Posted in Design.

Managing Methodology

After several projects, I have been involved in, This is the first that I have properly taken the role of project manager. This wasn’t my plan from the start but the best way to learn is to put you in a situation then manager as you go. So the methodology to use on a project isn’t something I know and have missed up in other projects I’ve worked on. To pick a methodology for this project I had to look at what information we had to work with, this in a way helped shape our pick too.

At the start, I focused on The Critical Path or Critical Chain;

Critical-path-chart

As opposed to waterfall and agile project management, that focus more on schedules and tasks, the critical chain project management methodology is geared more towards solving resource problems. Each project has a certain set of core elements, called a critical chain (sometimes referred as critical path), that establish a project’s minimum timeline. The critical chain methodology devotes adequate resources to this critical chain while devoting enough resources to other tasks such that they can run concurrently, but still have enough of a buffer to reassign resources when needed. This setup is ideal for resource-heavy teams, or for those who have enough flexibility in their team members’ respective skill sets.

Using this methodology from the start and with what knowledge of the project we had, it worked for a short period of time, However, after reading over some documents, I come across Agile management and felt that this was a better representation of our processes.

Agile management, or agile process management, or simply agile refers to an iterative, incremental method of managing the design and build activities of engineering, information technology and other business areas that aim to provide new product or service development in a highly flexible and interactive manner; an example is its application in Scrum, an original form of agile software development.[1] It requires capable individuals from the relevant business, openness to consistent customer input, and management openness to non-hierarchical forms of leadership. [1] The Agile Manifesto, is centered on four values:

  1. Communication with parties is more important than standard procedures and tools.
  2. Focus on delivering a working application and less focus on providing thorough documentation.
  3. Collaborate more with clients.
  4. Be open to changes instead of freezing the scope of the work.[2]

Modified

Agile.png

As from the start of our project we have a timeline of milestones and of important events. From this, we have a rough flow of elements and the team were about to make a critical path of objects that were reliant of the previous. This slowly morphed into an Agile methodology. This was because, with this project we were not only working with the feedback of our lecturers, we are also receiving feedback and interaction with an external client. This had as working to individual deadlines, then meeting with our clients and reassessing our plan and then working to the next shared goal. Our external client New Intelligence, have their area of expertise they have to convey to us, and us to them as we are the one making their app, and we have to make this the focus of the app.

Our starting timeline and Critical Chain was used because we did have core elements that needed attention but we found out that these needed to be flexible. So we accounted for these changes from collaborators or meetings between New Intelligence by morphing into an agile methodology into our methodology this allowed focusing on delivering on the next core elements that needed addressing and when what was the more important change we task accordingly to meet this goal.

The critical chain methodology helps to identify the most urgent task and come up with a structure that we needed to follow. This is something that helped us in the early stages of our processes. But this was after some things needing to be shuffled to allow the project to still flow and work productively. We adopted agile so that we could change up our priority focus based on feedback and update on progress, whilst still assigning resources to other tasks that were worked on side by side without depending on each other to progress forward, like that of a critical path methodology.

To close on this I have learned a lot of valuable processes and practices that I will apply to my future work, and be able to better how we manage projects both on a small and larger scale Be factoring in the size of the project and what type of elements need to be  achicement in a giving time frame

Thanks for reading.

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