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What Are The Top 8 Project Management Methodologies?

What Are The Top 8 Project Management Methodologies?

It’s an exciting time for project management. 

Why? 

Because project management methodologies are rapidly changing, just like social media challenges. However, unlike those TikTok challenges, these project management methods look like they’re here to stay!

Project teams are now combining the different styles, discovering new benefits, and even using personal productivity styles and systems to succeed at projects.

So, what are the different project management methodologies out there? More importantly, which is the right methodology for your team’s needs?

In this article, we’ll cover some of the most popular project management methods. We will also show you how you can practically apply these methodologies with a project management tool.

Let’s get started.

What is a Project Management Methodology?

A project management methodology is a set of principles and processes that help you manage projects efficiently.

However, when it comes to project management methodologies, there is no one size fits all approach. Different methodologies use different principles and workflows and can offer unique perks and advantages. 

But what defines a project management methodology?

Easy. 

Each project management methodology should ideally have five stages.

Let’s take a closer look at them:

What are the 5 stages of project management?

As defined by the PMI (Project Management Institute), there are five distinct stages in a project life cycle.

No matter which project management method you use, your project has to pass through these five stages mentioned in the PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) guide:

  • Initiation phase: identifying a business opportunity and brainstorming project ideas
  • Planning phase: creating a project plan, goals, objectives, and setting a project scope
  • Execution phase: assigning work to your team and discussing project tasks
  • Monitoring phase: setting KPIs and measuring progress
  • Closure phase: analyzing performance and creating final documents

Want to learn more? Click on this glowing portal to a place where you can find all the answers about the project management life cycle.

green lifecycle gif

Now we’ll take a closer look at all these project management methodology examples, as well as their pros and cons, so you can determine the perfect project methodology for your team or company.

What Are The Top 8 Types Of Project Management Methodology?

Let’s dive into some of the most popular project management methods that have been used since the building of pyramids:

(And to make things more fun, we’ll be using different themes for each project management method, so it’s easier to distinguish between them.)

1. What is traditional project management?

Also known as the Waterfall Method, this traditional methodology is a sequential, linear model where each piece of the project builds on the next. 

While there was a time when only dedicated project managers were in charge of putting all of this together, that’s no longer the case. 

Once digital tools emerged, this project methodology became far more accessible. Even regional managers like Michael Scott can now manage projects in controlled environments.

michael scott trying to do his best

(He may not do a great job all the time, but hey, at least he’s doing his best.)

Where did the Waterfall methodology come from?

The Waterfall Methodology was originally described by Dr. Winston Royce in 1970 as a way to think about software development and the software development life cycle (SDLC).

 As software systems became more complex, it was important to think about how they would be developed. Initially, it was enough to do an analysis of the problem and start coding. However, as software became more advanced, this was no longer feasible.

This is just the condensed version of our guide on the Waterfall methodology. Check out our full guide here.

What are the steps involved in Waterfall project management?

Royce suggested several steps for improving that process, including gathering specs, requirements, testing, and QA before implementing new software. These steps had a “cascading” effect which looked like a waterfall:

waterfall methodology

(The blocks sort of look like a waterfall if you squint your eyes enough, but you get the picture…)

Let’s break down each step:

1. System/Software Requirements

This is the first phase of Waterfall project management. A project manager will work with the product manager, product owner, and key stakeholders to record all of the potential requirements and specs for success. 

The requirements document will clearly outline what the application should do, but not necessarily the steps to do it. 

2. Analysis

During the second stage of the project life cycle, the system is analyzed in order to properly generate the models and business logic that will be used in the application. 

In the analysis phase, the requirements doc is reviewed by stakeholders and the project manager to ensure it fulfills the business case, meets the budget, and also helps in managing project risk. 

This is where you would formalize your project plan (if needed) for deliverables, resources, and budget.

3. Design

What will your software look like? 

This is the time to design and wireframe mockups with your design tools. It’s when you review and think about the technical design, the preferred programming language, API connectivity, and more. 

You’re taking the requirements and making them real for how they’ll actually be implemented. You’ll probably choose which team members are working on what during this stage. 

Just make sure you don’t put two bickering team members like Dwight and Jim together, because you know what’ll happen next:

dwight jello gif

4. Coding

Now you’re doing the work. Each team member knows what section they’re responsible for and when they need to be finished. They’ll work on creating the mockups and implementing any new connections that need to be made.

5. Testing

This is the QA stage where testers will try out the product to see if it works or not and if it meets the specs and requirements. 

Many companies have dedicated QA analysts who look for bugs and other hiccups in the code. The QA team may send a particular feature back for more work to the coders to have something fixed or elevate it to a lead engineer. 

6. Acceptance

Congrats! 

The software is deployed to a live environment for the management body, be it stakeholders, clients, or customers…or Dwight!

Finally, the application is ready for deployment to a live environment. Operations or DevOps may take over from here for any ongoing maintenance of the code once the initial work has been done.

Pros

1. Easy to use
Waterfall is easy to implement as there aren’t as many moving parts, even though each section can have its own work breakdown structure. 

2. It’s structured
As each stage is clearly defined and separated from each other, your team can organize and divide work among themselves with no difficulty. Because of the rigidity, scope creep becomes less of an issue with the Waterfall methodology. 

Cons 

1. Too rigid
If project requirements change mid-way or if the initial pre-work is done improperly, you’ll have to start the process all over. There’s no way for the Waterfall model to adapt and change on-the-fly.

2. Riskier
Project management is a dynamic process where objectives change as constantly as the IT guys at Dunder Mifflin. 

The Waterfall method can’t keep up with this, and it could derail your project’s progress.

Best For

The Waterfall methodology is a great method to tackle predictable and sequential projects with fixed deliverables and deadlines. 

It’s great if you have worked on similar projects before, and you know exactly what to expect. And since it’s structured, it’s great for those who love to organize projects like Dwight:

dwight assembling a crack team

Note: Don’t opt for this method if your project might require tons of flexibility and structural changes.

How to use the Waterfall Project Management Method in ClickUp

ClickUp is customizable and flexible enough to use whatever PM methodology works best for your team. From Waterfall to Agile and everything in between, ClickUp can be customized to meet your needs!

Here’s how you can implement Waterfall Project Management in ClickUp:

A. Set up your projects

Start by creating a new project (Folder) in ClickUp. Name it after what the final deliverables will be. For example, let’s say you’re organizing the ‘Office Olympics.’

create a folder in clickup

B. Set up lists for each stage of the Waterfall method

If you’re following the stages that are listed above, you’ll want to create a List for each stage. For example: brainstorming game ideas, organizing the events, etc.

With List details, you can give additional information for each stage, add important attachments, and set due dates. 

You could also set up Custom Statuses for each project. This helps you establish different workflows for different parts of your project, customizing it to the needs of those teams and workers (especially Angela from the Office.)  

C. Create tasks under each List

Create tasks under each List for all your requirements.

Going back to the previous example, this could include tasks such as game research, talking to participants, setting up the course, creating trophies, etc. 

You may create tasks for all Lists at once, or ask individual project managers to own part of the List and create their own tasks.

D. Refine and customize tasks

This is where the ClickUp benefits really kick in. For a successful project, you’ll want to create Custom statuses, set Start and Due dates, and add Dependencies so that one event doesn’t start until another is finished. 

You can also create Subtasks within tasks if you have a special focus that needs more attention. 

2. What is the Agile Methodology?

The Agile method is a successful project management methodology that involves the customer in the development process. 

Many firms are now using the Agile methodology to help them with software development as it’s such a flexible method.

Agile helps them react within the system rather than trying to obtain fixed goals that may no longer be relevant once the project moves along.

As the project goal and objectives are constantly re-evaluated, Agile teams are super adaptive like chameleons. 

And that doesn’t mean that they’ll disappear when you need them the most!

camoflauge gecko

Here’s what we mean:

Agile teams opt for multiple software releases every one or two weeks rather than targeting one major annual release.

Curious about how Agile teams work? Check out this handy guide.

What drives the Agile method?

The Agile Manifesto describes four important values that all Agile teams swear by:

  • Individuals and interactions over tools and processes. Team communication and maintaining the right relationships is more important than strictly following the process. 
  • Working software over detailed documentation. Remember the old saying? A bird in hand is worth two in the bush. In other words, it’s more important to have a product in hand than to just talk about a product. 
  • Collaborate with customers, always. In a Waterfall scenario, the customer or stakeholders are involved in the beginning and in the end, but not during the process. In Agile, you involve your customers and potential end-users throughout the process for their inputs. 
  • Respond to change over implementing a plan. Short iterations allow for more flexibility and change. New features or enhancements can be added faster if there’s room for it, even if it wasn’t in the original documentation.

As you can see, the Agile manifesto states that much of what drives Agile is the work itself rather than a plan from an outside project manager or stakeholder.

Instead of a formal project manager, the Agile manifesto recommends that a product manager submits the requirements to different teams and then lets them make adjustments based on the sprints.

Many Agile project management teams use Kanban cards or boards as their project management system, noting work that needs to be done, work in progress, and finished work.

But there isn’t just one Agile methodology out there. 

The cool thing about Agile is that it can be split into different types of project management methodology, such as the Kanban methodology, XP, Crystal, and more.

Check out this wild guide about Agile and how you can implement it in your business. 

Pros

1. Flexibility
One of Agile’s benefits is that it’s adaptable to changing objectives and allows development teams to put out an MVP before moving on to the next project. You’ll have no trouble making changes mid-way and carrying on with your project at a blistering pace.

2. Feedback 

The Agile methodology can facilitate regular feedback from external parties like a product owner or stakeholder. This ensures that they’re involved at every stage of the process, and your team can aim for continuous improvement. As a result, your team and projects evolve pretty quickly (and we’re sure Darwin would love that!)

Cons 

1. Lack of structure 

There’s often no clear end to an Agile project, especially if everything is iterative. Sprints can help with that, though it’s not always the perfect solution. 

2. Cannot document stages 

Documentation is usually sparse because things are changing rapidly, and the scope is always refined. This can make it difficult for new hires to get up to speed as there would be way too much going on. 

As a result, they could be as distracted as this little one here:

dog playing with ball

3. Too much collaboration 

Sometimes the final client has too much say in the process. This might end up slowing down your fast-paced project advancements to a snail’s crawl.

Best For

  • Projects where you’re working on a rough idea with no real fixed end
  • Projects that require tons of flexibility to accommodate quick changes
  • Projects where communication and collaboration between different stakeholders is crucial

How to use the Agile Project Methodology in ClickUp

When it comes to managing Agile projects, ClickUp isn’t a one-trick pony

In fact, ClickUp was designed with the Agile method in mind.

Here’s what you can do with these Agile features:

A. Set up projects for the product you’re developing

Projects will serve as categories for different parts of your product development. For example, at ClickUp, we have Android, iOS, Frontend, Backend, etc. in our Development Projects Space. Projects organize your Spaces and contain Lists and tasks.

B. Set up Lists as Sprints

Sprints aren’t just for cheetahs, you know.

ClickUp lets you create Sprint Lists. Each List should represent an individual sprint with an additional List titled “Backlog.” 

list view in clickup

New features and aspects of a product will be developed within these Lists and archived when completed. Lists function perfectly as sprints since each List can hold as many tasks that apply to it. Also, Lists can have start/due dates, details, and an entire activity thread!

Want to know how to use a sprint backlog? Check out this handy guide.

In ClickUp, the Board view is the go-to vehicle for the day-to-day tasks of the Agile process, and it operates like a Kanban board

board view in clickup

However, sometimes, you’ll also need a big-picture perspective.

For ClickUp users, this need is addressed with the Box view, our way of organizing your project into stats and highlights that are easy to consume and highly informative.

Think of it as your daily newsfeed for your project management system!

View all tasks in board view

C. Create tasks for each sprint

Tasks are the specific action steps that need to happen next. That is what will populate each Sprint (List). 

For each sprint to be pushed into production, each of its tasks should be completed. However, if you have recurring tasks that need to be pushed into the next sprint, you can easily move them. 

You can also customize statuses, start dates, end dates, and more for your Agile workflow and even integrate with Github

For more details on how to set up and use this Agile approach within ClickUp, check out this help doc.

D. Create Custom Statuses for each Sprint

viewing custom statuses in board view

Custom statuses are an essential component of the Agile and Scrum methodology. 

Setting up Custom Statuses is easier (and less boring) than counting sheep!

Go to settings, Spaces, and then under “Custom Statuses” click “Scrum” to access our already pre-formatted statuses for this workflow. 

For more details on how to set up Agile and Scrum in ClickUp, check out this help doc.

E. Analyze Agile team performance with Custom Dashboards

ClickUp’s Dashboard has plenty of Widgets that let you watch your project’s progress like a hawk:

clickup dashboards

3. What is the Agifall or Hybrid approach?

The hybrid approach allows you to gather all of your requirements upfront (and stick with them) while also giving you the freedom to make changes. With the hybrid method, you can add user stories and ideas to the development life cycle but still keep the planning and framework. 

With the hybrid approach, you get the best of both worlds (and no, we aren’t referring to Hannah Montana):  

hannah montana

We are, however, talking about combining Agile and the Waterfall traditional methodology.

Want to why the Agile and Waterfall methods are polar opposites? This article has all the answers.

Pros 

1. Reasonably Flexible 

The hybrid project management system manages to nullify the Waterfall method’s inflexibility. You can tackle projects without worrying about starting over, similar to what bands do in a jamming session.

2. Decent Structure 

The Hybrid project method borrows a few structural elements from the Waterfall method to give your project a solid backbone to work around.

Cons 

1. Team Compromise 

Team members may skew towards Waterfall or Agile, so elaborating on the specifics for your team is as essential as creating a playlist for your long road trip!

2. Jack of All Trades, Master of None 

While the Agifall method tries to balance two different methodologies, it loses out on the important bits of each. You won’t get as much flexibility as the Agile framework or as much structure as the Waterfall method. This approach may not suit most projects and could result in inefficient project management.

Best For

Medium-sized projects where you have an end goal in place but also need tons of flexibility. 

How to use the Hybrid Project Method In ClickUp

For the Hybrid method to work, you need a structured workspace that still gives you the flexibility for quick-tempo changes. Here’s how you can do that in ClickUp:

A. Creating A Structured Workspace

Creating an organized workspace for your projects in ClickUp is as smooth as the sax solo from the song ‘Careless Whisper’:

  1. Create a new Space from your dashboard
  2. Create Lists within that space for different project progress stages
  3. Add tasks, subtasks, and checklists to each of these Lists to get things done

With these three easy steps, you’ve created a structured project Space for your team members to get things done in an organized manner.

B. Adding Some Flexibility To It

To add some flexibility to your Workspace, ClickUp gives you a few features:

1.Board View:
The board view resembles a Kanban board that’s ideal for the Agile project management methodology. You can easily move tasks around and restructure your project in seconds.

2. Custom Statuses:
ClickUp lets you create custom statuses for each of your Lists (sprints) to keep everyone informed of what’s going on. As you can customize these to suit each project’s needs, you’re not stuck with a rigid set of statuses that don’t accurately reflect a project’s stages (Phew!) 

For example, you’ll need a different set of statuses for app development than for music composition or marketing campaigns.

board view

3. Gantt Charts:
ClickUp gives you incredibly flexible Gantt charts! 

(Not the ancient and rigid Gantt charts that many of us hate.)

You can use these to create critical paths and yet make quick changes that automatically change the other dependent elements within the project. 

gantt chart in clickup

Groovy, right?

We discuss more about how to use Gantt charts in the following section.

4. What is the Scrum methodology?

Scrum is one of the most popular project management methodologies out there. It’s a version of Agile, but often teams are self-organized with no project manager. 

But that doesn’t mean this project management technique is as chaotic as a classroom without a teacher to keep an eye on things.

Daily standups and short sprints are the hallmarks of Scrum, even though there may be a Scrum master who serves as the de-facto project manager (similar to a hall monitor, if you think about it.) 

kid running in halls

But how different are they? Check out this article to find out the differences between a Scrum master vs. project manager.

Scrum project management utilizes Sprints, where work (specifically backlog development) is divided into sections, such as weeks or months. A strict Scrum management approach will have 30-day sprints to finish different segments of the project.

Each Sprint contains a dedicated amount of time to finish a specific feature. Each Sprint ends with a sprint retrospective or review, where teams get together and decide the next steps in a software development project.

Want a crash-course on Scrum? We got you covered.

Pros 

1. Powerful Work Breakdown 

By breaking down a complex project into smaller chunks, your team can get far more done in a 30-day Sprint. 

2. Collaborative Creativity

The Scrum methodology emphasizes team collaboration as the core of creativity and problem-solving. This is a great way for your team to build chemistry and work toward the project goal together. 

Cons

1. No Clear Leadership

While Scrum can build team chemistry, it’s also risky. 

The team needs to be self-motivated and disciplined to get their work done. If not, the Scrum master may end up with more responsibility than they thought they would, and would have to clean up more than a few messes. And no Scrum master deserves that!

janitor sweeping in futurma

2. Greater Uncertainty: 

There’s also a greater possibility for failure because of the uncertainty surrounding the teams. They may not have a full picture of the project scope or resources.

Best For 

Scrum project management suits a complex and large project with flexible deliverables that need to be broken down into smaller pieces. The Scrum method only works if the project team is experienced, self-disciplined, and highly motivated. 

Because of this, the Scrum methodology works well with small teams.

How to use the Scrum Method In ClickUp

A. Lists

Using Scrum in ClickUp is very similar to using Agile. ClickUp Lists can function as Sprints where you neatly categorize tasks into separate sprints. With the due date feature, you can ensure that each sprint adheres to a 30-day schedule to comply with Scrum requirements. 

B. Retrospective Sprint Review

Once you’re done with the tasks, you can use the comment section to conduct a retrospective sprint review. Your team can discuss how they performed, what they could improve, and what future steps they’d like to take.

It’s kind of like grading a paper, except nobody gets an F in Scrum

threaded comments in clickup

C. Multiple Views

Want to customize these sprints?

You can toggle between Board and Box views to get a flexible look at what’s left to be done.

The Board view is great for an in-depth look at each of your Sprints. You can see each task included in each sprint and move tasks around with ease. 

board view in clickup

The Box View helps you get an overlook at everything that’s going on in your project space. As tasks are organized by assignee, a Scrum master will find it easy to oversee everything. 

box view in clickup

Additionally, the Scrum master can have a peek at their Agile Dashboard to see how the sprint is progressing in real-time.

Learn more about setting up a Scrum workflow in ClickUp here

5. What is the Critical Path Method (CPM)?

What’s common between a pirate and a project manager?

And no, it’s not their fondness for rum.

captain jack sparrow cheersing

They both love a good map!

That’s essentially what the Critical Path is. 

It’s a roadmap that shows you where and how things need to get done, and how those projects potentially overlap. 

Lots of successful project management software programs have a critical path built-in, showing you the fastest way forward. This method places tasks sequentially and then helps you build out a structure from there. 

It can be shown in a flow chart or in a Gantt chart and helps you estimate the time it will take to finish. Don’t confuse CPM with Critical Chain project management (CCPM), though. 

The latter is a resource-focused analysis of what is left to finish the tasks. Unlike critical chain project management, the Critical Path method focuses on the tasks themselves. 

Here’s a great guide on the Critical Path Method if you’re looking for even more information.

Pros 

1. Efficiency

The Critical path highlights which tasks are at most risk of falling behind. This makes it easy to make efficient changes on-the-fly, so that your team can go full sail ahead, keeping your project on track.

2. Time Management

It’s also great for comparing your estimated timelines versus where you actually stand. By analyzing the critical path, you can remove irrelevant tasks and get your project back on course

Cons

Risky 

If you’re a rookie project manager (or a pirate) without much experience, following the map of the Critical Path Method could shipwreck your project. 

How?

If you underestimate your schedule, your project might exceed deadlines, but fortunately, that won’t mean walking the plank!

Best For

This method is suited to projects that contain loads of interdependent subtasks and connections. Having a critical path to show you how each of these tasks relate to each other can help speed up your progress.

How to use critical paths in ClickUp

With ClickUp’s Gantt View, you can view task dependencies and calculate your critical path easily.

Here’s what you have to do:

  1. Open the Gantt View in ClickUp
  2. Select the group of tasks you want to analyze 
  3. Click the arrow button to calculate the critical path for the tasks you’ve selected
critical path in clickup

You can now view which tasks are integral to a project’s completion and reschedule tasks with ease.

However, that isn’t all. 

To help power this PM methodology, ClickUp’s Gantt charts can:

  • Automatically adjust dependencies once you reschedule a task
  • Calculate your progress percentage
  • Compare your estimated and current progress

6. What is the GTD Methodology?

GTD isn’t a “real” project management methodology, but tell that to the people who swear by it. (Kind of like how superheroes aren’t real, but there is a legion of fans that would beg to differ.)

Instead, it’s a personal productivity system made famous by David Allen, the author of Getting Things Done.

It’s become a whole way of life for many people, giving them a clear method to prioritize their tasks and work, which can make them feel like they’ve got superpowers.  

“Priority” is the key word here because this PM methodology is great at helping you (and your project team) make decisions about what needs to be done next.

Most project management methodologies are very systematic in nature, but they don’t account for handling different projects at once. 

However, like how Batman can take on multiple villains simultaneously, you can deal with multiple projects with this project management technique.

The GTD method helps you close these “open loops,” that have been lingering around and don’t have any actionable steps to account for.

The GTD system gives you five steps to follow:

  1. Capture
  2. Clarify
  3. Organize
  4. Reflect
  5. Engage

Want to give your team a boost with the GTD method? This guide can help them unlock their secret powers.

Pros

Prioritization 

The GTD methodology can help your team prioritize tasks, note them down, and get down to working on them easily. You won’t face a build-up of pending tasks; everything will be organized and done quicker than Superman on laundry day.

superman doing laundry

Cons

Not Suitable As A Methodology By Itself 

The GTD method shouldn’t be looked at as a separate project management methodology. 

Instead, it’s an add-on that can make any other different methodology more productive. Getting things done quickly and in a systematic manner is something every project management methodology could use.

Best For

Nearly every project that requires workers to finish a group of subtasks while working towards a common goal.

How to use GTD in ClickUp

ClickUp has an Inbox feature that’s perfect for GTD fans. Just add tasks to your inbox whenever they come to mind. You can allocate these tasks to projects later on.

The List view in ClickUp can help you adhere to the GTD style of project management. You can easily set Priorities and check items off your task list from your dashboard. You can also easily create new action items and processes from your dashboard and edit them in a flash.

list view in clickup

With ClickUp’s Box view, you get X-ray vision and are able to see what everyone else is working on. This way, you can team up with them to check off items together. 

You can even use the Notepad to list down an idea or process you come up with before you start acting on them.

creating a new list in clickup

7. What is the PRINCE2 methodology?

Developed as a UK government standard for IT projects, PRINCE2 is a popular system that is as widely celebrated as British as tea and biscuits. 

And even its name seems fitting for a country where the queen resides!

queen elizabeth waving

But what does PRINCE mean?

PRINCE is an acronym for “PRojects IN a Controlled Environment.” 

It’s a Waterfall method that highly regulates the inputs and outputs of a particular project. For every PRINCE2 project, these royal principles are followed:

  • An organized and controlled start: know what you’re getting into
  • An organized and controlled middle: make sure everything stays on track
  • An organized and controlled end: no loose ends

Pros

1. Organized 

PRINCE2 delegates clear roles and responsibilities among all the loyal subjects (team members). A project manager reports to a project board who acts like a council of ministers that make the final say on any issues that arise.

2. Documentation 

PRINCE2 requires documentation at every level of the project management process. This makes future project planning easier as you have a ready set of references to look to.

Cons

Too Rigid 

PRINCE2 builds on the Waterfall approach with more precise processes and terminologies. While this establishes the order, it makes PRINCE2 a very inflexible project management methodology.

Best For

Complex projects with fixed end dates and requirements. PRINCE2 is not suitable for projects that require flexibility and independent decision making.

How to use the PRINCE2 method in ClickUp

Using PRINCE2 in ClickUp is a lot like using the Waterfall method. You need clearly defined project spaces to manage your work efficiently. 

A. Separate Project Spaces

Once you create a project on your dashboard, you can create lists within that space for different project progress stages. Each of these lists can have a set of tasks, subtasks, checklists, and assignees to get things done in an organized manner. 

B. Docs

The PRINCE2 Methodology requires project documentation at all stages. ClickUp makes that possible with its Docs feature.

ClickUp Docs acts as a wiki tool for your company, where you can store important project information alongside each project. 

With ClickUp’s rich text formatting, you can customize each project doc and get as detailed as you want. ClickUp also allows you to nest pages within documents for easy organization.

All these features combine to make ClickUp Docs the perfect princess to PRINCE2 project management. 

clickup threads

8. What is Lean Project Management?

We’ll never know what came first, the chicken or the egg, but do you know which project management methodology came first: Agile or Lean?

Developed around 60 years before Agile, Lean is thought of as an ancestor to Agile project management, but there are some definite differences. 

Lean puts an emphasis on discarding waste and emphasizing efficiency, as made famous by the Kanban method of cards. 

There are 3 M’s to Lean, and it was first developed at Toyota plants in Japan:

Muda: the extras that don’t add any value

Mura: nothing should be waiting. The right amount should be made and available.

Muri: everyone in production should have a similar-sized workload

Doesn’t this sound similar to a fast-food assembly line? It turns out, even McDonalds used a system like Lean to serve customers. 

(It’s ironic because cheeseburgers are anything but ‘lean.’) 

For more information (on these project management methods, not cheeseburgers), check out our post on Lean vs. Agile.

Pros 

1. Straightforward

Project statuses in Lean project management are known across the organization because of the Kanban cards approach. As a result, everyone’s roles and duties are easily accounted for.

2. Reduces Waste

Lean is focused on reducing unnecessary resources and steps. It strives to streamline your workflow, improve productivity, and clear all existing bottlenecks.

Cons 

1. Very Basic

A high emphasis on Lean may discount individual expertise and skill-sets. It’s not suitable for unique, complex projects that require creativity like launching an advertising campaign.

burger king whopper

(Great, now we’re hungry.)

2. Risky 

As Lean project methodology relies on high levels of expertise and experience, the scope for error is high and you can disrupt your entire process if you’re not careful.

Best For

These set of principles can be applied to any project. However, to get the most out of it, you should have sufficient experience in executing Lean projects in the past. It’s not easy to pick it up without prior experience, just like how it’s hard to prepare sushi for the very first time!

How to use Lean Project Management in ClickUp

Two of the core principles of Lean Project Management are value mapping and task delegation. 

Here’s how ClickUp helps with both:

A. Value Mapping

Value mapping involves developing an idea of what’s to come. It’s incredibly important to the Lean method because it’s where a project team can cut off anything that doesn’t provide value. 

ClickUp’s Mindmaps can help with this. You can visualize and strategize your future projects (and buffet spreads) with this in-built tool. You can easily create detailed maps to brainstorm ideas and solutions for your future projects. 

B. Task Delegation

Lean project management emphasizes efficient work delegation among your employees. The Lean principle of Muri emphasizes an equal workload share. ClickUp’s Board view helps with this as it sorts out tasks by assignee. 

This allows project managers to manage what everyone has on their plate at the moment. In case someone is falling behind, managers can easily reschedule or delegate their tasks to someone else.

With ClickUp’s Assigned Comments feature, you can assign a comment to a team member. They’ll be notified of this and can mark the comment as resolved when they’re done. Delegating tasks to team members is now as easy as eating a piece of chocolate cake!

How Do I Choose A Project Management Methodology?

Project managers are spoiled with choices when it comes to project methodology types.

So how do you know what’s the right project management methodology for you?

Here’s a handy guide to help you out:

Note: Some organizations use their own unique types of project management methodology. 

For example: Motorola has perfected the Six Sigma approach,  which includes five phase DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control) methodology. And IBM has an Agile-like process called Rational Unified Process (RUP).

Conclusion

Congratulations!

You now know everything there is to know about project management methodologies.

So, which project management methods are right for you? 

It’s up to you to look at the pros and cons of each of these project management methods and decide if it’s a good fit for your workload. 

While each methodology has its benefits, its effectiveness varies according to the industry your part of. Do your research, take stock of the projects and teams you have, and you’re sure to find a method that suits your workload.

Once you’ve done that, get ClickUp for free to implement your chosen methodology and start managing your team and projects today!

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