The Importance of Project Methodology

You have heard the statistics … 70% of the projects fail, 27% of the projects go over budget, 77% of the projects are late, and so on.  The knee-jerk response is, we need to hire better project managers, but typically, the unacceptable delivery is due to the lack of a project management methodology or the lack of reinforcing the current methodology. If you have a Project Management Office (PMO) and are still getting these unsatisfactory results, then either the PMO is under-equipped and/or you need to upskill the project managers.  If your organization does not have a project management methodology, then it doesn’t really matter what you do, your projects will have a slim chance of being successful.  Following a project methodology can increase the project’s success exponentially!

A project methodology incorporates project management’s best practices with how your company does business.  For example, the PMI methodology is only as effective as to how it is implemented in your organization. This formal methodological approach to managing projects and delivering excellent results allows all project managers to follow a recipe for success.  It also ensures the project sponsor, project team, and management are engaged and understand their role in the project management process.  Organizations that use and adhere to a project management methodology are more likely to meet their business objectives while staying within the project’s schedule and budget.

Methodologies create a common practice that can be improved upon over time. They allow for consistency in documentation, workflow, and delivery.  Companies are no longer reliant on the previous talents of the project manager to deliver projects correctly and successfully.  Managers/Sponsors in the organization using the project management methodology, understand there is a common process that will increase the project’s chances for success.  Ultimately, it shouldn’t matter what project manager is assigned to their projects, they will get the same positive results. 

Many Project Management Offices (PMOs) have created methodologies and trained their project managers, but they still fall short when it comes to enforcing the methodology. This is usually due to not having enough people/tools and/or too much rigor so it’s difficult to maintain.  The difficulty comes when the PMO or PM Director tries to monitor how the project managers are using the methodology. This is a time-consuming job that needs to be consistently administered for project management good habits to take hold, be maintained, and allow the methodology to evolve with the organization.  Without this commitment, there are very few checks and balances to ensure the methodology is being followed, the project manager’s deliverables are of quality, and the end results are acceptable to the project sponsors.  By project managers not following a common methodology, it often results in:

  1. Scope creep
  2. Missed target dates
  3. Missed project objectives
  4. Budget overruns
  5. Lack of consistent project delivery 
  6. Lack of transparency

Successful PMOs focus on process, people, and technology.  The process is the methodology, the people are trained and mentored on a regular basis, and there is the right technology and tools to support the methodology process and assist with the monitoring.  Technology is crucial to long-term project management success.  With a good Enterprise Project Management (EPM) system, the PMO can improve on its methodology, workflows, and guidance/support for the project managers.  The benefits of an effective EPM system are:

  1. Consistent and successful project delivery 
  2. Quickly onboarding project managers
  3. KPI reporting for transparency
  4. Collaboration
  5. Automated workflows for stage gate reviews, change requests, and deliverables
  6. Faster reaction of project team and management for addressing issues
  7. Project managers can successfully execute more projects simultaneously
  8. PMOs or PM Managers can automate the redundant monitoring

Along with these benefits, the EPM system should be able to evolve with the organization’s maturity.  A strong project management methodology, its reinforcement, and its evolvability will allow the team to deliver quality project management time and time again.

Project Management methodologies are not just for show, they can actually help an organization deliver projects better.  Supporting the reinforcement of the methodology is key to an organization’s project management success.  Using an EPM system will help you work smarter and not harder, getting more accomplished with higher quality.  Investment in adhering to a project management methodology will deliver value faster to the organization with greater success. And that is the method to reducing the project madness!

EPMA is a global solutions company focused on delivering projects better. Our unique proposition that embodies the full ecosystem and portfolio of any organization has enabled us to deliver projects better and make a significant difference. Our unique and proactive approach of having over 20 developers and solutions architects in the business acts as a true enabler for impact. We are more than ever before positioned to add value, advise, and impact your organization.

Interested in hearing more? Please contact EPMA at 832.772.3762 or email us at [email protected]