Projects and methodology

The relation between innovation and project management is quite close, and whoever has worked in a role related to project management has sure faced the question about the right methodology. Actually, the question can present itself in a thousand different forms:

  • which is the right/best/easiest/safest/… one?
  • is the classical, waterfall-like methodology obsolete?
  • waterfall brought us to the Moon! would Agile be able to do the same?

…and so on.

The truth is that there is no general answer, any methodology has the potential to help, as well as the potential to make an initiative drown in useless artifacts. However, any complex organization should take the effort to describe how a generic methodology should fit with their internal processes, and use a methodology (I daresay, any methodology) to drive change within the existing organization.

To make things even more complicated, there are so many methodologies that support change – without even mentioning projects – but they all have something to do with the fact that a project will be done, whether you call it “project” or not.

Perhaps a map would help: this is one I’ve often used to represent how different methodologies can coexist and interact. It does not include everything of course, but it can help navigate throughout a few popular methodologies.

(click on the image to enlarge)