Project Management Scalable Methodology Guide

This Scalable Methodology Guide makes practical the fact that projects of varied size and complexity require unique scaling of project management techniques to effectively and economically manage project risks.

It is easy to identify the project management disciplines and techniques you would need for a project to send some people to Mars and back - you would simply use them all. The challenge for most project environments, however, is to tailor or scale the complete, best practices project management approach so it makes sense for projects of lesser size, risk, and complexity.

Project management can be thought of as a set of principles and techniques for controlling project risks and capturing opportunities as projects are brought to fruition. Due to the constraints of economics and common sense, project management techniques need to be tailored to the specific risks and opportunities of each project. This Methodology Guide provides a means for selecting the degree of project management attention appropriate for your particular project.

The Project Management Institute has defined a Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) that identifies the general scope of project management. The Scalable Methodology Guide builds on that structure to ensure comprehensiveness, to provide for easy assimilation by practitioners and trainers, and to help foster consistency in the profession. The nine elements of the Project Management Body of Knowledge are as follows:




Human Resources






Multi-Project Oversight

In this Guide, an additional category is included to address enterprise level techniques for managing multiple projects. You may want to add your own pages in important areas of special interest for your project environment such as: project feasibility and approval, requirements definition, configuration management, technical documentation, team building, product support, or testing.

This Guide was developed by focusing on two completely different approaches to project management - an informal application of project management principles for small, straightforward projects, and a complete, best practices approach for handling the challenges of large, complex projects. Two intermediate approaches were then defined to map out steps between small projects and large, complex, formalized project management environments.

You may encounter projects where the apparent risks are so small in certain areas that, while those areas should be monitored, no formal project management techniques may be needed. In these areas you should simply use good business management practices. If you had an internal project whose resource needs consisted of three people working for a year, for example, you might forego a written cost estimate or cost controls, because the costs would be inherent in the allocation of labor. Using elaborate or even simple cost tracking systems in such a case would be a waste of time and money. The point of project management is not to drive up your overhead or to require mountains of administrivia. It is to provide a set of structured techniques to help you think about project goals and risks, to help you define, structure, organize, and plan your project, and to enable you to effectively monitor and control your project as it progresses towards completion.

© Copyright 1997, James R. Chapman

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