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Project management approach, opportunity or threat?

When selecting a certain approach( waterfall, agile or hybrid), there is a fine line between whether this approach is a real solution and of added value and contributes to project success or will introduce more risks and issues to the project, it might seem that the ideal approach for the project can easily be selected at the beginning, however, if not selected wisely and according to a proper understanding of the project, it might have a major impact on the project and can directly affect its success.

The selected approach sometimes affected by factors that are not related to the project  such as organization PMO processes or project manager's own experience, a decision analysis should be made at the project initiation phase and different options should be assessed and associated risks are identified, organization governance and project managers should cooperate to ensure the right decision is made.

Project managers should have full awareness of different methodologies and be flexible using any of them efficiently or tailor/combine them to manage the project as needed, a project manager can become a risk to his/her project is he/she can't manage it with the selected approach efficiently.

In case the selected approach is not the best for the project, PMO governance and/or project manager should have the ability to identify what exactly went wrong and take the proper action by changing/tailoring the selected approach and make sure that associated risks are identified, analyzed and managed

The primary goal behind any picked approach is to make sure project objectives are eventually fulfilled with the help of the selected approach, the project manager is responsible for the project success and should have all the knowledge and tools needed to ensure project success, management should encourage innovative tailored approaches according to project's characteristics, however, there are some basic project domains that need to be considered such as project risk management, it's also crucial to keep track of lessons learned and make use of them to ensure making use of what went right and wrong.

 No one can judge or tell whether waterfall, agile or hybrid is the best, there is no common practice and there is no right or wrong approach for all projects, however, for every project, there is an approach that contributes to project success which needs to be carefully selected from the beginning.

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Eman ElRashid

About author

IT Projects Manager | Program Manager

PgMP®, PMP® certified IT Program Manager with 15 years of experience in projectized, strong, balanced and weak matrix organizations in addition to startups. My skill set includes Software Development, Project Management, Program Management, Vendor Management, Customer Relationship Management, Budget Management, Team Leadership, Technical Design & Development, New Business Development, Business and Systems Analysis, Requirements Management and Quality Control.
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