Choosing Your Project Management Style

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A team busy at work after choosing their product management style.

Your strategies from getting to point A to point B in daily operations deserve consideration and careful execution. The type of project management style you choose can impact everything from producing deliverables to clients or determining the best direction for your company’s workflow. 

Project management methodologies can lead you to identify the specifics of the particular goal you’re targeting. How you organize action and development will make a huge difference in the end result. If you play it right, your team’s efforts will gel, and the final result will meet and exceed your expectations. 

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A man determining the best project management style for his team.

What are the Different Project Management Styles?

The two main styles of project management are “agile” and “waterfall.” Of course, there are other iterations of these two methods that teams can utilize. These two, however, best represent the central project management styles.

When choosing a style of project management, you’ll want to consider the intricacies of each project. Trying a “one size fits all” approach is not always the best direction. Here are a few ideas you will want to consider: 

  • The factors and limitations that may impact the project
  • How involved stakeholders or clients want to be in the process
  • Which metrics and success factors do you need to track along the way
  • How large the team is and the level of their collaboration
  • The strengths and weaknesses of the team’s communication style
  • The level of transparency required in the project 
  • If there is a set budget for the project that must be adhered to

As you can see, there are many pieces to consider. Consider your specific goal as you’re choosing what project management style and tools to utilize. 

Two different product management styles.

What are the Two Main Project Management Styles?

Waterfall and agile methodologies can help you develop a strategy for successful project execution. 

Waterfall

This style of management is defined best as a linear approach. You have a clear direction at the beginning of the steps needed to complete the project and a specified result. This method relies on the completion of other tasks before beginning subsequent parts. Thus, each step of the process builds towards the finished project.

What makes this method tricky is in situations where there isn’t a clear end goal. With the waterfall approach, it can be difficult to make adjustments along the way. It can be tough to go back and change steps without upsetting the whole project. For that reason, this is not a method to use with an indecisive client. It should also be avoided in instances where you know that future factors may influence the project’s outcome. 

Waterfall project management makes sense for a contract or fixed-price model when there is a pre-established expectation of what is to be delivered. Then there is little to no risk of going over budget.  

Agile

Agile project management breaks down the process into milestones, which teams can work on concurrently. As a result, it is easier to make changes, pivot, or adapt based on the client’s needs throughout the project life-cycle. This methodology is also quite practical when there isn’t a clear outcome defined from the beginning. 

The agile approach is great for teams who have consistent and clear communication with each other. In addition, being actively engaged in the process will provide transparency to ensure that every member is building towards the same goals. 

It can get tricky if communication is not clear, as teams can waste time or effort unnecessarily. The adaptive style can make tracking changes and progress challenging. Every team member needs to have a clear role and understanding of their responsibilities. Additionally, being flexible and able to collaborate is essential when utilizing this project management style.

Having regular meetings of all team members to discuss the in-progress process ensures that everyone is on the same page. Transparency and clear communication are beneficial for larger agility teams. 

A team leader explaining the necessary product management style.

When Do You Use Project Management Methodology?

Having a method for tracking progress, assigning responsibilities, and creating a system for clear communication is crucial for preserving precious business resources. In addition, these methodologies can be beneficial when you have a project involving multiple people or teams who are working on different parts of one project.

However, an effective project manager can use these methods for internal projects as well. Developing new offerings in your business will be well served by utilizing these strategies and will reduce wasted time and effort. 

In short, project management is a focused way to achieve a goal by creating clear expectations, milestones, and a timeline for completion. You can use these methods for everything from developing a new social media strategy for your company to deciding how to makeover the staff break room. 

Getting Clear on the Details 

Determining which project management style will best achieve a particular goal depends on clarity. Identifying the “who, what, where, when, and why” of a project will help you recognize which methods will work best for successful execution. The nature of your team is also essential to take into consideration. 

If you have a largely remote team and have minimal interaction with each other, a waterfall approach is likely to come more naturally. However, if you strive to build a collaborative and interactive team, the agile approach is likely to serve your team better. Agile management works well in creating more innovative outcomes.

Each project deserves thoughtful consideration when choosing which methodology and tools will help bring it to fruition. Romain Berg is here to help you build your business know-how and build towards sustained longevity today and tomorrow. Join us and discover more innovative methodologies to access your realm of genius and skyrocket your success. 

About the Author

Sam Romain

Sam Romain

Digital marketing expert, data interpreter, and adventurous entrepreneur empowering businesses while fearlessly embracing the wild frontiers of fatherhood and community engagement.

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