A project management methodology refers to a structured approach used to guide the planning, execution, monitoring, and closure of projects. PM methodology contains a set of principles, processes, techniques, and best practices that project managers and teams follow to ensure successful project delivery.

Key Components of a Project Management Methodology

There are different types of project management methodologies, yet they share a set of typical techniques and procedures. Let’s consider the key tools that form the basis of any methodology.

  • Processes and Phases: Defined steps or stages that a project management goes through from initiation to completion.
  • Tools and Techniques: Various tools, software, and methodologies used to facilitate project planning, execution, and control.
  • Roles and Responsibilities: Clear definition of roles and responsibilities within the project team and stakeholders.
  • Documentation and Reporting: Establishment of documentation standards, reports, and communication plans to ensure transparency and accountability.
  • Quality Control and Assurance: Strategies to maintain and improve the quality of project deliverables throughout the project lifecycle.
  • Risk Management: Methods to identify, assess, and mitigate risks that may affect project objectives.
  • Change Management: Strategies to manage changes that occur during the project and their impact on the project scope, timeline, and budget.

Project planning methodologies can vary widely and may include Agile, Waterfall, Scrum, Kanban, Lean, Critical Path Method (CPM), Six Sigma, and others. Each methodology has its own principles, advantages, and best-fit scenarios based on the nature of the project, team dynamics, and project objectives. Organizations often select or tailor a project management methodology that aligns best with their specific project needs and goals.

Project management methodologies are structured approaches or frameworks used to guide the planning, execution, monitoring, and completion of projects. Some common types of methodologies in project management include:

Waterfall Methodology

Waterfall Methodology: This sequential approach of project management involves completing one phase of a project before moving on to the next. It’s highly structured and relies on detailed planning upfront.

Waterfall Pros:

  • Clear structure and documentation.
  • Well-defined milestones and phases.
  • Easy to understand and manage.

Waterfall Cons:

  • Less adaptable to changes.
  • Limited flexibility once a phase starts.
  • High risk of scope creep.

Waterfall is Best for:

Best Suited for: Industries where the project requirements are well-defined and unlikely to change significantly throughout the project lifecycle.

Suitable for: Projects that have a clear, linear structure and sequential phases. This approach of project management is commonly used in construction, manufacturing, and engineering industries.

Agile Methodology

Agile Methodology: Agile is a flexible and iterative approach that divides the project into smaller increments or iterations. It emphasizes adaptability, collaboration, and the ability to respond to change quickly.

Agile Pros:

  • Flexibility to adapt to changes quickly.
  • Promotes collaboration and customer involvement.
  • Incremental and iterative approach enhances product quality.

Agile Cons:

  • Requires high customer involvement and availability.
  • Less predictable in terms of deadlines and final product.
  • Can be challenging to manage in larger projects.

Agile is Best for:

Best Suited for: Projects requiring flexibility, frequent feedback, and adaptability to changing requirements.

Suitable for: Software development, IT projects, and creative endeavors where iterations and continuous improvement are essential.


Scrum: A subset of Agile, Scrum is a framework that focuses on teamwork, accountability, and iterative progress in short cycles called sprints. It involves specific roles, ceremonies, and artifacts to manage work efficiently.

Scrum Pros:

  • Promotes teamwork and collaboration.
  • Increases transparency and communication within the team.
  • Identifies and resolves issues early in the development cycle.

Scrum Cons:

  • Requires experienced team members for effective implementation.
  • Can be challenging to scale for larger projects.
  • May need more administrative overhead due to multiple ceremonies.

Scrum is Best for:

Best Suited for: Complex projects with constantly evolving requirements that need regular inspection and adaptation.

Suitable for: Software development, marketing teams, and small to mid-sized teams requiring iterative development and frequent communication.


Kanban: Kanban is another Agile-based methodology that visualizes work in progress on a board. It aims to limit work in progress, optimize workflow, and maximize efficiency.

Kanban Pros:

  • Provides a clear visualization of work in progress.
  • Allows flexibility in adjusting priorities.
  • Encourages continuous improvement and flow efficiency.

Kanban Cons:

  • Lack of fixed timelines can lead to ambiguity.
  • Not as effective for projects with strict deadlines.
  • Dependency on steady workflow for optimal results.

Kanban is Best for:

Best Suited for: Projects with a focus on visualizing work, limiting work in progress, and optimizing flow.

Suitable for: Both software development and non-software projects that benefit from visual workflow management and continuous delivery.


Lean: Originating from manufacturing, Lean focuses on minimizing waste and maximizing value. It aims to create more value for customers with fewer resources by continuously improving processes.


  • Focuses on waste reduction and efficiency.
  • Encourages continuous improvement and customer value.
  • Streamlines processes and reduces unnecessary work.


  • Might require significant cultural changes within the organization.
  • Can be challenging to implement in non-manufacturing environments.
  • May not suit projects where innovation and creativity are key.

Lean is Best for:

Best Suited for: Organizations aiming to maximize customer value while minimizing waste.

Suitable for: Manufacturing, service, and production-oriented businesses seeking continuous improvement and waste reduction.


PRINCE2 (Projects IN Controlled Environments): This methodology provides a structured framework for managing projects, emphasizing control, organization, and management from start to finish.


  • Emphasizes control and organization throughout the project.
  • Comprehensive project planning and documentation.
  • Flexibility in tailoring for various project types.


  • Might be overly bureaucratic for smaller projects.
  • Requires trained and certified personnel for effective implementation.
  • Less adaptive to rapid changes.

PRINCE2 is Best for:

Best Suited for: Projects requiring strict governance, controlled stages, and detailed documentation.

Suitable for: Large-scale projects, particularly in industries like government, construction, and infrastructure.

Six Sigma

Six Sigma: Often used in process improvement, Six Sigma aims to reduce defects and variations in processes by utilizing data-driven methodologies and statistical analysis.

Six Sigma Pros:

  • Focuses on process improvement and quality.
  • Data-driven decision-making.
  • Reduces defects and variations in processes.

Six Sigma Cons:

  • Might require significant cultural changes.
  • Highly structured and can slow down processes.
  • Heavily relies on statistical analysis expertise.

Six Sigma is Best for:

Best Suited for: Organizations focused on process improvement, waste reduction, and quality control.

Suitable for: Companies aiming to minimize defects and improve processes across various industries like manufacturing, healthcare, and finance.

Critical Path Method (CPM)

Critical Path Method (CPM): CPM is a mathematical algorithm used for scheduling a set of project activities to determine the longest path to project completion and identify critical tasks.

CPM Pros:

  • Identifies critical tasks and sequences them efficiently.
  • Provides a clear timeline and schedule for the project.
  • Helps in resource allocation and risk management.

CPM Cons:

  • Assumes all activities are independent and have fixed durations.
  • Less adaptable to changes or unexpected events.
  • Complexity increases with larger projects.

CPM is Best for:

Best Suited for: Projects with well-defined tasks and clear dependencies.

Suitable for: Projects where determining the longest path of planned activities helps in scheduling and resource management. Commonly used in construction and engineering projects.

These pros and cons highlight the diverse nature of project planning methodologies, each having strengths and weaknesses based on project requirements, team capabilities, and the nature of the work. Often, project managers adopt a hybrid approach by combining elements from different methodologies to leverage their advantages and mitigate their limitations.

How to Choose PM Methodology?

Let’s look at the key steps that will help you make the right decision and choose a methodology that suits your team.

Step 1: Estimate Project Factors: Evaluate project size, complexity, team expertise, and organizational culture.

Step 2: Explore Methodologies: Consider methodologies such as Agile, Waterfall, and Hybrid.

Step 3: Align with Project Goals: Assess alignment with project goals, constraints, and unique needs.

Step 4: Consider Key Factors: Factor in considerations like flexibility, communication, pricing and stakeholder involvement.

Step 5: Be Adaptive: Be open to adapting and combining different types of project management methodologies for project success.

Let’s Summarize

Each methodology has its strengths and weaknesses, making them suitable for different types of projects and organizational cultures. Many project managers adapt and combine methodologies to suit the specific needs and requirements of their projects. Planfix offers a huge selection of tools for project management. A variety of boards and planners such as Kanban, Scrum and variations help to customize a comfortable workspace for any tasks and teams.