Unchained Methodology: producing your project management practices and processes

DateOctober 2021

Author: Susan Baldassarre, Head of Project Management, Silverbear


Want your next project to be a huge hit? According to the PMI, using a clear, unified project management methodology is indispensable to project success. Project methodologies define the principles, practices, and processes for delivering and managing a project. Getting your project management methodology right starts with composition, production, and conduction.

Set the tempo

The backbeat for your project methodology is set by your project delivery approach. Broadly speaking, most delivery approaches fall into two categories:

  • Predictive: delivery is progressed through linear stages until major release. Works well for fixed scope and requirements, and variable resource availability. Reduces risk but limits change.
  • Adaptive: delivery is achieved through increments and/or iterations until considered complete. Value-driven and responsive to change. Higher level of risk and resource involvement throughout.

Know your audience. Just as you wouldn’t mambo to metal or breakdance to a ballad, you shouldn’t select an approach that is out of step with your organisation’s budget, timeline, or risk appetite. Project professionals need to understand the value of each approach so that they can apply it either to the right project or phase (PMI, 2017).

Depending on the nature of the project, a ‘mashup’ of approaches can be used to optimise delivery. Our Silverbear CRM implementation projects use a predictive approach for the project lifecycle and an incremental approach for development, delivering structure and speed in harmony.

Melody maker

No need to start from scratch when you can just cover a classic. Established project and product management frameworks such as PRINCE2, Agile, Scrum, Kanban, or Lean provide the score for your delivery approach. Not only are they tried and tested, but chances are that your team already knows most of the words.

These frameworks provide tools and techniques from which you can develop your methodology. You can sample from multiple frameworks as long as they match the rhythm of your approach and don’t contradict each other in practice.

Silverbear’s own methodology borrows from the best to create a medley of proven processes and procedures. These are adapted for each project to be in tune with client needs and regularly reviewed for continuous improvement.

Prime your performers

The difference between a good cover and bad karaoke is usually practice, professionalism, and a reasonable degree of sobriety. Get the best performance from your project team by ensuring everyone is singing from the same sheet right at the start. Explain the project management methodology as part of your warm-up activities, and include it in the project induction process for new joiners.

Some of your team might have been on the circuit for a while, whilst others are just beginners. From sponsor to subject matter expert, Silverbear’s role descriptions are a useful starting point for ensuring that each project team member understands the parts they need to play.

Get into the groove

Embedding a structure and standards based on good practice will resonate throughout the project. With a clearly defined and understood methodology in place, your team can hit all the right notes for project delivery.

Practice makes perfect, so incorporate lessons learned back into the mix for fine-tuning during the project and for the future. Don’t be afraid to change the record for different types of projects and tailor your methodology to suit.

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