Currently, there are 2 prominent project management methodologies/theories. Waterfall and agile. Most common is the Waterfall based upon PMI (but also Prince2), and agile based upon Scrum (but also Extreme Programming, Crystal Methods, Kanban etc).
Please note that very few organisations employ a pure methodology as described by the corresponding theories. There are 2 main reasons for this:
Corporations are seeking for a competitive advantage. If all were using the same methodology then they wouldn’t have an advantage. Therefore they always explore further, and as a side-effect theories are further improved.
There is always a gap between theory and praxis. Simply speaking usually there is either a lack of education or resources (time, money, manpower …) in order to implement the corresponding theory. Or simple enough the theory does not fit our case.
Personally, I do not find anything more practical than a good theory! The familiarity, and ability to implement various theories is a great asset to tackle problems.
The second thing people ask you (after your name) is your profession. I am an IT Project Manager. I help developers produce the right software for the needs of my customers.
Often people ask for more information like: “I know that software is developed by Software engineers, but what does an IT Project Manager do? Do I need a project manager for my project, how does he fit in the software development process? How do you develop software?”
Well, there is no better answer than an example; let’s consider a recent project that I managed:
The company undertook a software development and migration initiative with a nearshore development team consisting of a Scrum Master and the team. The team included three programmers with different backgrounds (strong coding, strong web designing, strong database knowledge, etc.), one tester and one software architect.
Because every project is unique, the Project Manager should take specific actions to ensure success:
choose the most relevant processes given the size and nature of the project
make the processes clear to all team members
act in accordance with the stakeholders’ requirements
balance competing demands, such as cost, resources, scope, and quality
The way a project is tailored will depend on organizational process assets as well as enterprise environmental factors (external and internal factors that contribute to the circumstances around a project. They often provide constraints to project planning and execution (Government standards and marketplace conditions – like the availability of resources) .
Projects make up almost half of the work that most organizations do. Organizations use projects to help meet their strategic goals. In terms of strategic goals, projects may help an organization meet changes in market demands, customer requests, or organizational requirements. They may also help an organization make the most of technological advances or meet legal requirements.
Although projects are temporary, they are not necessarily short-lived. A project’s life span can vary from a few days to several years. The key is that a project has a set beginning and an end point.
We can understand better projects when we place them in context: