The most critical part of the success of any project is the selection of the right project management methodologies. To deliver a successful project you require more than just taking all the well-defined steps. Instead, understanding which methodology to use for a project is the actual key to obtaining effective results.


According to the PMBOK guide, a methodology is a system of practices, techniques, procedures, and rules used by people who work in a discipline. Examples of project management methodologies are Waterfall, Agile, Hybrid, and Prince2 to name a few.

Using the correct project management methodology will aid in standardizing, structuring, and organizing the work methods. Understanding which methodology to use will help the project manager to repeat the profitable aspects and reduce the mistakes.


Let us now look into some of the most used and popular methodologies:


This methodology is more traditional, sequential, overlapping, or iterative just like a waterfall and lacks flexibility. It is appropriate for larger projects that have tight deadlines and emphasizes mainly moving into the next phase only after the completion of the previous phase. Phases of waterfall methodology include:

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


In this methodology the project teams work in iterative cycles, collaborating with customers, and always evaluating the outcomes after each phase. It is best followed in projects where the level of complexity is high and there is a greater need for flexibility. This methodology for highly competitive projects. Agile Methodology consists of four basics values, which are as follows:

1.       Individuals and interactions over process and tools

2.     Working software over comprehensive documents

3.     Customer collaboration over contract negotiation

4.     Responding to change over following a plan


Scrum is a project management framework that is used tackling complicated adaptive problems while delivering the results with utmost productivity and creativity. Scrum is not a definitive method or technique rather it is a framework within which you can manage multiple processes and techniques. This framework is based on five values and three pillars, namely:


  1.          Commitment
  2.     Courage
  3.           Focus
  4.     Openness
  5.       Respect


  1.         Transparency
  2.           Inspection
  3.    .   Adaption


It is generally difficult to follow one methodology throughout the project. To achieve the desired goals many project managers, decide on using an amalgamation of two or more methodologies. A combination of predictive, iterative, incremental, and/or agile methodology makes up the hybrid approach.

When the project is complex with increased risk and uncertainty the agile methodology can be used followed by the waterfall method for the predictive and simpler phases thus following a hybrid approach.


PRINCE2 (Projects in Controlled Environment) is an authorized project management methodology used in almost every project in the UK.  The basic guiding principle of PRINCE2 is "Learn from the experience" and is used in projects that require widespread documentation. This methodology is based on 7 Principles, like:

  1.     .   Continue business justification
  2.      Learn from the experience
  3.            Defined roles and responsibilities
  4.            Manage by stages 
  5.           Manage by expectation
  6.           Focus on Product
  7.          Tailor to suit the project environment


Understanding the methodologies and gaining an insight into the project helps the project managers to prevent the derailment of the project. Here are a few tips and tricks that can go a long way in assuring the success of the project:

  •        Know your project thoroughly
  •     Understand all the project requirements 
  •       Pay attention to communication
  •     Comprehend your team's strengths and weaknesses
  •          Evaluate the project and get feedback from all the stakeholders