Common Project Management Methodologies


With Project Management Methodologies being launched every other year. The Project Management arena can be imagined like a WAR Zone. Common Development Methodologies can be remembered using the WAR acronym. W – Waterfall, A – Agile, R – Rapid Application Development or RAD


  • First introduced in 1970 by Dr. Winston Royce
  • Emphasizes logical progression of steps
  • Project Activities are broken into Linear sequential phases where each phase depends on deliverables of previous one & corresponds to a specialization of tasks
  • Easy to understand & follow
  • Product Owner may not comprehend the different requirements prior to looking at a working product
  • Testing at the completion of implementation means that if a design flaw is identified, the whole process needs to start over again to include the design fix
  • Non iterative in nature and ignores mid stream client feedback


  • Agile software development comprises various approaches to software development under which requirements and solutions evolve through the collaborative effort of self-organizing and cross-functional teams and their customer(s)/end user
  • It is very Important to understand the Agile Manifesto to appreciate the foundation of different Agile Methodologies:
  • Individuals & Interactions over Processes & Tools
  • Working software over Comprehensive Documentation
  • Customer Collaboration over Contract Negotiation
  • Responding to Change over Following a Plan

Rad – Rapid Application Development

  • A software development process developed by James Martin At IBM in 1980s
  • Based on 5 principles:
  • Requirements gathering through Workshops and Focus Groups
  • Prototyping and early design user testing
  • Modular reusable software components
  • Less formal reviews
  • Rigid iteration duration that defer design improvements to next iteration

In the name of Agile many products & capabilities are marketed. But what kind of Agile is often a question we fail to ask! There are many Agile Methodology types. But you can always remember: SLSCDKX – Scrum, Lean, SAFe, DSDM, Kanban, XP

Agile – SLSCDKX – Scrum, Lean, SAFe,Crystal, DSDM, Kanban, XP

Scrum – Scrum is an agile process framework for managing complex knowledge work, with an initial emphasis on software development, although it has been used in other fields and is slowly starting to be explored for other complex work, research and advanced technologies

For this methodology remember CCFOR

  • Commitment {dedication to sprint goals}
  • Courage(to do what you think is right)
  • Focus (what is important now, the work items in current sprint)
  • Openness (about any challenges you face)
  • Respect (everyone’s opinion, experience and trust that everyone is doing their best)

Lean – Lean offers a solid conceptual framework, values and principles, as well as good practices, derived from experience, that support agile organizations.

LSD also known as Lean Software Development was adopted from TPS {Toyota Production System}. Focuses on eliminating waste, amplifying learning, build integrity in and other principles

SAFe { Scaled Agile Framework}

SAFE deals with enterprise wide programs ~ 50 to 125 members. This methodology is based on Agile Scrum & lean Product Development

Operates at four levels:

  • Team
  • Program
  • Value Stream
  • Portfolio


Crystal method is an agile software development approach that focuses primarily on people and their interactions when working on a project rather than on processes and tools.

Crystal Method is based on two fundamental assumptions:

  • Teams can streamline their processes as their work and become a more optimized team
  • Projects are unique and dynamic and require specific methods

DSDM {Dynamic Systems Development Method}

DSDM initially came out as a Software Development Method. It originally sought to provide some discipline to the RAD{Rapid Application Development} framework

Two of the Core Techniques that standout in this methodology are:
1. Timeboxing: is the approach for completing the project incrementally by breaking it down into splitting the project in portions, each with a fixed budget and a delivery date. For each portion a number of requirements are prioritized and selected. Because time and budget are fixed, the only remaining variables are the requirements. So if a project is running out of time or money the requirements with the lowest priority are omitted. This does not mean that an unfinished product is delivered, because of the Pareto Principle that 80% of the project comes from 20% of the system requirements, so as long as those most important 20% of requirements are implemented into the system, the system therefore meets the business needs and that no system is built perfectly in the first try.
2. MoSCoW: is a technique for prioritizing work items or requirements. It is an acronym that stands for:
MUST have ; SHOULD have; COULD have; WON’T have

Kanban – Developed in 1953 at Toyota. Kanban means billboard or signboard in Japanese. This methodology focuses on visualization & flow management as part of its practices

Benefits of Kanban include

  • Shorter cycle times can deliver features faster.
  • Responsiveness to Change:
  • When priorities change very frequently, Kanban is ideal
  • Balancing demand against throughput guarantees that most the customer-centric features are always being worked.
  • Requires fewer organization / room set-up changes to get started
  • Reducing waste and removing activities that don’t add value to the team/department/organization
  • Rapid feedback loops improve the chances of more motivated, empowered and higher-performing team members

Xtreme Programming – A lightweight methodology for small to medium sized teams

XP involves the following Processes:

  • Planning Game
  • Test Driven Development
  • Pair Programming
  • Whole team/ user of program is available for feedback
  • Continuous Integration
  • Refactoring of Design Improvements
  • Small Releases
  • Coding Standards
  • System Metaphor
  • Sustainable Pace
  • Courage

2 thoughts on “Common Project Management Methodologies”

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