There are two common approaches to project management.
Traditional Project Management
Agile Project Management
How to identify which method makes sense for your project. As I have mentioned in my article about fundamentals of project management mentioned, the five main processes in project management. If each process occurs one after another, it is known as traditional project management, or the waterfall approach. Traditional project management works well when a project is relatively familiar, the goal and solution are easy to identify, scope and deliverable are clear, and you use familiar technology or tools.
Because the project is a known quantity, you can define it clearly and build a plan for completing it. Then you execute the project and perform the usual activities to make sure the work is done and the goal is achieved.
But with many projects today, we don’t know what the solution looks like, so you have to figure it out as you go along. This type of project requires a different approach. Agile project management goes through iterations to get closer to and eventually reach a successful outcome. For example, you might know the project goal, such as replacing a IT infrastructure in a company, but company doesn’t have his procedures and requirements documented in any way.
In this case, you can perform within the project management processes to get closer to what he wants. In the initiating and planning processes, you define the overall goal for the project and build an overall plan to achieve that goal. With agile project management, you also define what you are trying to achieve with each iteration and develop a detailed plan for the work in that iteration. The executing process is often easier in agile projects because they typically use small teams of highly skilled people who work in the same location.
These conditions make it much simpler to get everyone on board. With agile project management, you monitor and control the project more closely and communicate faster and more frequently. Finally, each iteration has its own closing process for accepting its specific deliverable. When the final iteration is accepted, you can complete the other closing activities, such as closing contracts. You will determine which approach, traditional or agile, makes sense during the initiating process of a project once you know whether or not your solution is clear.