Project Management Methodology
25 Aug

Comparison of Project Management Methodologies

Mahipal Nehra

Making a workplace efficient and successful is a crucial part of every organization. However, if you are the one who deals with production and development, it becomes your top priority. By opting for the right method to manage the products and developers, it will be easier to deliver the project frequently, earn satisfaction from clients and avail more profit.

In a complex circle of IT, project management methodologies are implemented eagerly. And if you have heard the terms - kanban, waterfall, and scrum and wondered what they are or what they have to do with project management - then you are about to get your answers today. 

What is Project Management Methodology?

Project management methodology is a rigorously defined combination of logically related methods, practices and processes that determine the way to plan, build, control, and deliver a project by the continuous implementation of processes till successful completion. It provides a structure for describing every step of the project so that project managers know what to do to implement and deliver the task according to the schedule, specifications and budget. 

The ideal project management methodology covers the way to achieve defined needs of clients, a programming language that is understandable by the team, provides accurate & credible cost estimates, resolves conflicts at an early stage, completing tasks using a standard approach, quick implementation of solutions and on-time project delivery.

Ways to Opt for Right Project Management Methodology

Opting for the right project management methodology is essential as it defines the way one works. It will offer the skeleton that will guide the success or failure of the project. And since we know there is no way that one method can fit all the requirements for different business types, industries and clients, it is important to choose the right methodology for different contexts. 

Here are a few points to decide the management methodology that can be used in the project.

  • The rigidity or flexibility of the work environment.
  • Cost and budget of the project.
  • Delivering the maximum value.
  • Determining project factors through complexity or simplicity analysis
  • Client’s preferred way for collaboration. 
  • Leveraging organizational objectives for projects

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Now that you know what project management is and how to select the right methodology, it’s time that we gain additional insight into different available methodologies and how they compare with each other.

Comparing Different Project Management Methodologies

Without any further ado, let’s get started with different project management methodologies.


The waterfall is the traditional methodology for project management. It is a straight and sequential design method where progress flows downwards in one direction - similar to a waterfall. It lacks the flexibility needed for changes in the earlier stage of the development process as it becomes expensive due to its structured physical environment. 

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The Waterfall method is heavily requirement-focused. So, you need to be crystal clear with the project demands before moving on to the next step. It offers no scope for correction once the project is in the development stage. 

The phases of waterfall methodology are in the given order and you can only move to next once the current phase has been completed. 

  • System & Software requirements
  • Analysis
  • Design
  • Coding
  • Testing 
  • Operations

It stresses the importance of documentation, so whenever a developer leaves the job, another can start where they let off by familiarizing themselves with the information mentioned in the documentation.

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It is best suited for short and simple projects or projects with clear and fixed requirements.


  • Easy to understand and use.
  • The demarcation between stages allows efficiently organizing and dividing work.
  • Easier hiring of new developers due to documentation.


  • Higher-risk of project failure
  • Lack of flexibility leads to project failures


Agile project management is among the most popular methodologies. It is a set of rules that are supposed to make teamwork more efficient and pleasant. Agile is excellently suited for projects that are incremental and repetitive. This process requires collaborative efforts from cross-functional teams and clients to evolve demands and solutions.

Agile project management roots in the principles and values of the Agile Manifesto. It aims to uncover better ways to develop software by offering a measurable and clear structure. 

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The Agile project management is made up of four values and twelve principles, which are as follows:


  • Individuals and interactions over tools and processes.
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation.
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation.
  • Responding to change over following a plan.


  • Customer satisfaction through early and continuous software delivery.
  • Accommodate changing requirements throughout the development process.
  • Frequent delivery of working software
  • Collaborating with clients and developers through the completion of the project
  • Support, trust and motivation of the involved person
  • Enabling face-to-face interactions
  • Primary progress measure - working software
  • The agile process to support consistent pace of development
  • Simplicity
  • Self-organizing teams to encourage better requirements, achievements and design
  • Regular reflections to become more effective

The agile method is beneficial to be used in dynamic environments where there’s a chance to adjust and adapt estimates like software or game development. Agile tends to be used as an umbrella term for variants of agile such as Kanban, Scrum, eXtreme Programming and Scrumban. 

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It is the opposite of the waterfall methodology as it provides a fast and flexible approach. It does not need heavy requirement gathering. And is best suited for projects that need quick changes and where collaboration and communication is the key strength. 


  • Flexibility and Freedom
  • Lower risk


  • No fixed plan
  • Heavy collaboration


Scrum is an agile development methodology used for developing software based on iterative and incremental processes. It is fast, flexible, effective and adaptable that is designed to deliver value to the client throughout the project development. The primary aim of Scrum is to satisfy the needs of clients through a transparent environment in collective responsibility, communication and continuous progress.

In scrum-managed projects, every participant has a fixed role. There are scrum masters and product owners, but they do not perform the task of project manager instead enable the developer team to manage itself successfully.  

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A term to keep in mind while using Scrum is Sprint. Sprint is a short timeline that lasts from weeks to months. It includes tasks that need to be completed by the end of a sprint. In retrospect, insights are given on the work done by the end of every sprint. Before initiating another sprint a backlog is prepared to show the main task to be completed. 

It should be used while developing complex software and if you have an experienced team to work with.


  • Enhancement of teamwork.
  • Independence
  • Fast-paced
  • Sprints


  • Lack of motivation
  • Higher risk
  • Lack of leadership


Kanban is quite similar to scrum as it encompasses self-organizing developers but there are certain differences between them. Kanban system follows the principles given below:

  • Easier workflow management 
  • Visualization of every step
  • Transparency for easier understanding
  • Limiting work in progress
  • Explicit policies
  • Feedback loops

Kanban acquires efficiency using visual cues that indicate different stages of the development process. The cues included in the process are Kanban cards(depicting a task in the process & used to communicate progress within the team), Kanban board (used to visualize the development process) and Kanban swimlanes (enable further distinction of tasks by categorizing).

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  • Simple and Visual
  • Tracks priorities 
  • Involves the whole team


  • Kanban boards lack timing
  • Doesn’t orient the quality of work 

eXtreme Programming (XP)

Extreme programming or XP may sound like a mystery but don’t let the name scare you. XP is a software development methodology that is a part of agile. It is built upon values, practices and principles and aims to enable small to mid-sized teams of developers to obtain high-quality software by adapting to evolving requirements. 

What sets XP apart from other methods is the fact it emphasizes the technical aspects and is precise about the working of developers to deliver high-quality code at sustainable speed. It values communication, feedback, simplicity, courage and respect. The team using extreme programming also works in shorter sprints than the typical scrum methodology. These small sprints allow maintaining a rigid structure of tasks. 

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Moreover, XP mandates certain practices like test-driven development, simple & elegant design, automated testing, and refactoring. It is advised for teams, to begin with, scrum and gradually adopt XP to identify best practices and protocols. 


  • Save costs and time needed for project realization.
  • Simplicity in code.
  • Constant feedback.
  • Faster software development with regular testing.


  • It is more focused on code than design.
  • Not the best option for remote programmers.
  • Does not measure the quality assurance of code.

Move Ahead with the One That Suits The Most…

With the help of the right methodology, you will be able to elevate your project and help to get the best out of your team. Whether you choose agile or waterfall or scrum, you need a flexible, collaborative and easy-to-use management tool that supports your every step. Needless to say, the best methodology is the one that helps in enhancing the adaptability and value of the result.

Posted by Mahipal Nehra | Posted at 25 Aug, 2021 Web