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App Development
6 minutes read

The Top Methodologies Used In Project Management

By Jose Gomez
By Jose Gomez
App Development
6 minutes read

Are you interested in learning about the methodologies used in project management? No matter what type of work your company does, project management is an integral part of the workplace. Even without formal training or definitions of the project management methodologies we are about to cover, it is likely that your project managers already utilize some of these project management methodologies or at least certain aspects of them. 

Several of the popular project management methodologies covered in this post are associated with mobile app or web development. However, you can apply these project management methodologies to any project. Since we are a software development company, we will be discussing these project management methodologies through that lens. 

Popular Project Management Methodologies 

Choosing the correct project management methodology depends on your task, project manager, and employees. There is no perfect project management methodology that can be universally applied to every project. To get the proper project management methodology for your team, your project manager should thoroughly evaluate the task at hand and the team working on it. 

Take a look at a few of the most successful project management methodologies that have demonstrated success. The project management methods we will explore in more detail include:

  • Waterfall
  • Agile 
  • Scrum
  • Kanban
  • Critical Path 
  • Lean 

Waterfall

The waterfall project management methodology is the most straightforward and basic. In the waterfall methodology, tasks are completed linearly. The waterfall methodology is well-named because the phases of a project flow downward as tasks are completed. 

For example, if your task is to make a sandwich. You wouldn’t spread the mustard on the bread until the bread was cut and placed on a plate. Once those phases have been completed successfully, you can add meat to your sandwich, additional toppings, and then close the sandwich before cutting it in half. 

Following the waterfall methodology, teams cannot proceed to the next project phase until the preceding tasks have been completed. The waterfall is a linear project management method, and it is employed by project managers every day without realizing that there is a name for the technique. 

The waterfall methodology is best for projects that have strict guidelines and are highly structured. Typically, this project management methodology is employed in construction or manufacturing. 

Agile 

The agile methodology is a constantly evolving and collaborative project management approach that adapts as the project demands it. Many experts argue that agile is more philosophy than project management methodology. Still, whatever you consider agile, it is one of the last decade’s most popular project management methodologies. 

The agile project management methodology aims for early project delivery and is always open to changes and adaptations if they lead to improvements in the process. Compared to the waterfall project management approach, agile is fast, flexible, and collaborative. The agile methodology is prevalent in software development because it is a dynamic and collaborative approach to project management. 

While the agile methodology was born in the software development culture, it can be effectively used in any industry. The agile method works excellent in collaborative settings and projects with a degree of flexibility and uncertainty. Beyond development, agile has been used effectively by marketing teams, creative outfits, and any team that has a fast-paced production schedule. 

Scrum 

The scrum approach to project management is short sprints. Scrum is characterized by small teams, typically no more than ten people, and short sprints, generally two weeks. The project manager, also known as the scrum master, organizes short daily meetings during each scrum period.

The philosophy behind the scrum project management methodology is to focus on goals that can be accomplished in a short period. For example, a scrum master could take a big plan and break it down into smaller projects that can be completed each two-week scrum period. 

The scrum methodology is often used in the agile method, but they don’t have to be used together. In addition, scrum like agile is often used and therefore conflated with the software development industry. However, scrum is applicable across all industries or businesses. Scrum project management is best suited for small teams focusing on short projects, and it requires all team members to know and adhere to their team roles. 

Kanban

Kanban is Japanese for a billboard. The Kanban project management approach relies on visual organization to inform task progress and workflow of all team members. Typically, all tasks are placed on a board and follow a clear path from left to right through the necessary workflow steps until completion. If you have ever used project management tools like Trello or ClickUp, you have used a Kanban project management tool. 

The Kanban project management methodology reduces inefficiencies within workflows. The Kanban approach can also be used for storyboarding the User Experience or crafting customer personas. Kanban has been in use since the 1940s, when Toyota pioneered the technique. 

Kanban was initially developed for manufacturing teams, but any team can use it on any project. Kanban boards are effectively used in marketing, human resources, app development, accounting, organizational strategy, etc.  

Critical Path 

The critical path method involves developing a detailed model of the entire project and all associated tasks that need to be completed to finish the project. The critical path method uses this model to identify the most extended sequence of tasks necessary for project completion. In addition, this project management method aims to identify the functions that, if delayed, will slow down the entire project. 

The critical path method was developed in the 1940s. It was most famously used during the Manhattan Project. The critical path method is likely best suited for small to medium-sized projects due to the complexity of mapping out every task required to complete the project. However, it can be applied in any industry and to any project. 

Lean 

The lean methodology aims to cut inefficiencies and operational waste. By cutting waste, your company can increase the value of its projects. The entire purpose of the lean methodology is to eliminate waste from critical processes and continuously impact the value stream positively. 

Operational waste is reduced and eliminated by optimizing separate technologies, verticals, and assets. The lean methodology is often attributed to Henry Ford when he revolutionized the production of the automobile. Software developers and startups have reinvigorated the lean method in recent years. 

Lean is a robust project management methodology in manufacturing, construction, and app development, but it can be applied to any project. In recent years, the lean method has been incorporated into education. 

Final Thoughts 

Besides the ones we covered in this post, there are other project management methodologies. Likely, you found that you were already familiar with these project management methodologies if you didn’t know their proper name. 

If you need help determining which methodologies used in project management are best suited to your project and team, reach out to an experienced app development partner

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