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Melissa takes us through the contentious subject of which project management methodology is the right one to use.Melissa Kugel10 mins
Which method has captured your heart? Waterfall? Scrum? Melissa is here to tell you you’re doing it wrong.
Melissa, one of our Project Management Leads, is here to tell you why it might be best to abandon your methodology altogether.
Okay, okay. “Wrong” may have been too harsh. By all means, if it’s working for you, keep going, managing projects is no easy thing.
But let’s talk about why it might be best to abandon your methodology altogether...
I’m Melissa, the Project Management Lead from The Virtual Forge, and I love…
Making it up as I go along...
Yeah, that’s not quite right.
...And I love endlessly updating the project plan.
No, I agree, it’s torture.
...And I I love adapting the way we work to benefit my client and my team.
Everyone gets excited when "Agile" is mentioned. But did you know Agile is not a process or methodology?
Quite the opposite.
It’s a set of principles to guide how you approach projects. It’s a mindset.
I once attended a talk by one of the authors of the Agile Manifesto and my biggest takeaway: Apply a “methodology” to agile, and it would mean that you're no longer agile.
Be ready and willing to adapt to change.
So now what?
What we see now is the rise of "hybrid methodologies". You don't have to choose between Waterfall, Scrum, or any other of the dozens of project management methodologies.
There’s no one right answer to this.
Take great ideas from everywhere and blend them into a project management cocktail that suits your tastes.
Start the planning process using waterfall. You may need to if your client knows exactly what they want and time and budget are fixed.
The project plan you lay out goes from start to finish and captures the major milestones and deliverables. Avoid going into detail though.
This plan serves as a point of reference as you move through the project and projects change!
Go too detailed here and your sole role on the project might just end up being glorified date editor.
Next, execute the work using scrum.
Within those high level milestones you've defined on the plan, break the work up into 2-4 week buckets, or sprints.
This is where you get into the detail of what the requirements are, who is working on it, and when is it due.
This will allow you the flexibility to reprioritise tasks as needed and the satisfaction of completing one block of work at a time.
Once a project is underway, run your team meetings using the Tactical Meeting format defined by Holacracy.
Yes, Holacracy. It's an organizational management structure, not really project management methodology but remember, we want good ideas from everywhere.
During this format, your team starts by calling out distractions, because remember you’re dealing with people, not machines.
Help people get present.
Maybe they just got a puppy, maybe they have a sick kid at home.
Try to understand where your team is, mentally.
Once you get people present, you move onto a quick review of key project metrics, then comes the bulk of the meeting.
You build the agenda on the fly based on the needs of your team, then process that agenda.
The goal here is to clear roadblocks and keep people moving.
How often should you have this meeting?
Whatever makes sense for your team!! But I’d recommend at least once weekly.
And finally, I’m gonna bring us back to scrum and wrap it all up with a retrospective.
If you’re running in 2-4 week sprints, it could be helpful to have a retrospective after each, especially if your project is long.
You don't want to wait until the end to decide what went well and what didn't.
Check in as a team regularly to align on what you want to stop, start, and continue doing.
Make adjustments as you go.
Also have a project retrospective at the end.
This meeting would focus on things you may not have been able to address sprint by sprint, such as how a project was initially set up or what expectations were set with the client.
Write things down and make a plan to build those lessons into your next project.
To sum it up, there’s no one right way to manage a project.
The end goal should always be to deliver a successful result for your client and your company.
There are lots of good ideas out there on how to achieve this.
Do your research.
And most importantly, collaborate.
If you have any questions or comments, or if you’ve got a project you’d like to talk to us about, you’ll find our contact details in the description.
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