Managing a team and getting projects delivered by their deadlines is a demanding task, yet it’s an essential role that makes a key difference in businesses and their processes. With technology constantly evolving, market trends fluctuating, and team members taking on hybrid or remote roles, project management is as important as ever. With so many project management methodologies to choose from, it can be an overwhelming process to adopt the right option for you, your team, and your business.

In this article, we’ll provide you with an overview of 12 project management methods for long-term success, and help you determine which one best suits your team’s goals and needs.

Key Takeaways

  • Project management methodologies are frameworks that guide the planning, execution, and delivery of a project.
  • Project management frameworks and principles are related to methodologies, but are not standalone methods.
  • There are several methodologies to choose from, ranging from agile and adaptable to structured and rigid.
  • The right methodology for your project team will depend on a number of factors, including team size, goals, budget allocations, and software capabilities.


What is a project management methodology?

A project management methodology is a framework that guides the planning, execution, and delivery of a project. It provides a systematic approach to managing a project’s scope, timeline, budget, and resources, ensuring that the work is completed efficiently and effectively.


Are project management principles and frameworks the same as methodologies?

Project management principles and frameworks are related to methodologies, but they’re not exactly the same thing.

Principles are fundamental concepts that guide project management practices, while project management frameworks are high-level structures that provide a general approach to managing projects. COBIT (Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology) and TOGAF (The Open Group Architecture Framework) are two examples.

Methodologies, on the other hand, are more detailed and prescriptive, providing specific steps and tools for managing projects.

Practices are the various tools, techniques, and methods used to execute methodologies. For example, Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a set of best practices for IT service management, but it is not its own methodology.

While principles and frameworks can be used to develop methodologies, it’s important to understand that they’re not methodologies in and of themselves.


12 Project Management Methodologies to Consider for Your Team

There are many project management methodologies to choose from, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Depending on the project’s scope, timeline, team, and resources, one methodology may be more effective than another in facilitating productivity.

1. Project Management Institute’s PMBOK Guide


PMI’s PMBOK Guide methodology is a widely recognised and accepted framework for managing projects. It outlines best practices and standards for project management across five different process groups (initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing) and ten knowledge areas (such as project scope management, time management, cost management, and risk management).

The PMBOK Guide method provides a comprehensive approach to project management, emphasising the importance of planning, communication, risk management, and stakeholder engagement.


  • Emphasises the importance of planning and risk management, helping project managers identify potential problems to proactively address them before they become major issues.
  • Offers a flexible framework that can be adapted to different types of projects and industries, allowing project managers to tailor the methodology to meet their specific needs.
  • Supports continuous improvement through ongoing monitoring, evaluation, and feedback, enabling project managers to identify areas for improvement and implement changes to enhance project outcomes.


  • While the methodology provides a general framework for project management, it doesn’t offer detailed guidance on how to implement specific tasks or activities, leaving some project managers struggling to apply the method in practice.
  • PMBOK emphasises technical skills and processes but doesn’t address important soft skills such as leadership, communication, and emotional intelligence, all of which are critical for a successful project outcome.
  • This methodology can be adapted to suit an agile project management style, but it was not specifically designed for agile methods and therefore may be unsuitable for projects that require an iterative approach.



PRINCE2 (PRojects IN Controlled Environments) is a project methodology that originated in the UK and is widely used across Europe and other parts of the world.

It provides a structured approach to project management, with a focus on planning, control, and governance. PRINCE2 is based on seven principles, seven themes, and seven processes that guide the management of projects from start to finish.

The seven main principles are: starting a project; directing it; initiating it; controlling it; managing product delivery; managing a stage boundary; and closing a project.


  • Provides a strong focus on project control and governance, with defined roles and responsibilities for all stakeholders, ensuring that project objectives are clarified and met.
  • Adaptable and scalable to a wide range of projects, from small to large, simple to complex, and can be customised to meet specific needs.
  • Facilitates continuous improvement, with regular reviews and evaluations of project performance, helping project managers identify areas for improvement and make changes as necessary.


  • While PRINCE2 has a risk management component, it may not be as comprehensive as other project methodologies, leading to potential gaps in risk identification and management.
  • PRINCE2 can be overly prescriptive, which can make it challenging to apply in certain situations or for projects that may require a more flexible or agile approach.
  • To effectively apply PRINCE2, project managers may need to undergo significant training and certification, which can be costly and time-consuming.

Extreme programming (XP)


Extreme Programming (XP) is an agile software development methodology that emphasises continuous feedback and customer involvement throughout the development process. It’s designed to help teams rapidly deliver high-quality software by focusing on simplicity, communication, and feedback.

XP is based on five values (communication, simplicity, feedback, courage, and respect) and 12 practices that help teams work collaboratively and adapt to changing requirements.


  • Places a strong focus on customer involvement and feedback, ensuring that the customer’s needs are at the centre of the development process.
  • Emphasises collaboration among team members, including pair programming, collective code ownership, and continuous integration, promoting better communication and teamwork.
  • Focus on simplicity, testing, and code review helps teams deliver high-quality software with minimal defects and rework.


  • XP is best suited for small to medium-sized software development projects with a stable team and changing objectives. It may not be appropriate for larger, more complex projects or those who hate to revise their work repeatedly.
  • It requires a high degree of collaboration and communication amongst the team, which may be challenging for teams that are distributed across different locations or time zones.
  • XP’s focus on customer involvement and feedback can lead to scope creep, as customers may request additional features or changes to the project scope.

4. Waterfall


Waterfall methodology is a traditional, linear approach to project management that emphasises a sequential, step-by-step process for product development. It involves a rigid structure where each phase of the development process must be completed before moving on to the next.

The waterfall approach is commonly used in industries such as construction, engineering, and manufacturing.


  • Has well-defined phases and milestones, providing clarity around project scope, timelines, and deliverables.
  • Well-established and widely understood approach to project management, making it easy for team members and stakeholders to understand and implement.
  • Often used in industries with strict regulatory requirements, such as healthcare or finance, where documentation and traceability are critical.


  • The Waterfall method requires a sequential, step-by-step approach to workflows, which can result in long development cycles and delayed time to market.
  • It’s fallen out of favour in recent years due to its inflexibility and the increasing complexity of tech-related projects. Many organisations now prefer more agile and adaptable approaches to project management, such as Scrum or Kanban.
  • Project stakeholders are typically only involved at the beginning and end of the project, which can result in limited collaboration and communication throughout the development process.

5. Scrum


Scrum is an agile methodology that focuses on delivering projects in small, incremental releases, otherwise known as “sprints”. It emphasises collaboration and adaptability, and is particularly well-suited for projects where requirements are likely to change or evolve over time.

Scrum involves cross-functional teams, daily meetings (led by a “scrum master”), and a prioritised backlog of work that’s continuously reviewed and updated.


  • Designed for flexibility, making it well-suited for projects where requirements are likely to change throughout the different stages.
  • Involves delivering products in small, incremental releases, which can help shorten development cycles and get products to market faster.
  • Prioritises daily meetings and regular reviews, which can provide better visibility and transparency into the development process, helping team members and stakeholders stay informed and engaged.


  • Scrum methodology can be more complex and require more training and expertise than traditional project management methodologies, making it difficult to adopt and implement for some teams.
  • It focuses on adaptability, which can make it difficult to predict the timeline and scope of a project with a high degree of accuracy.
  • Scrum places less emphasis on documentation and formal processes, which can make it challenging to track and manage project deliverables over time.

6. Lean


Lean is a process improvement methodology that focuses on reducing waste and improving efficiency. It was originally developed for manufacturing and production processes (famously being used for the Toyota production system), but has since been adapted for use in software development, healthcare, and other industries.

Lean methodology uses 3 Ms to represent waste: Muda (wastefulness), or practices that consume resources but don’t add value; Mura (unevenness), which occurs through overproduction and leaves behind waste; and Muri (overburden), which occurs when there’s too much strain on resources.


  • Aims to identify and eliminate waste in processes, improving efficiency, reducing costs, and increasing customer value.
  • Focus on quality and customer value, which can lead to better products and services and increased client satisfaction.
  • Involves ongoing efforts to improve processes and eliminate waste, helping teams adapt to changing customer needs and market conditions.


  • Lean methodology primarily focuses on efficiency and process improvement, which can sometimes come at the expense of effectiveness, strategy, or quality-based project goals.
  • It’s most effective for repetitive, high-volume processes, and may not be as effective for more complex or variable workflows.
  • Lean project management is focused on improving existing processes, and may not be as effective for generating new ideas or driving innovation.

7. Agile


Agile methodology is a flexible, iterative approach to project management that emphasises collaboration, adaptability, and customer satisfaction. The process of agile development involves breaking down projects into small, manageable chunks, and working in short cycles or “sprints” to deliver work quickly and continuously.

The agile approach is designed to be adaptive and responsive, allowing project teams to adjust to changing market conditions and customer needs.


  • Allows teams to quickly respond to changes in project requirements or customer needs, providing greater flexibility than traditional project management approaches.
  • Enables teams to deliver working software quickly and continuously, reducing time to market and increasing the speed of product development.
  • Provides greater visibility into project progress and status, allowing teams to identify potential issues and risks early on and take corrective action quickly.


  • Agile methodology can be seen as lacking in uniform structure and planning, which may be challenging for teams or businesses that prefer a more traditional and sequential approach.
  • It can sometimes lead to scope creep, as new features or requirements are added to the project without proper evaluation or their impact on timelines, deadlines, and budgets.
  • Agile project management requires significant investment in terms of time, resources, and expertise, which may be a barrier for smaller businesses or teams with limited resources.

8. Kanban


Kanban methodology is a visual approach to project management that emphasises continuous flow and working through a backlog of tasks. It was originally developed in the manufacturing industry, but has since been adapted for use in software development, marketing, and other industries.

Kanban boards and cards are used to visualise workflow and track progress, with the approach being designed to limit works in progress and instead progress through a backlog of tasks.


  • Use of visual boards and cards makes it easy to track progress and identify potential bottlenecks or problems, helping teams stay on track and make informed decisions.
  • Highly flexible and adaptable, making it suitable for a wide range of projects, teams, and industries, including those with changing requirements or priorities.
  • Focus on limiting work in progress and optimising workflow can help reduce waste, minimise delays, and improve productivity.


  • Kanban methodology is more focused on managing flow and limiting WIPs than on detailed planning, which can be a disadvantage for teams that require more predictability or control.
  • It relies heavily on the discipline of the team to manage their own work and continuously improve their processes. In situations where the team lacks experience with this approach, it may not be as effective.
  • Kanban may not be as effective for highly complex projects with many dependencies, as it can be challenging to visualise and manage all the moving parts on a Kanban board.

9. Six Sigma Methodology


Six Sigma methodology is a data-driven approach to process improvement that aims to reduce defects and variability in manufacturing and service processes. It focuses on identifying and measuring key performance indicators (KPIs) and using statistical analysis to identify the root causes of problems and eliminate them.

Six Sigma methodology follows a structured approach known as DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve, Control).


  • Relies heavily on data analysis to identify problems and find solutions, resulting in better decision-making and reduced guesswork.
  • Promotes a culture of continuous improvement, where employees are encouraged to identify and solve problems, leading to a more engaged and motivated workforce.
  • Helps to standardise processes across a business, leading to better consistency and reliability in products and services.


  • Six Sigma is highly data-driven, which can sometimes lead to over-reliance on statistical analysis and a lack of consideration for other factors that may impact a process or product.
  • It can sometimes lead to a focus on short-term goals and metrics, which may not align with the long-term goals of a business.
  • It may not be suitable for processes that are highly creative or rely on human interaction, such as customer service or design.

10. Critical Path Method


The Critical Path method is a project management technique used to identify the longest sequence of dependent activities in a project to determine the shortest possible project timeline.

This methodology involves creating a detailed project schedule that includes all the activities, milestones, and dependencies required to complete the project.


  • Identifies the critical tasks that are essential for meeting deadlines, scheduling tasks effectively, and enables managers to keep projects on track.
  • Detailed project schedules and task dependencies help identify resource needs at every stage of a project to ensure effective allocation of budgets, which prevents delays and minimises costs.
  • Determines high-risk tasks that could cause delays and possible project failure, allowing project managers to proactively mitigate potential risks and respond quickly to any problems that arise.


  • The Critical Path Method is based on a predetermined project plan, and any changes in the plan may require updating the entire project schedule, which can be time-consuming and cause delays.
  • This method requires advanced project management skills and specialised project management software, which may be challenging to implement for some businesses.
  • While this methodology helps identify critical tasks and potential project risks, it may not account for unforeseeable events or emergencies that may cause delays.

11. Critical chain project management (CCPM)


Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM) is a project management methodology that focuses on the use of buffers to manage uncertainty and variability in project schedules. It’s based on the theory of constraints and emphasises the importance of resource management and team communication for project success.

The goal of CCPM is to improve project completion times and minimise the impact of schedule delays on project outcomes.


  • By focusing on the availability and use of critical resources, CCPM helps teams make better use of their resources, reducing waste and ensuring that team members are working on the most critical tasks at any given time.
  • Reduces the impact of schedule delays and improves resource utilisation, helping teams complete projects with greater efficiency.
  • Provides a clear view of the critical path and helps teams identify and manage project risks, allowing them to make informed decisions and adjust the project plan as necessary.


  • CCPM requires significant planning and coordination to ensure that everyone is working together effectively, and it may take time for teams to fully adopt this new approach.
  • It works best for projects with clear and specific goals, and where it may be possible to identify and manage critical constraints. For projects that are more complex or open-ended, other methodologies would be more suitable.
  • CCPM may not be suitable for small or simple projects where the overhead of implementing the methodology outweighs its benefits.

12. Scrumban


Scrumban is a hybrid agile methodology that combines the principles of Scrum and Kanban to help teams manage their work more efficiently. It enables project teams to prioritise tasks and handle work items as they arise, all while incorporating elements of sprint planning and continuous improvement.

Scrumban is particularly effective for teams that are in the process of transitioning from traditional project management approaches to more agile methods.


  • Combines the flexibility of Kanban with the structure of Scrum, allowing teams to adjust their processes and priorities as needed.
  • Encourages continuous improvement by providing a framework for analysing workflow and identifying areas for optimisation.
  • Focuses on delivering value and limiting WIPs, which helps to reduce waste and increase efficiency in the development stages.


  • Scrumban may not be suitable for projects with multiple teams, as the framework is designed for small and fast-paced project teams.
  • It can result in reduced structure and less defined roles when compared to other project management methodologies.
  • Scrumban requires continuous monitoring of work progress, which can be time-consuming and may demand additional resources.


How to choose a technique that works best for your team

With so many project management techniques and methods to choose from, selecting the right option for your team can be challenging. It’s important to consider your business’s unique needs and goals, the size of your team, the available software to facilitate your chosen method, and the extent of your budget and resources.

Size of Team

The size of your team has a significant impact on the most suitable management style for your project.

Larger teams may benefit from more structured methodologies with clearly defined roles and responsibilities, such as PRINCE2 and Waterfall.

Smaller teams may prefer more flexible and agile approaches, such as Kanban or Lean.


Different methodologies may require varying levels of access and expertise with project management software.

More structured methodologies, like Critical Path Method and CCPM, may rely heavily on specialised project management software to track progress and assign tasks.

While more flexible approaches, such as Scrum or Lean, may only require basic tools such as spreadsheets or shared documents.

Requirements & Goals

Your business’s goals and a project’s requirements will greatly influence the project management method that’s right for your team.

For example, a business with strict deadlines and a need for detailed documentation will benefit from a structured methodology, such as the PMBOK Guide or PRINCE2.

A rapid-paced business with a focus on innovation should take an Agile approach, using methodologies like Scrumban.

Available Budget & Resources

The budget and available resources of a project play a crucial role in the type of methodology your project team can utilise.

Organisations with a limited budget and resources may opt for less complex and less expensive methodologies, such as Agile, Scrum, or Lean.

Larger organisations with access to more resources and a bigger budget, on the other hand, may choose a more structured and elaborate methodology, such as PRINCE2 or PMBOK.

Find the right methodology for you

There are many methodologies to choose from and even more project management tools to facilitate your chosen method. As a project manager, it is up to you to reflect on the needs of your team, your projects, and your organisation.

The right choice of methodology depends on a number of things; the guidelines of the method, the common scenarios your project team faces, the expectations of your clients, and the long-term plans and goals of your business.

If you’re looking for more assistance with finding the right methodology, Priority Management is here to help. With over 40 years of experience, we’re dedicated to upgrading your company’s procedures and finding the best solution for your goals.

We offer several Project Management courses to get your team on the same page and guide you through the perfect project management approach for your business, so you can deliver high-quality management and project outcomes every single time. Contact us today for more information!