Creating a Project Management Methodology: Identify and Integrate the Existing Stuff

Congratulations! Your new project management methodology development project is a ‘go’ and it’s time to start building!  Be sure to do a gap analysis and look at the existing stuff that is already out there or that may impact your efforts as you move forward. Existing stuff includes a lot of things  It is essential to assess and evaluate several aspects of your organization as you get started with your methodology building activities.  Here’s a short list of recommended areas to have a look at…

Project Types and Sizes

One key to a successful methodology is offering project managers and team members the ability to scale and tailor the new method to fit their projects. The best way to do this is to build a project taxonomy looking at types and sizes of projects. This taxonomy will translate into required and optional deliverables, approvals and activities that need to be accomplished for a particular project.

Legal and Regulatory Constraints

If you do business in a regulated environment, you may find that certain laws and regulations may drive some of your project management methodology. Although most methods tend to support a regulated and validated environment, it is essential to know what constrains you before you get started. If you procure external goods and services, the contracts and agreements that govern these relationships must also become part of your new method.

Standards, Policies and Procedures

A sound project management methodology supports and frames your existing processes – it does not conflict with or contradict them! In order to integrate these aspects of the organization into the method, it is essential that you first know what they are, what they contain and where the ‘touch points’ will be with the new project-focused activities and deliverables. Any standards and policies should also be addressed by the new method.

Project Management Skills Inventory

Your methodology will not work very well if the project managers don’t have the management, interpersonal and project management skills to use it correctly and well. Taking a staff skills inventory at the beginning of your effort is a good way to see where everyone is. This also allows you to plan for future skills acquisition through training, apprenticeship or other means.

Susan Weese

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