How to Choose the Right Project Management Methodology

4 Jul, 2023 | Read in 5 minutes

Unlock the secrets to successful project management! Discover the perfect project management methodology that fits your team.


What exactly is a project management methodology, you may wonder? Well, according to the Project Management Institute (PMI), it can be described as a framework or a collection of principles, practices, and processes that steer the management and execution of a project. 

Statista reports that from 2015 to 2018, a worldwide share of software developers adopted agile development methodologies and continuous integration (CI) practices. 91% of respondents indicated that their organisation had implemented an agile development methodology, while 88% implemented continuous integration.

But many methodologies available today sometimes need clarification in choosing one. You must consider various factors to identify the best method for your project goals.

What are these factors? And what project management methodologies are commonly used? Let's find out how to choose a suitable project management methodology.

7 Types of Project Management Methodology

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There are several types of project management approaches and methodologies that you can apply to your project. Quoted from Forbes, here are some project management methodologies that you should know:

  • Waterfall: The waterfall methodology follows a sequential approach with well-defined phases. Each phase is completed before moving on to the next, making it suitable for projects with stable and predictable requirements.
  • Agile: Agile methodologies, like Scrum, emphasise flexibility, adaptability, and collaboration. The agile method is ideal for projects with evolving requirements and a need for regular stakeholder engagement.
  • Lean: Lean project management minimises waste, optimises processes and delivers value to customers. 
  • PRINCE2: PRINCE2 (Projects IN Controlled Environments) is a methodology that provides a structured approach to project management with defined roles, processes and outcomes. PRINCE2 is suitable for projects that require strong governance and precise project controls.
  • Six Sigma: Six Sigma focuses on reducing defects and variability in project processes. The Six Sigma methodology is generally used in industries where process quality is critical, such as manufacturing and healthcare.
  • Critical Path Method (CPM): CPM is used for planning and scheduling project activities. CPM is valuable for projects with complex dependencies and needs accurate scheduling.
  • Kanban: Kanban is a visual project management methodology that uses boards and cards to track project tasks and workflow. Kanban suits projects requiring transparency, flexibility, and continuous delivery.

9 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Project Management Methodology

Indeed mentions that the project management methodology adopted will significantly impact project outcomes and your team's efficiency. Therefore choosing the right methodology is very important for the project's success.

A study from the Half Double Institute said that more than 53% of projects in the last 12 months could be completed on time by applying a suitable methodology. 

Here are nine factors you need to consider when choosing a project management methodology:

1. Project Requirements

Understand the specific requirements of your project, including scope, complexity, size and purpose. Some methodologies work better for particular projects, while others are more flexible and adaptable to various scenarios.

For example, a highly structured and sequential methodology such as Waterfall might work well for projects with well-defined requirements. In contrast, an Agile methodology such as Scrum is better suited for projects with conditions that are still evolving.

2. Project Team

Consider your project team's skills, experience and preferences. Some methodologies require special skills or training.

Assess whether your team has the necessary capabilities to implement and adhere to a particular methodology effectively. 

Ensuring your team is comfortable with the chosen method to improve collaboration and overall project performance is crucial.

3. Flexibility vs. Stiffness

Evaluate the level of flexibility required for your project. Agile methodologies like Scrum, known for their adaptability, iterative approach, and frequent feedback, make them suitable for projects with evolving requirements.

On the other hand, traditional methodologies such as Waterfall provide a more structured and sequential approach, which can benefit projects with stable and well-defined requirements.

4. Stakeholder Engagement

Determine the required level of involvement and collaboration from project stakeholders. Some methodologies, such as Agile, emphasise regular stakeholder interaction and feedback throughout the project life cycle.

In contrast, other methodologies may involve stakeholders at certain milestones or less frequently. Assess the importance of stakeholder engagement in your project and choose the appropriate method.

5. Take Into Account Time and Resource Constraints

Consider your project's time and resource constraints. Agile methodologies can be helpful when dealing with changing priorities and tight timelines. Their iterative nature allows for gradual progress and the ability to adapt to evolving needs.

However, a traditional methodology such as Waterfall may be better if your project has precise requirements, sufficient resources, and a need for predictability.

6. Type of Industry and Project

Consider industry and project type when choosing a methodology. Different industries may have specific methods that are commonly used and have proven successful.

Research industry best practices and consult with professionals in your field to identify methodologies that align with your industry needs.

7. Risk Tolerance Value

Evaluate your organisation's risk tolerance. Agile methodology embraces change and has built-in mechanisms to deal with risks and problems as they arise.

An Agile methodology may be preferred if your organisation thrives in an environment that encourages innovation and adaptation. On the other hand, if your project demands a risk-averse approach with careful planning and documentation, a traditional methodology may be more suitable.

8. Evaluation of Organisational Culture

Consider your organisation's culture and its readiness to embrace change. Implementing a new project management methodology requires a change in mindset and practice.

Assess whether your organisation is open to adopting a new approach or whether a gradual transition is more appropriate. Ensuring that your chosen methodology aligns with your organisation's values and goals is essential.

9. Scalability

Determine whether the methodology can be scaled to accommodate larger or multiple concurrent projects. Some methods are well-suited for smaller projects or specific workflows, such as Kanban or Lean, while others, such as PRINCE2 or PMBOK, are designed for larger, more complex initiatives.

Also, consider whether the methodology can accommodate the growth of your project or handle multiple projects running concurrently.


When choosing a project management methodology, consider project requirements, stakeholder engagement and organisational culture. It is also essential to align the preferred method with the skills and expertise of your team.

The chosen methodology must be flexible and adaptable to accommodate project requirements and changes. Evaluate and refine your project management approach regularly to ensure its effectiveness and alignment with your business goals.

Further, try a project management tool using VirtualSpace to practice your project management methodology. 

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