10.67% and is expected to reach $9.81 billion by 2026.  

Statistics for the importance of project management

6. As mentioned in the beginning, the pandemic has taught us helped us rethink several things. So, it’s not a surprise that 68% people believe that Digital transformation is the biggest change in their business over the last 12 months.

7. 36% of organizations that implement project management paradigm believe that they mostly or always deliver the full benefits of their projects.  

Statistics for the use of project management by organizations

8. 94% of people believe that knowing what their teammates are working on helps improving productivity and efficiency in a business. However, only 42% users mention that they find it easy to know what their colleagues are focusing on.

9. Only 38% people use a project management tool like Flow for communicating between teams. In comparison, email is the dominant platform with 75% respondents using that to communicate.

Statistics for project management methodologies

10. 58% users stated that they mostly or always apply a well-defined project methodology.

11. 51% people (in a survey of over 400 respondents) use integrated project management (IPM) method. For those who don’t know, IPM refers to the fact that projects aren’t managed in silos and how projects relate to each other, along with how other parts of the organization may relate to a particular project.

12. 28% gymnastic enterprises preferred agile methodology to complete projects, higher than traditional enterprises (at 22%).

13. Per another report, 61% of respondents use a mix of traditional and agile methods when it comes to project management methodology.

Project management software statistics

14. 60% users mention that using a project management software help them estimate the timelines for the project delivery better. This is followed by 55% users highlighting that they are able to make an effective use of project resources, while 49% people indicate that they are able to communicate in a better manner with the team.

15. In terms of the organizations that make the most use of the project management software, IT services and software industry ranks the highest with 22% share.

16. While large organizations vouch for project management software, 25% of small businesses with less than $1 million in ARR don’t use any PM software.

17. 1 in 3 people choose a project management software for their functionality. This is followed by price, ease of use, and customer support.

18. 65% of survey respondents use reports / dashboards in a project management software, which is followed by 64% users using document management capabilities.

19. When it comes to most ignored project management software features, 34% respondents mentioned Velocity charts, Gantt charts, and Burndown charts.

20. And yet, 22% users want Gantt charts feature in the project management software they’re using.

21. 43% people voted equally to complexity / learning curve of using a project management software or features that remain unused when asked about the challenges they face with PM software.

22. 47% users said that they don’t have access to real-time project KPIs. In fact, 43% users mentioned that they spend a day or more in manually collating the project reports.

Looking into the future

23. 62% of survey respondents believe that project work will increase in the future.

24. 53% of people are certain that project work will be organized around smaller teams going forward.

25. 71% of respondents think that the need for project management skills will increase.

26. AI is expected to have a greater impact in project management, but only 23% people have experience of using AI technologies in project management.

27. 34% of respondents feel empowered about driving decisions on the basis of artificial intelligence for project management.

Sources

1. Project management software market share  

2. Project management software market research report

3. The State of Project Management 2021 Annual Report

4. Project Management Statistics 2021

5. Pulse of the Profession 2021

6. Project management software market – growth, trends, COVID-19 impact, and forecasts (2022 – 2027)

July 8, 2022

Productivity

How to choose the best workflow management software for your team

Decisions, decisions. We face them at every twist and turn in life, and project managers are tasked daily with making significant decisions about how to manage their team’s workloads most effectively. 

Picture this, you have multiple assignments in progress and all are due around the same time. Then, an emergency task pops up that you must prioritize. For a project leader managing multiple teams, how do you view the comprehensive workload, assign, reassign, and keep each project on course for successful, on-time completion?

If this feeling is familiar to you, it’s likely that another decision you need to make will be about what workflow management software to use.

So what makes a good platform stand out? How do you choose the best option to meet your team’s growing task management and workflow needs? Let’s delve into the features and what you should look for when making these critical decisions.

How to choose the best workflow management software

Choosing the best team communication and workflow management system begins with looking at platforms that contribute to ease of use. Here’s what to look for in the most important features:

  • User interface: A clean, attractive, intuitive interface
  • Tool and app integration: Integration with the most popular team tools 
  • Built-in chat/messaging: Direct, project, and team instant messaging 
  • Task management: Assign project tasks with due dates, times, assignee names, notes, and reminders
  • Project organization: Multiple ways to view and organize projects including list, kanban, calendar, and timeline
  • Calendar integration: New calendars of individual, project, and team members to determine workload balance
  • News feeds: Method to quickly inform team members of essential project updates 
  • Sorting and filtering: Simple sorting and filtering allows you to organize and prioritize projects
  • Cloud-based file storage: Store documents and file attachments in the cloud for your projects

Now that you’ve reviewed the top attributes of an effective workflow management software, you may be asking, why is using a workflow platform even necessary?

The need for an intuitive workflow platform

A workflow management software platform is necessary when you want to link all of your projects together into one intuitive, integration-friendly system.

An easy-to-use interface for your task and project management, calendar and timeline, resource management, and internal team and individual chat messaging make for an uncomplicated, simplified design. Elements that are essential in everyday project task management include:

  • Project templates for duplicating projects and for quickly creating new projects.
  • Real-time notifications and distraction-free settings such as muting conversations for project focus
  • Project and resource tracking capabilities for tagging team members and assignments by the due date, project name, and status or priority.

The scalability and evolution of the system to accommodate new users will prepare your organization for growth. And implementing this system with simplified pricing ensures that you are not only set with all of the functionality you need, but also equipped with an efficient workflow management platform and future cost savings.

Implementing the best workflow management system

What makes a useful software program for growing teams? 

Perhaps your team is motivated to take on even more challenging projects. Maybe you’re aiming to guide the market conversation as a thought leader. In any case, you need the best workflow management software to boost your team’s productivity.

The right software offers all the features mentioned in the table above, as well as pricing that works for any size team. Flow offers cost-effective and scalable pricing:

  • Pricing: Basic: $6/mo per user; Plus: $8/user/month; Pro: $10/user/month 
  • Free trial: Flow offers a free trial with a simple sign-up and no hidden requirements.

Project managers make decisions every day that affect task outcomes. Implementing Flow as your workflow management system could very well be the best decision you and your team make for your future project success.


Flow provides scalable and feature-rich workflow management software with a simple setup so your team can start checking off tasks right away. Sign up for a free trial today.

July 5, 2022
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