Project Management Methodology
Projects, like shoes, are not a one-size-fits-all proposition.
There are core processes that all projects follow, including the planning of work, the assignment of resources and the assessment of costs for labor and materials. However, every project has its own set of variables, including goal, scope, resources and locations. A team of ten programmers developing a new software product will not execute their project in the same manner as a team of fifty engineers working on a construction design.
In addition, the industrial nature of the project and its work can involve special requirements. For example, a pharmaceutical company launching a research and development project may be eligible for tax credits depending on the phase of the project and the nature of the work in that period.
There are numerous project management methodologies available that organizations can leverage to develop projects and deliver them successfully, methodologies that are tailored to the objective of the project and/or the nature of the work involved. TrackerSuite.Net, a Web based suite of integrated applications for project management, time and billing, purchasing, reporting and more, can be adapted to these various methodologies. Following is an overview of several of the more popular project management methodologies, and how TrackerSuite.Net can be leveraged for them.
Design for Six Sigma: Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) is a business-process management methodology related to traditional Six Sigma, with a focus on product development. It has two objectives, first to identify the needs of customers and the business, and second to ensure those needs are incorporated in the developed product.
TrackerSuite.Net allows organizations to create a Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) work environment, with tools to measure, track and manage their product development from start to finish, in accordance with DFSS. For example, using the DMADOV (Define / Measure / Analyze / Design / Optimize / Verify) flavor of Design for Six Sigma, TrackerSuite.Net offers features including:
- Secure document management TrackerSuite.Net provides a secure, central location for important project materials necessary for each phase of a Design for Six Sigma methodology, such as project scope and risk assessment documents in the Design phase, or project scorecards and final analysis documents in the Verification phase.
- Automated workflow TrackerSuite.Net provides a development regimen from the initial definition of project objectives and goals to the final product analysis. By providing tools for automatic routing and notification, document security and activity logging, and task management (including task linking and dependencies), Tracker Suite streamlines the development of products.
- Simple project and resource tracking Through the Tracker Data Warehouse, a Web based reporting engine that receives data pushed from all of the TrackerSuite.Net modules. TrackerSuite.Net collects data from the various organizational communities: Personnel, Projects, IT and Financial, and compiles it into the analytical reports necessary to develop projects effectively according to DFSS methodology.
Agile Methodologies: Agile project management includes several methodologies (including SCRUM, Extreme Programming, DSDM and others). Characteristically, agile methodologies for projects promote development, teamwork, collaboration and adaptability throughout the endeavor. They are well-suited to dynamic projects with shifting scope and resources. This methodology is commonly used in software development projects.
TrackerSuite.Net, which combines the collaborative power of email with the flexibility and speed of Web based applications, provides tools and functions that organizations can utilize to facilitate their agile project management initiatives. TrackerSuite.Net offers scalability across resource pools and locations, and also provides features that can be leveraged for SOP 98-1 and Earned Value Management methodologies in the course of agile software development projects.
PRINCE/PRINCE2: PRINCE®: stands for Projects in Controlled Environments. It was developed in the United Kingdom as a standard for IT project management by the government. While it was developed for IT projects, PRINCE is also used for non-IT projects, in both the public and private sectors. PRINCE2 is the latest version of this methodology. PRINCE2 provides a method for managing projects within a clearly defined framework, each process in the project has key inputs and outputs, with specific goals and activities. PRINCE2 includes procedures for coordinating resources and tasks, supervision and how deviations should be handled.
TrackerSuite.Net provides automated notification of task completions and schedule changes, simplifying the monitoring of project inputs and outputs. Risks and issues can also be profiled, tracked and managed through every stage of the project. TrackerSuite.Net also encourages the timely submission status reports, providing executives with up-to-date information in the project development reports and dashboards they utilize to track progress.
The Waterfall Methodology: The Waterfall is a classical project management model that utilizes a sequential development process, in which progress is viewed as moving downward in steps, like a waterfall.
TrackerSuite.Net provides a structured project management environment that aligns well with the classical format of the waterfall methodology. Projects are defined and then a roadmap is assembled in a Work Breakdown Structure, where milestones can be used to mark every edge of the waterfall.