Introduction to project management methodologies

We just discussed the first two phases of the project life cycle: initiating the project and making plans. Now, we will explore the next two phases: executing and completing tasks, and closing the project. We'll also review different project management methodologies, specifically linear and iterative approaches.

Phases of the Project Life Cycle

  1. Executing and Completing Tasks:
    • Manage the overall progress of the project.
    • Oversee team efforts, ensuring everyone understands their tasks and deadlines.
    • Remove obstacles and communicate potential delays.
    • Use various communication tools to keep the team informed.
    • Make adjustments to the schedule, budget, and resources as needed.
  2. Closing the Project:
    • Ensure all tasks are completed, including any additional work.
    • Verify that all invoices are paid, resources are returned, and documentation is submitted.
    • Get confirmation from stakeholders that the final outcome is acceptable.
    • Conduct a retrospective to reflect on what went well and what didn’t.
    • Share project documentation and final results with stakeholders.
    • Celebrate the team's efforts and formally move on to new projects.

Project Management Methodologies

Linear Approach:

  • Definition: A linear approach requires completing the previous phase or task before starting the next one.
  • Example: Building a house.
    • Steps:
      • Create a blueprint.
      • Lay the foundation.
      • Build the walls.
      • Put up the roof.
    • Key Point: Each step must be completed sequentially.

Iterative Approach:

  • Definition: An iterative approach is flexible, with phases and tasks overlapping.
  • Example: Producing a new TV show.
    • Steps:
      • Come up with an idea and film a pilot.
      • Test the pilot and gather feedback.
      • Adjust the show based on feedback.
      • Continue with other parts of the project like hiring actors and advertising.
    • Key Point: Plans remain flexible, allowing for adjustments based on feedback and testing.

Application and Adaptation

  • Google's Approach: A hybrid method, mixing and matching different methods depending on the project type.
  • Choosing an Approach:
    • Linear Projects: Best for projects with clear goals and minimal changes.
    • Iterative Projects: Best for projects requiring flexibility and frequent adjustments.