What is it

As defined by the Project Management Insitute:

A project is temporary in that it has a defined beginning and end in time, and therefore defined scope and resources. And a project is unique in that it is not a routine operation, but a specific set of operations designed to accomplish a singular goal. So a project team often includes people who don't usually work together - sometimes from different organizations and across multiple geographies.

As defined in PRINCE2®:

A temporary organisation that is created for the purpose of delivering one or more business products according to a specified Business Case.

What does Temporary infer

Temporary does not necessarily mean the duration of the project is short:
  • It indicates that a project has a definite beginning and end.
  • It refers to the project's engagement and its longevity.
  • The end is reached when:
    • The project's objectives have been achieved
    • When the project is terminated because its objectives will not or cannot be met, or
    • When the need for the project no longer exists, or
    • f the client (customer,sponsor, or champion) wishes to terminate the project

Also, Temporary does not typically apply to the product, service, or result created by the project; most projects are undertaken to create a lasting outcome.

Project Methodologies

There are many project methodologies which can be considered. Each has their advantages and disadvantages.

Considerations for selecting a method should include:

  1. Velocity -How fast the project needs to be delivered or completed.
  2. Formality - How formal the governance, process and procedures need to be.
  3. Skills - What resources are available to the project.
  4. Complexity - How complex the project is

PRINCE2® provides a solid and repeatable methodology while PMBoK® provides high quality standards of deduction. A quick comparison is available on the Hilogic site here.

Some of the more common project methodologies you may consider include:

  • Adaptive Project Framework - Used where the project scope is a variable with constant time and cost constraints. The project scope is adjusted in order to get the maximum business value from the project.
  • Agile Software Development - For a project that needs extreme agility in requirements. The key features of agile are its short-termed delivery cycles (sprints), agile requirements, dynamic team culture, less restrictive project control and emphasis on real-time communication.
  • Lean Development - Lean development focuses on developing change-tolerance software. In this method, satisfying the customer comes as the highest priority.
  • The team is motivated to provide the highest value for the money paid by the customer.
  • PMBoK® - Strictly speaking PMBoK® is not a methodology - PMI® call it a standard. It is useful for project practitioners, but it does not provide a clear framework for consistency and governance. It comprises a core set of processes, and bodies of knowledge, with a useful set of tools and techniques.
  • PRINCE2® - (an acronym for PRojects IN Controlled Environments, version 2). It provides a consistent approach, focus on business justification, control through review, stakeholder involvement based on eight high-level processes.
  • Rapid Application Development (RAD) - This methodology focuses on developing products faster with higher quality. When it comes to gathering requirements, it uses the workshop method. Prototyping is used for getting clear requirements and re-use the software components to accelerate the development timelines.
  • Rational Unified Process® (RUP) - RUP tries to capture all the positive aspects of modern software development methodologies and offer them in one package. This was one of the first project management methodologies that suggested an iterative approach to software development.
  • Scrum - This is an agile methodology. The main goal of this methodology is to improve team productivity dramatically by removing every possible burden. Scrum projects are managed by a Scrum master.
  • Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC) - This is a conceptual model used in software development projects. In this method, there is a possibility of combining two or more project management methodologies for the best outcome. SDLC also heavily emphasizes on the use of documentation and has strict guidelines on it
  • Waterfall (Traditional) - This is the legacy model for software development projects. This methodology has been in practice for decades before the new methodologies were introduced. In this model, development lifecycle has fixed phases and linear timelines. This model is not capable of addressing the challenges in the modern software development domain.

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