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Project Management Tools for Projects

October 4 2007

Project Management Tools

Want to boost your success in managing projects?

Many Project Managers believe that to gain total project management success, you need to manage projects using a formal project management tools. They say it helps give you direction, it saves you time and it improves the quality of your deliverables. But does it? By reading this newsletter, you will find out…

Why use a Methodology for Managing Projects

Of course most managers use a methodology of sorts, whether it be written on post-it notes stuck to their screen, documented in a stack of procedures on their desk, or included in software that they have bought.

Regardless of the type of methodology used, there is one common theme – that it typically helps them to manage projects and therefore improve their project success. Read this newsletter to find out why…

What is a Methodology?

A methodology is “a set of methods, processes and practices that are repeatedly carried out to deliver projects”. The key concept is that you repeat the same steps for every project you undertake, and by doing that, you will gain efficiencies in your approach.

What is a Standard?

So what is the difference between a methodology and a standard? A standard is “a collection of knowledge areas that are generally accepted as best practice in the industry”.

Standards give you industry guidance, whereas methodologies give you practical processes for managing projects. Standards are not methodologies, and vice versa. The two most popular standards are PMBOK® and Prince2® .

What should be included?

When you buy project management tools, it should give you:

  1. A core set of processes to follow for delivering projects.
  2. A set of templates to help you build deliverables quickly.
  3. A suite of case studies to help you learn from past projects.
  4. An option for customizing the methodology provided.
  5. The ability to import your existing processes into it.

MPMM® is the only methodology that provides all of these features.

What will it not do?

A Methodology is not a silver bullet. It will not fix projects by itself or guarantee success. It is fair to say that no methodology “out-of-the-box” will be 100% applicable to every type of project. So you will need to customize any methodology you purchase to ensure that it perfectly fits your project management environment.

Why use a Methodology?

While a methodology is not a silver bullet for projects, it should help you by giving you a clear process for managing projects.

After you have customized it to perfectly fit your environment, your methodology should tell your team what has to be completed to deliver your project, how it should be done, in which order and by when.

Using a methodology you can:

  • Create a project roadmap
  • Monitor time, cost and quality
  • Control change and scope
  • Minimize risks and issues
  • Manage staff and suppliers

Of course, you will need to use the elements of the methodology that are most suitable to each project you undertake. For instance, when managing smaller projects, you will only want to apply lightweight processes to your project. And when managing large projects, you should apply the heavyweight processes to monitor and control every element of your project in depth.

But if you can manage every project you undertake in the same way, then you will gain efficiencies with your approach, work smarter and reduce your stress. You will also give your team a clear understanding of what you expect from them and boost your chances of success.

Want a methodology for projects?

Type “project management methodology” into Google and check out the results. You will see MPMM® is ranked as the #1 methodology worldwide.

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