Making Use of the 5 Most Popular Project Management Methodologies

Prevalent project failure is quite common in the project management industry, and the causes of failure are many – from overly optimistic deadlines to poor management. There are things that a project manager can and cannot control. Outside factors might influence the success of a software development project, and the manager may not be able to do much about that. However, it’s possible to mitigate the effects of such factors on the project.

Basically, apt project management can give the project the best chance for success. And apt project management requires streamlining the management processes. This is where proper project management methodology helps. It essentially makes it easier for project managers to design and implement their projects.

Before understanding how and where a project management methodology should be used, the managers need to be aware of two things.

  • Each methodology has their own pros and cons.
  • There is no one-size-fits-all. One of the biggest mistakes a project manager can make is to apply the same methodology to every project.

This is why it’s a wise idea to always assess the benefits of a particular methodology against the project’s objectives.

Here are 5 of the most popular project management methodologies that are flexible enough to adapt to projects and the project team.

1. Waterfall Model

A traditional project management methodology, this model is about a structure that follows things in a sequential manner, somewhat resembling a waterfall. The ‘flow’ begins with the concepts and inception of the project to its completion. There is a catch though. Once set at the get-go, the project requirements bear no alteration in most cases.

The model is ideal for large software projects when predictability and planning are vital for the projects’ success.

2. Agile Management Methodology

You could say that Agile is basically the opposite of Waterfall due to the fact that Agile is all about adaptability and flexibility while waterfall is sequential and predictable. Agile adapts to the feedback from the project team members or from the client, and follows the best course of action for the project’s success.

As such, Agile development is therefore the most effective when the project’s progress relies on input from clients or management. This flexibility makes it a great option for fast-paced project development.

3. PRiSM

A sustainable methodology that incorporates a value-maximization model, PRiSM acts as an efficient project structure that considers even environmental factors with a focus on total asset lifecycle. However, it’s unique because of the fact that it demands accreditations. The methodology is mostly used for large scale projects within real estate or construction.

4. Critical Chain Project Management

The main merit of this methodology is its focus on rectifying resources, by interpreting a project as a core set of elements so as to create a project timeline. The next phase is ensuring that the critical chain has enough resources within the timeline. In addition, the remaining resources are split up and allocated to various other tasks enabling them to be executed in parallel. The model also keeps enough resources in reserve in case reallocation is necessary.

These should be enough to assert that critical chain project management is the right choice for resource-driven projects.


Advertised as a government-endorsed project management methodology, PRINCE2 is widely popular across both public and private sector in the UK. Like PRiSM, PRINCE2 also requires certification, but offers a plethora of courses in return that boosts the project team’s experience while providing the required organization for projects.

PRINCE2 is quite sophisticated and requires the team to thoroughly follow the determined plan and processes involved for the project to be successful. Though process-oriented, the methodology has a broad approach that can help build strong project management skills which essentially makes it useful for almost all kinds of projects of different scales.