Project management strategy by business approach

There are two leading project management approaches in use today – the traditional waterflow (PMBOK, PRINCE2) and the adaptive (AGILE). The traditional approach is to treat the classical triple requirements (scope, budget and time frame) with equal importance, but giving special emphasis to planning and prediction to increase the success of the project’s management.

Adaptive approaches are more selective about the importance of the above-mentioned requirements and handling scope as these are naturally and constantly changing. Nevertheless, they give special emphasis to rapid adaptation to changing business needs believing that long-term planning and forecasts are erroneous and costly. As such, adaptive project management approaches differ significantly from the traditional ones. We need to ask the following questions:

  • Is there a project management approach that is more flexible and adaptable than the traditional waterflow?
  • How do we decide which approach to use for a project (or part of a project)?
  • Can these methodologies be effectively combined?

Regardless whether we choose a traditional or adaptive approach, we still need to deal with the fundamentals of project management, which are scope, time-frame and budget.

In order to answer the above questions, we may wish to look at the principles of modern business management strategies to consider whether the difference in approaches has anything to do with the selection of the project management and tools. This is particularly relevant because most of our projects are initiated and approved in the business.

There is another reason for searching for a connection between business and project management strategies: projects similar to business strategies can be planned, but not predicted without uncertainty. If we were to assume that “uncertainty” (both level of and reaction to) plays a significant role in selecting company and project management strategies, then the questions to consider are:

  • How can modern company strategy respond to an uncertain situation in order to decide “What should be done next”?
  • What is the link between company and project management strategies?
  • Does the IT function play a significant role in deciding the best approach?
  • Has the organization’s ability and willingness to manage execution any role in deciding the best approach?

The article not only contains the answer to the above-mentioned questions and provides a clear strategy for choosing and combining project management tools on both a macro and micro level, but also has examples showing the implementation of the proposal in a live environment

The complete article was written by:

  • Ervin Bányai
    IT leader from Hungary with 15 years experience in running large and complex IT organizations, programs and projects

Download the full article pdf (pdf, 342 KB)

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