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Project Management Methodologies

Change is an ever-present trait of modern business environment. Globally, organizations are likely to change their business practices as well as strategies to hold intricacy and interconnectedness of swiftly changing business environment. Therefore, new strategic management is also involved with suppliers, customers, shareholders, and competitors so that their needs are properly addressed through strategic decisions. With the help of the changed and modified structure/ practice, organizations tend to turn into more adaptive to respond to pressure of changes. In this regard, they prefer such project management method, which offers adaptability to change. Professionals can help students with  custom assignment service. Today, managers are under great pressure of delivering the project outcomes that has potential to drive the expansion of the product. Subsequently, project budget has been considerably cut down (Sliger& Broderick, 2008).

Organizations based on their industry and business needs now find it convenient to choose the most appropriate method of project management. It indicates the need for discussing and analyzing different methods of project management. However, before discussing different types of project management methods, it is important to determine the purpose of project management activity. Students can get online  help with essay from experienced scholars. Project management is such activity, which is performed within the sphere of business where different activities including planning, organizing, motivating and controlling are carried out in order to achieve particular business objective. In this context, defined beginning and end has been identified as significant aspects of project management activity (Bryde, 2003).

 

The primary challenge faced in the project management activity is concerned with the achievement of the objectives and goals of the project whereas overcoming the defined limitations. These constraints and limitations are concerned with the scope, quality, time, and budget of the project. Online  dissertation writing service may a perfect guiline for learners.  Moreover, secondary challenge of project management is to augment the gathering of required inputs and integrate them so that they can help in meeting the objectives. Emergence of aforementioned challenges in project management led to create different methods of project management that are more appropriate in terms of meeting the project objectives. For achieving the project objectives as well as planned outcomes in the provided timeframe and cost, it is necessary to use or adopt appropriate project method (Longman& Mullins, 2004).

Today, organizations are recognizing the importance of project management for the successful implementation of strategies. Hire  thesis writeronline for better understanding of related topic. Thus, project management is identified as considerable part of the strategic management. Growing trend of globalization of business and increasing competition in the global market has forced to these organizations to change their business strategies (Ika, et al., 2010). For this purpose, strategic management is consolidated with the project management of the organization so that organization can create competitive advantage in the industry. However, effective strategic management is very important for the organizations and it can be successful only if project management of the organization is successful and effective in terms of achieving the business objectives. 

 

Since the commencement of project management practice, various methodologies of project management are identified including traditional approach, agile or iterative, PRINCE2, and Prism. Traditionally, organizations have been employing waterfall model for the implementation of the project. Ask professional writers to  write my term paper. However, having progress in approaches of project management, technologies, and business needs has led to reconsider the traditional approach in terms of its capability and dynamics to deliver the demands (Kotnour, 2000). Therefore, there has been extensive decline in the adoption of waterfall model of project management. It is found that global business environment continues changing where change has led the interest of the project managers in the use of agile or iterative project management approach promising fast delivery as well as flexibility along with having sustainable maintenance of quality throughout the project (Futrell& Shafer, 2002).

Traditional project management approach is also known as waterfall model where one series of project activity is planned after another in linear sequence (Wysocki, 2011). Traditional or waterfall project management approach involves sequential design process in which improvement is observed as flowing downwards similar to that of waterfall. Thus, different phases of traditional project management approach are conception, initiation, analysis, design, construction, testing, production/implementation, and maintenance (Wysocki, 2004). Once objectives and goals of project are identified, different tasks and activities are assigned to team members. Historically, traditional approach to project management first appeared in the engineering and construction industry where there were clear requirements statements from clients, when they expected to receive and how much they were willing to pay.  Get connected with the  coursework writer online in case of getting achievement. The approach was created with the purpose to meet the objectives of project where requirement are already determined.

 

Today, significant issue is identified in terms of adopting traditional approach because business processes are complex and they are consistent. These organizations have abandoned the traditional approach of project management because they found the approach irresponsive to changes in the scope of project. Most of the students  buy research paper online from professionals. Traditional project management approach considers that project is limited in scope with a specific and explicit start and finish. It also regards that project needs to be managed for making it successful and different events affecting the project can be predicted. Thus, in the traditional project management approach, it is assumed that after the end of a phase, it does not need to be revisited (Charvat, 2003). However, the strength of the approach is that it makes it possible for project managers to have clear process for the development along with structure to break the process into different stages.  On the other hand, its limitations are concerned with the lack of sequential flow in the implementation of the project. Moreover, in this approach, it is difficult to understand the user requirements in the beginning of the project, which results in wrong scope of the project (Ahmed, 2012).  

Agile project management, on the other hand, is an approach that implies adopting an iterative method for the determination of the requirements for information technology projects in the most flexible and interactive manner. The approach has been identified as the most radical and innovative approach launched for practicing particularly software development projects. The approach offers agility while maintaining the idea of the project development, its delivery, and management (Leybourne, 2009). The significant aspect of the agile approach is that it enables organizations to acquire the advantages of the agility while avoiding any risk. Thus, it is not wrong to say that agile approach supports to considered and reasonable change. Historically, this project method has emerged to serve the projects of information technology such as software development projects.

 

This latest project management approach is mainly related to success of project where flexibility of agile models allows IT managers to implement and achieve the objective of the project in the most effective way (Highsmith, 2009). According to Larman (2004), agile project management is such approach, which includes iterative and evolutionary delivery of project outcomes, adaptive planning, and practice that fosters agility. That is the reason why, agile project management is regarded as value-driven project development approach wherein project managers are encouraged to deliver high-priority and quality to the business (Wysocki, 2010).

The strength of the agile project management approach lies in the fact that it reduces intricacy and complications in the project phases by breaking down the lifecycle of the whole project while determining the flaws (Bittner& Spence, 2006). Thus, iteration is the most important factor of the agile project management approach where division is made for the lifecycle of project into iteration. Each iteration in the project is similar to that of small project that is likely to create a progressive executable adaptation of the software application.

 

Priority is another important factor that contributes in the effective implementation of the iteration of project. Agile project management approach allows realizing high or low priority to execute the iteration. In this way, it significantly allows IT managers to determine high priority and high risk in early iteration of project and low priority and low risk in late iteration phase. Implementing the above-mentioned process for software project development leads to reduce risks involved in the project at the early stage (Stober& Hansmann, 2010). Communication and simplicity are the critical factor that makes the approach promising for the success of the project. 

However, certain weaknesses and disadvantages of the approaches are concerned with the factors that are taken into account as success factor of the project including involvement of users, flexibility, requirements gathering throughout the project development process, testing procedure. The approach requires active user involvement as well as close collaboration throughout the project process. The process may be very engaging and rewarding but it requires a lot of time from the user. Moreover, flexibility on one hand enables the businesses and organizations to have the right product; on the other hand, it is likely to increase the duration of the project, which may turn out to be failure project for the organization. Since the purpose of agile approach is to provide with flexibility to project team members to be able to initiate any task of the project without any planning, therefore, lack of planning leads to project last for undefined time (Stober& Hansmann, 2010).

 

PRINCE2 is another project management method that has commenced to have project in rather controlled environment. Mostly business find it difficult to control the project process, their effectiveness and deliverables and as a result project fail. Functionally, this project management approach is process-based approach, which provides with convenient and custom-made project management approach. This approach primary emerged in the IT industry of UK but now it is widely used in other sectors of the country. Today, organizations seek control over project management environment so that they can achieve desired deliverables after the completion of the project. Concerning the strengths of the approach, it is determined that the approach provides organizations with customary approach that helps in managing the project in rather controlled environment (Barnfield, 1999).

The generic nature of the approach attracts most of the businesses to consider the approach for managing their projects. Businesses experience failure of projects because they lack the control over the resources as well as organization ability to manage the project.  PRINCE2 offers these businesses achieve their project goals by having control over the resource and risk. Since it provides with flexibility in decision-making, it is easy to track the activities and potential failure and risk can be overcome at the earliest stage of the project. The strength of the approach is concerned with the involvement of management and stakeholders, as they are involved in every process of the project activity, and thus they are able to control and breakpoints to proceed successfully in the given requirement (Czarnecki, 2010). However, the associated disadvantage or weakness is that it does not offer the level of flexibility as offered by other modern methodology of project management. Particularly in software industry, project management has extended to different levels; PRINCE2 cannot fulfill the business requirements of modern project management. Today businesses seek flexibility and adaptability to implement their business strategies and to have successful strategic management. PRINCE2 approach is difficult for them to adopt.

 

Prism approach to project management is associated with alignment of business sustainability initiatives together with project delivery that is greatly regarded as well-structured project management method. As it is the acronym of Project integrating sustainability methods (Prism), it ensures that businesses achieve their strategic goals with the help of proactive as well as repeatable methods. Thus, it ensures the success of the project for the business by decreasing the negative influence of environment. Historically, the approach was developed by GPM Global that aimed at aligning the sustainability initiatives within the businesses with the help of project delivery. Therefore, the core purpose of the approach was to ensure the project success via removing unconstructive or harmful impact of the environment on the businesses (Najmi, et al., 2012).

The strengths of Prism approach are associated with the ease of use and simplicity. The approach provides with the Sustainability Management Plan that contain the combination of controls, which rule diverse aspects of the project. With the assistance to the analysis of the impact of project, it is very easy to estimate the risks involved in the project. Moreover, ensuring the success of the project is carried out through strong recognition of the idea of accountability of manager. Therefore, when project manager is held accountable for his values, and ethical standards, he comes up with project that is beyond the defined scope. However, disadvantage of the approach can be based on the misconception about understanding the environment where business operates (Neely, et al., 2001). 

 

With the increasing trend of businesses to adopt innovation and change to manage and operate their business process smoothly, project managers are likely to prefer adopting project management approach or lifecycle model that is simple, flexible, and helpful in achieving the goals. In this context, project managers are of the view to adopt adaptive project management approach. The growing inclination of project managers towards the adoption of adaptive project management approach and related lifecycle model indicates that there should be thorough investigation of both approaches while highlighting the difference and similarities between both approaches to determine why businesses prefer adaptive approach but not traditional approach of project management (Highsmith, 2009).

While comparing the approaches of project management, it is significant to analyze the fundamental nature of both. The most significant difference between the approaches is concerned with the rigidity and flexibility of both approaches that they offer to businesses to achieve their strategic goals. Waterfall model is rigid model in terms of allowing changes whereas adaptive approach is flexible. Another greater difference is observed between these approaches, as waterfall model offers a sequentially designed process for the project development together with development life cycle. On the other hand, adaptive project management approach offers iterative and incremental process where each phase is divided into further small iteration (Koch, 2005). Especially, it is found in the agile approach wherein businesses are able to lead their projects in small iteration while avoiding the in convenience in terms of lacking the strategic business needs of project management.

 

As recognized earlier that change is the most crucial needs of the businesses and it can be achieved by adopting adaptive project management approach, wherein organizations can easily work on the small module of the project, and can easily respond to changed requirements of business environment instead of pursuing particular plan. In contrast to waterfall mode, adaptive approach is also simple and flexible because change can be made as the work progresses (Martin, 2003). On the other hand, waterfall model is regarded as rigid and nonflexible approach of project management wherein once project is planned; organization cannot make any change during the project process. Moreover, unlike adaptive approach, testing as well as feedback does not take place   simultaneously with project development in the waterfall approach.

Adopting adaptive approach allows the organizations to consider priority to collaboration over design. Thus, by nature, both approaches are structured differently, where adaptive approach is structured to accelerate the learning for organizations while gathering user comment and response at early stage, determining and rectifying complications, and testing from beginning of the project process. Waterfall approach, on the other hand, is structured on defining each phase clearly with definite outcomes (Cohn, 2005). Unlike adaptive approach, waterfall model does not focus on the constant learning of the organization towards achieving the business objectives rather it assumes that everything is known about the project. Organizations adopting waterfall approach for the project management experiences critical issues with regard to changes in the project, as process and planning of the project product is already carried out in the initial phase of the project. Conversely, adopting adaptive approach allows organizations to have flexibility of working on any project phase without any dependency on other phase. 

 

Besides difference in the nature of the approaches, flow and sequences of developmental phases in both approaches are remarkably different. In adaptive approach, the project is initiated with the design process first whereas waterfall model starts with the planning from top to bottom all together. In adaptive approach, planning is not always crucial and new parts can be added in the project as the project progresses. Thus, organizations’ business requirements can easily be added during the project process, as different parts of the project are prepared separately and do not affect each other (Subramaniam& Hunt, 2006). Unlike adaptive approach, all parts or phases of the project has to be planned prior to project initiation in the waterfall approach. However, it leads to many problems related to inefficiency to meet the business requirements because it is very unlikely to include all the business requirements of organizations before the development phase of the project. Additionally, to process the project according to the plan, it is necessary to consider all information during project execution whereas in adaptive approach, changes can be made at any stage of the project.

With regard to project execution, in adaptive approach particularly in agile approach, development is an iterative process wherein project execution is carried out in small iterations (Collier, 2011). In waterfall approach, on the other hand, development is a phase in which phase ends with the requirements description for another phase. Unlike waterfall approach, adaptive approach comprises of iteration in which new version of the product is updated with new features with less planning involved in it. Additionally, testing is conducted differently in both approaches, as in adaptive approach, testing is carried out for each iteration. On the other hand, in waterfall approach, testing phase is carried out after the development phase. It is because in waterfall, separate parts of the project are not prepared, therefore, they are not fully well designed to be tested, and verification of the requirements can only be tested after the completion of the project (Fox& Waldt, 2008).

 

Considerable issue in waterfall approach faced by organization is concerned with lack of knowledge about if the system meets the requirements of the business. Different project managed carried out using waterfall model failed because they were unable to evaluate and assess capability of the project in terms of meeting the business requirements at different stages of project management process. 

Project deliverables are objects created as a consequent of the project, which has to be delivered to business. However, project deliverables may be in any form. When adaptive and traditional approaches are compared, it is found that in adaptive approach, deliverables are not bound to be delivered to organizations after the completion of the project (Stober& Hansmann, 2010). In this regard, while using adaptive approach, important features in the project product is developed and when the iteration ends, it is delivered to the organization for their feedback and comments on the work carried out. Further work is carried out after receiving and implementing management’s feedbacks and comments. On the other hand, in the waterfall model of the project management, all the deliverables have to be delivered all together after completing all the implementation phases of the project. In this way, weakness of the approach is that organizations cannot change their requirements in the project because if they do so, it will require revising all the developmental phases of the project (Martin, 2003).

 

Lack of provision of deliverables at different stages or process of project is likely to lead to numerous critical problems in relation to meeting the project requirements. Managers, who adopt adaptive approach for the project management, find it very convenient to meet the expectations of the organizations and their changing business needs because they are to deliver the deliverables of the project in each process or iteration and are able to meet their requirements in the form of final product. However, in past, many projects failed because they pursued the requirements planned in the early stage of project process and delivered the outcomes of the project after the completion of the project. First, they were unable to identify the thorough requirement of clients in first place and once final project product is delivered many problems are identified in that concerning functionality of the system. 

While analyzing the predictability and adaptability, it is clear that predictability is concerned with the waterfall model and adaptability is concerned with agile approach. Waterfall model along with pursuing planned project process is more predictable way in terms of getting results. Adaptive approach carried out without any pre-planning is more adaptable. The ways these two characterizes of the project management approaches help the project to achieve its objectives signify their importance in the project management. According to Wysocki (2011), predictability has great significance in the success of the project management because it helps in achieving the project objectives. To ensure the predictability in the project, planning plays an important role, which provides with the project milestones, deliverables, and time frame.  Moreover, predictability in project assists the organization in reducing the cost as well as improving the profitability of the business. Thus, without planning, a project will not be able to gain its objectives, as there will be no definite time frame and project budget (Charvat, 2003). Since projects are form of investment made by organizations, every organization seeks return on the investment therefore having no clear planning, and deliverables will eventually lead the project with never-ending and over costly project.

 

On the other hand, adaptability is also identified as an essential element for successful project management. In this regard, uncertainty has been determined as critical factor occurring in the project process. Project processes cannot be free of uncertain events and to deal with the uncertain events in the project management, it is essential that project process is flexible or adaptable. In relation to predictability of waterfall model, adaptability of adaptive approach pursues no preplanning (Subramaniam& Hunt, 2006). The approach advocates that predictability and inadaptability in project leads to lack of innovation and creativity to solve project issues. However, the fact cannot be denied that adhering to the determined scheduling and costing will limit the scope of the project. Additionally, adaptability in project helps in bringing change in the project if required (Cohn, 2005). Projects frequently change throughout the project process and in order to meet the project objectives, it is necessary to be adaptive. 

When analyzing the difference between waterfall and agile approach of project management, it is found that communication factor is not efficient in the waterfall model. Regular communication amongst project team members, management, and stakeholders is one of the essential factors that make the project integration possible (Sliger& Broderick, 2008). In adaptive approach of project management, there is critical importance of communication between team members, management of organization and stakeholders (Ahmed, 2012).   . Therefore, meetings are required to be held on daily basis for determining the project work and dependencies. In this regard, it is determined that failure to communicate can impose significant threat to success of project because communication helps in ensuring creation, assortment, and distribution, storing, and disposition of information effectively (Goodpasture, 2010). 

 

When comparing the level of communication proposed in both approaches, it is found that in the agile approach, project teams are allowed to pursue open communication techniques and tools for sharing information (Bittner& Spence, 2006). These techniques and tools are efficient in making the team members and organization management to communicate their views and feedback explicitly and effectively. Thus, their comments and views are easily taken into account when determining the requirements and implementing of project. On the other hand, communication is not an essential element in the waterfall model of project management, and team members and stakeholders cannot communicate their ideas until software development project is finished (Wysocki, 2004).  In this respect, they are to follow the planning documented in the initial stage of the project. However, it does not emphasize that there is no communication in the waterfall model. Rather, it emphasizes that communication take place but is not the core of project (Charvat, 2003).                                                                        

Based on the above discussion, it is found adaptive approach to project management is adopted by today’s organization, as they depend on the success of their project for the effective implementation of their strategies. In this regard, it is determined that different attributes and characteristics of adaptive approach including flexibility, adaptability, communication, and iteration provide organizations with the opportunity to achieve project outcomes. Today, business environment is experiencing pressures of extraordinary change, global competition, changing technologies, and growing intricacy. Therefore, having such complicated temperament of businesses environment; projects are used as source for the successful implementation of strategic decisions. However, to meet the changing requirements of global business environment, it is important that projects are adaptive enough to meet the changing requirement of businesses. Based on it, it is recommended to organizations to adopt adaptive approach to project management so that they can meet the expectations of project, maintain consistency, improve the productivity, and reach to the outcomes of the project.  


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