There are thousands of project management methodologies in use today, and each one has its own structure and strategies. This article will assist you in finding the best approaches to managing your software development life cycle.

As a project manager, it’s important to choose the right project management methodology that suits your business and your team. However, the project management landscape is constantly changing and a project manager may feel a bit overwhelmed by the number of its methodologies. 

The project management methodologies often include a set of rules, principles and techniques that guide managers in organizing their projects. Choosing a project management methodology depends on a number of factors like the size, risk and scope of the project, business drivers, core values, etc. Besides, different project management methodologies can be used and adapted for different products and industries, which explains why the list of project management methodologies is so diverse. 

Below, the tech leaders share several methods that work best for their teams and projects. 

Top 7 Preferred Project Management Methodology, According to Tech Leaders

1. Waterfall methodology

Among the list of project management methodologies, waterfall is a traditional one for managing projects. The waterfall methodology demonstrates the software development lifecycle in a linear, sequential model. This means completing phases and tasks one by one, and every step has to be completed before the next step starts. Five main phases of waterfall methodology include requirements, design, implementation, testing and installation/maintenance. 

As its name suggests, progress flows down in one direction, like a waterfall. Compared to many rival methodologies, waterfall is much easier to implement and manage the project. It also provides certainty around the budget, timeline and scope. However, waterfall is less flexible and does not support making changes. 

Thus, Peter Lee, CEO of Cloud Coach suggests water-scrum-fall, a hybrid, flexible approach that combines the best of waterfall and scrum methodologies. It not only enables development teams to work efficiently but also commits to delivering project outcomes within a fixed timeline.  

2. Agile methodology

Agile project management methodology was developed as an alternative to waterfall. Rather than waiting until the end to review and amend, agile allows teams to revise the project and make adjustments when a problem arises. This can help adapt quickly to changing requirements. 

There are many different frameworks in agile, such as Lean, Kanban, Scrum, Extreme Programming and more. But scrum and Kanban are the most widely used. They all have one thing in common: they are built on principles, mainly collaboration, quickness, and adapting to change. 

Agile is best suited for businesses that require flexibility and adaptation to change. It can help increase a team’s productivity and efficiency as well as customer satisfaction. But a big disadvantage of agile method is that all stakeholders must work together daily throughout the project. 

3. Scrum methodology

Scrum is one of the most popular forms of agile project management. Inside it, a complex project can be broken down into small cycles, called sprints. They can last a few days to weeks but should never be longer than one month. During a sprint, all team members are required to attend daily standup meetings where they have to report progress, plan out their work for the day and identify obstacles that can affect their team velocity. To ensure success, the team holds a sprint review meeting at the end of every sprint. They evaluate the tasks completed, inspect and adapt the product. 

A scrum master (rather than a project manager) leads the team that is working during a sprint to deliver the highest quality work. Scrum emphasizes teamwork and productivity in project management. It helps the team quickly react to changes, take responsibility for the project and produce high-quality results. However, scrum is not suited to projects with a fixed scope, timeline, and budget. 

4. Lean methodology

Lean is included in the list of project management methodologies. It works on the principles to eliminate possible waste and maximize customer value. Lean methodology is designed to optimize workflows, reduce costs and remove inefficiencies. 

Lean focuses on delivering value to the customers. It is best suited for complex projects with limited budget and resources. By minimizing waste, the lean method helps increase profits and optimize productivity to improve customer satisfaction. However, lean management has some disadvantages like high implementation cost, complex procedures and lack of time.

5. DevOps methodology

This methodology is a combination of software development (Dev) and software operations (Ops). The principles of DevOps include collaboration, automation, continuous improvement, responsibility and customer centricity. 

DevOps is about creating IT cultural change in companies. It can help businesses accelerate operational efficiency, deliver products to market faster and strengthen security and compliance. However, lots of developers consider DevOps as a challenge because of its difficulties with integration, high costs and automated testing. 

6. Kanban methodology

Another method of agile project management is Kanban. This methodology is designed to improve workflow by allowing you to track and manage the project in a visual way. Unlike Scrum, Kanban does not define roles. Instead, it prioritizes tasks based on their importance levels.

With the Kanban board, a project manager can monitor the progress of a project and assess the team’s workload. The team can improve the speed and quality of delivery by limiting work in progress. Kanban provides flexibility in production but comes with a few challenges like complexity and difficulty with timeline prediction.

7. Scrumban methodology

Scrumban is a combination of Scrum and Kanban methodologies. It enables the team to find out how much work can be completed in each sprint and prioritize the most important task to do next. Scrumban also uses Kanban board to visualize workflow and track project progress. In this methodology, the team can drag tasks completed from one column to another – to limit work in progress. 

In the list of project management methodologies, we cannot exclude PRINCE2, extreme programming and adaptive project framework methodology. Choosing the right methodology is like finding the right roadmap direction, which can help your team successfully navigate and manage complex projects. Hope the information above will help you make decisions in your project management methodology.