The role and importance of project management methodologies in the effective projects implementation

Project management methodologies are a set of basic principles of project implementation in an organization. Their introduction was caused by the dynamic increase in the number and scale of implemented projects, which required management tools and methods. These solutions were aimed at ensuring the success of individual projects, but also of each subsequent one. The need to introduce such solutions has led to the unification and standardization of project management methods within industries, organizations, and in wider scopes. The collection by various actors of best practices, tools, approaches, and methods of operation has led to the development of many project management methodologies. Project management methodology can be defined as a coherent and logical set of detailed recommendations as to how to proceed in managing the entire project, leading to the achievement of the intended result. According to this definition, the methodology is, therefore, a comprehensive (due to problem areas) and detailed (due to the form of the accuracy of description) management method. The most common project management methodologies are universal project management methodologies that are used in various areas and planning situations. The universal methodologies include PMBoK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) methodology developed by the Project Management Institute; the PRINCE2 (Projects in Controlled Environments) methodology of the British Office of Government Commerce; PCM (Project Cycle Management) methodology, developed for development and European projects. However, there is no single methodology that would be universal enough to deal with each project due to the diversity of projects.

Methodology should be treated as a set of patterns that are designed to help eliminate errors and problems occurring during the project and increase the efficiency of resource use, as well as ensure that the project is "delivered" on time, within the planned budget and scope. Methodologies also provide a sense of control and care for the project, setting the course of action, maintaining stakeholder engagement, and providing a sense of security among employees who know that they are working according to proven tools and practices. They help organizations by standardizing processes, building a common language, and thanks to them, people understand how to manage a project. In addition, they help project managers reduce risk, avoid duplication of effort, and ultimately their use increases the impact on project success. Methodologies provide project teams with a set of standards to initiate and manage individual projects and provide the definitions, guidelines, and templates for the various project management activities needed to deliver successful projects. The methodologies finally establish a common ground for all projects in the organization.

By adopting a project management methodology, organizations will be able to: •

1. Quickly adapt to new challenges and invest limited resources in the best possible way to always achieve success in the project.

2. Build an effective project management culture that enables the effective use of project management methodologies.

3. Develop the skills of project managers and give them total support and understanding as well as a solid foundation for the effective management of their projects.

4. Reduce risk and increase the chances of project success.

5. Increase the motivation of the project team and its efficiency.

6. Deliver more projects on time and within a budget that meets or exceeds the expectations of project sponsors, beneficiaries, and stakeholders.

Organizations using a specific project management methodology have greater confidence that the project is well managed and conducted in a consistent manner that promotes the delivery of high-quality results within cost and time constraints. Another important element is the selection of an appropriate project management methodology. There are many selection criteria. The general division of methodologies can be divided into traditional (including PRINCE2, PMBoK), also called cascading, and agile methodologies. The selection criteria are attitude to changes in the project, budget type, project financing schedule, flexibility of the project schedule, formal requirements, approach to risk, communication with the client, organizational structure, level of knowledge required, and psychological factors. Cascade methodologies work well in "stable" projects, where drastic changes and the use of technology are not expected during the project. They also work well in projects that require a long preparation period, such as building and construction projects, in which the necessary factor is to eliminate risks at the planning stage. Agile methodologies, on the other hand, work best in projects where the result is not clearly defined and known, and only the business need that a given solution is to meet is recognized. Wherever there is uncertainty, the flexibility of the schedule, low level of risk, and the emphasis are not on detailed project documentation, it is recommended to use agile methodologies. When there is an even distribution of the budget, high formal requirements, a hierarchical structure of the organization, and communication with the client involves signing contracts that are binding on both parties, and not constant contact and direct communication, then the cascade methodologies will work better.

Thus, project management methodologies are a set of project management methods, thanks to which it is possible to complete a project successfully and achieve a predetermined goal. As a result of selecting the appropriate methodology, it is possible to obtain maximum efficiency in the implementation of the entire project or a sequence of projects. This is due to the established, known methods that will allow for proper cooperation of people involved in the project and the proper use of tools, helpful in specific situations.

Author: Filip Gul

Trocki M., „Metodyki zarządzania projektami”, Wydawnictwo Bizarre, Warszawa 2011

Trocki M., „Nowoczesne zarządzanie projektami”, PWE, Warszawa 2012

Trocki M., „Organizacja projektowa”, Wydawnictwo Bizarre, Warszawa 2009