Over the years, and in recent times, project managers of varying degrees of experience have raised several questions while attending one of our project management training. Our instructors collated five of the most frequently asked ones.
Q1. What is the best Project Management Methodology?
Project Managers are spoilt for choice when selecting a Project Management Methodology. Some of the more popular ones are PMP, Agile, Scrum, and Kanban. Etc. New Project managers want to know which one trumps the rest. It’s a trick question. All methodologies focus on getting deliverables done on time and within budget. “There is no best way to manage a project.” Blancard (2020).
Peculiarities in the project, product, delivery cadence, and project environment mean that the most suitable project methodology for Project ABC may not be ideal for Project XYZ. Considerations must be made on a case-by-case basis. Here are some methodologies you can adopt for your project:
1. Waterfall Methodology: In Waterfall, phases of the project flow downward, i.e. you can only move on to the next phase when all processes in the previous phase have been completed. It is the most traditional and linear of all the project management methods. It is commonly used for manufacturing and construction projects, where minor changes could dramatically disrupt the schedule and budget.
2. Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) is published by The Project Management Institute (PMI). PMBOK is a collection of the guidelines, processes, best practices, and terminologies that are the accepted norm in the industry. Especially with the 2021 update, with the added principle of tailoring, PMBok can benefit all kinds of projects. PMBOK provides traditional guidelines for how to manage projects.
3. Agile Project Management is faster and more flexible than Waterfall as project planning and delivery are executed adaptively. It is responsive and can accommodate a high level of uncertainty. This methodology is popular with product and software development as the project is open to change as delivery requirements are developed.
4. Scrum is a short “sprint” method of managing and delivering complex projects, typically including software development projects requiring flexibility. It emphasises teamwork, communication, and iterative progress toward a well-defined goal. It is ideal for small project teams, and project work is broken down into two-week or monthly sprints with daily stand-up meetings, known as daily scrum meetings. The scrum team(development team, Product Owner and Scrum Master) reviews their progress and adjusts their plan at the end of every sprint. The Scrum method was created independently but is part of the agile project management framework.
5. Lean Methodology, or Lean Project Management, is a strategy to reduce waste by increasing the value of projects and manufacturing processes. The approach focuses on eliminating unnecessary steps or processes, positively impacting the value stream. This is achieved by optimising various technologies, assets, and verticals. Lean methodology prioritises end-user feedback, rapid prototyping, and early product delivery in software development to increase value. Although commonly used in manufacturing, Lean is also adopted by construction, startups, and software development companies.
6. PRINCE2 means Projects IN Controlled Environments. This method was created by the UK government mainly for IT projects. PRINCE2 is guided by seven principles, themes, and procedures. It is a popular project management methodology In most UK governmental agencies and the United Nations. It’s not always appropriate for small projects.
7. Six Sigma, as a methodology, is a quality management approach that aims to identify and eliminate defects in a project. It uses empirical statistics to improve the quality of the project. Lean Six Sigma is an extension of Six Sigma, incorporating lean methodology to eliminate waste. The doctrine of Six Sigma emphasises the importance of continuous efforts to achieve stable and expected results through process refinement and improvement. It requires the whole organisation to be involved, from the management to project team members, to sustain quality in a project. While Six Sigma is standard in larger organisations, smaller companies may not be able to take advantage of its benefits.
8. Kanban Methodology Kanban means billboard in Japanese. Kanban Methodology is a project management approach that uses visual tools to manage workflow and progress. It involves assigning tasks on a Kanban board, where all team members can easily see the project’s status. This methodology is commonly used in lean manufacturing or agile projects and can be implemented using visual planning software such as Trello, Jira and Asana. Kanban boards help to display project phases, task deadlines, people, and ideas.
9. The Critical Path Method (CPM) is a commonly used project management methodology. It is a reliable and credible approach for managing complex projects, particularly those that involve multiple tasks and dependencies. When project managers identify the critical path, they can focus on managing the most vital tasks and milestones, which helps ensure the project is completed on time and within budget. CPM is widely used in construction, engineering, and other industries that require detailed planning and scheduling. Many project management software tools also incorporate CPM as a core feature.
10. Extreme Programming (XP) is another project management methodology that falls under the agile umbrella. It involves short development cycles and frequent releases to enhance productivity. XP allows for modifying customer requirements to align with the project’s trajectory. This methodology is beneficial when dealing with constantly changing requirements. Therefore, it is often used to manage software development. as XP’s flexibility proves valuable. XP is ideal for clients who lack a definitive understanding of their needs.
Q2. Which Project Management Certification is the most globally recognised?
Another closely follows this question: Is it worth it? Let’s answer the ancillary question first.
Benefits Of Being Certified.
Getting certified is undoubtedly a worthy investment for your career progression. Kashyap, V. (2021). First, it is the obvious choice for a career switch, as organisations are more likely to hire certified candidates regardless of experience. Additionally, the study and practice it takes to pass certification examinations help build the knowledge base and skill set, ultimately increasing your work’s quality.
Even if you are working at the job of your dreams, studies indicate that a project management certification could offer you up to a 20% raise in your income.
But which certification to go for? Please browse through the most popular general project management certifications by their awarding bodies.
- Project Management Institute (PMI) has a handful of notable project management certificates: Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM), Project Management Professional (PMP), and Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP). CAPM requires 1,500 hours of project experience OR 23 hours of project management training. PMP requires 4,500 hours of project experience AND 35 hours of project management training. ACP requires 2000 hours of project experience, 1500 hours of Agile project experience, AND 21 hours of training in Agile practices. PMI(2023).
- Axelos has PRINCE2 Foundation and PRINCE2 Practitioner, both are valued in the UK, Northern Europe, Australia, Canada, and many other Commonwealth countries.
- Association for Project Management (APM) APM offers two primary qualifications: PMQ (APM Project Management Qualification) and PPQ (APM Project Professional Qualification).
- org, the Home of Scrum, offers different types and levels of Scrum certifications, with the most popular being Professional Scrum Master (PSM)- Scrum.org (2023).
- The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) has The CompTIA Project+, an entry-level certification for people with one year of project management experience.
- The EC-Council has CPMP: Certified Project Management Practitioner and Project Management in IT Security (PMITS). The only requirement for CPMP is a three-day preparation course. Prerequisites for PMITS Exam include at least two years of information security and EC-Council training.
- The American Academy of Project Management (AAPM) is the body in charge of the Master Project Manager (MPM) certification. To qualify for MPM, you need training and at least three years’ worth of project management experience.
- The Global Association for Quality Management (GAQM) offers “Professional in Project Management” (PPM), “Associate in Project Management” (APM), and “Certified Project Director” (CPD). PPM requires project management experience and completion of an E-course. APM is an entry-level certification that requires no formal education or experience. CPD is an expert-level certification that requires project management experience and completion of an E-course. – Global Association for Quality Management (2023).
- The ASQ institute administers CSSGB: Certified Six Sigma Green Belt Certificate and CSSBB: Certified Six Sigma Black Belt. For CSSGB, you need at least three paid years of full-time work with Six Sigma projects. For CSSBB, you need to have completed at least two types of projects, with at least three years as a project manager.
- International Project Management Association (IPMA) has “Certified Senior Project Manager” (Level B).
- The International Association of Project Managers (IAPM) has “Certified Project Manager” (IAPM).
While there is no one best methodology, there is one certification that has wider acceptance and higher recognition than others. Globally, the PMP is more highly regarded by organisations and employers than others. – Westland (2019).
Q3. Okay, I’ve decided to go with PMP, but am I qualified to write the PMP exam?
Well, this is a good question because not everyone that qualified to write this exam, but you likely are. Let’s go over the requirements from the PMI website.
“You must meet certain educational and professional experience requirements to qualify for the PMP certification”- PMI 2023
- Either CAPM® Certification or 35 Contact hours of project management education/training (Taking our 5-day Exam Preparatory Course provides you with this requirement.)
- Suppose you have a four-year degree (in any discipline). In that case, you also need 36 months of experience leading and directing projects (accrued within the last eight consecutive years before your application)- A project is a temporary endeavour to create a unique product, service or result.
- If your highest level of education is a high school diploma or an associate’s degree, you must prove 60 months of experience leading and directing projects.
Create an account on the PMI website and register for the examination with your details: Name, contact information, Job title/role, University degree, number of contact hours, and Description of projects that qualify as project management experience.
Ensure all documentation- test results, training certificates, and transcripts are available in case you are audited. If nothing is amiss, you should receive acceptance confirmation within a week of submission.
The examination costs $405 (member) and $555 (non-member). It is not obligatory to join PMI®, but you can access free PMI resources as a member.
Q.4 I hear there is a new PMBOK; does it mean all my previous studying is wasted?
If you prepared to write the PMP exam sometime before the pandemic, you probably had a look at the 750-page- process-driven PMBOK6.
And if you only just now ventured into the project management field, you’ve possibly had an earful of a change from the norm with the new Project Management Body of Knowledge version 7.
The knowledge therein has not become irrelevant. Instead, it has been simplified.
Version 6 focuses on processes, and the current Version 7 focuses on principles. Not to say that processes are unimportant; every project needs the structure that well-defined processes allow. But processes are often prescriptive and do not always apply to every project in every industry. Conversely, principles are open to interpretation and serve as foundational guidelines for strategy, decision-making, and problem-solving. They are intended to guide the behaviour of people involved in projects.
The principles are internally consistent; they do not contradict each other. However, some overlap may be with any of the 12 or general management principles. For example, both projects and businesses focus on delivering value. The delivery methods may differ, but the underlying principle of focusing on value can apply to both.
Q.5 How can I pass the PMI- PMP exam on the first Try?
You need commitment, organisation, and guidance like all certification exams.
Invest Time- The shortest path to success is the direct path. The amount and quality of time you dedicate to your study each day will show in your exam results. No shortcuts can deliver an equal value.
Of course, every individual has a peculiar situation. Still, we recommend a two-month study timeline broken down into an hour of uninterrupted study 5 days a week and at least four hours over the weekend to attempt practice tests and study the answers.
Understand what PMI wants you to prove you know, and understand their style of questioning by studying the PMBOK7 with the 2021 exam course outline (AOC) and taking practice questions. You should also have a realistic study plan, study tools, and simulated mock exams.
You will have less than 4 hours to answer 180 questions with a 230-minute time limit. Practice full-length mock exams at least thrice before attempting the actual exam.
PMP Certification is an individual journey. You can navigate the journey independently since you probably have considerable Project Management knowledge at your fingertips. However, a training course will help you join the dots, fill in the gaps, and understand the principles. So why choose to go the hard way? It’s much easier to seek the guidance of experienced and licensed coaches, who can help you filter out the information overload and break a world of material into sizeable easy-to-remember chunks.
Here is where pcl. can help. For over two decades, we have guided professionals seeking to advance their careers through the pcl. Training Arm. Let us hold your hand as you successfully qualify for the exam and prepare to write it.