Project Management: Is it really the Methodology that has the biggest impact on the Project Success ?

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Project Management: Is it really the Methodology that has the biggest impact on the Project Success? | Hassan Haydar | Pulse | LinkedIn

No. That’s the simple answer.

Let’s first mention the main difference between Agile & Waterfall. I am not going to do a full comparison between the methodologies ( the internet is already saturated with the comparison of the two):

  1. Agile focuses on dividing the project into sprints and delivering (Analyzing, Developing & Testing) a part of the scope/backlog in every sprint, by embracing a scope change at any time, improving the communication between the team members and increasing the visibility with the business.
  2. Waterfall invests in a longer period of Analysis & Design and after approval, the development can start followed by the testing. Change in scope is more difficult than it is in agile, especially if the analysis is already approved (however it is not impossible).

Project Management: Is it really the Methodology that has the biggest impact on the Project Success? | Hassan Haydar | Pulse | LinkedIn

Both Methodologies have their main disadvantages:

  1. Agile: an undefined scope will lead to deliverables that are going to be changed sprint after sprint, having impact on schedule & costs. Same with defined scope, if the Product Owner is “greedy” and like the changes!
  2. Waterfall: since the change is not easy, what is already designed would probably be used even if during the project some requirements were changed. Ending up between two options: go for the change (with higher cost than in Agile) or keep the design that is not exactly wanted by the business anymore. Both cases will have costs & time impact on the project.

 

Whatever methodology is used during the project implementation, you can have a successful project. Some people link a project success rate to the methodology used. I personally disagree with the idea of linking project result with the methodology used. It might have a slight impact but below is what, according to me, has a high impact on the project success:

  1. Scope: If the scope (derived from the business case) is clear, and the requirements are already defined and agreed on with the stakeholders, your project success rate is already high!!
  2. Ownership: The more the Project Sponsors show interest in the project, the more the project will succeed. Example: if a sponsor is financing 10 projects with 10 different level of interest, the project with the lowest interest will probably have a lower rate of success than the others.
  3. Belief: When the teams delivering the project believe in the project, they will stay motivated and will be playing the role of Project Promotors and Ambassadors.
  4. Communication: Easy to say but hard to see. Good communication during the project will improve the success rate of the project in any context.
  5. Other factors: Risk Management, Planning, Project Managers & Scrum Masters that can do magic, Resources and Budget availability…

Project Management: Is it really the Methodology that has the biggest impact on the Project Success? | Hassan Haydar | Pulse | LinkedIn

Conclusion: The methodology used during project implementation (including in-house methodologies, or tailored methodologies) is not what really define the success of the Project. There are other factors that can seriously impact the project success: Are your requirements clear?

What do you think ?

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