What is Project Management?

As defined by the Project Management Institute Inc, Project Management is "the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to a broad range of activities in order to meet the requirements of a particular project." 

There are a lot of interconnected and interdependent tasks which means there is a need for a generally accepted approach to serve as a guide for managing project activities. However, there are numerous, highly debated methodologies that Project Managers use but one thing is clear, project management is not for people who like to improvise.


1. Agile

Agile is a value-centered method of project management that allows projects to get processed in small phases or cycles. The agile approach removes the idea of developing a project in sequential pieces, meaning that project managers are continuously able to adapt to abrupt changes from client feedback. It’s extremely flexible and projects that exhibit dynamic traits would benefit from this process and project managers working in this environment treat milestones as “sprints”. This approach is best suited for small software projects made up of a highly collaborative team or a project that requires frequent iteration.

Key Features:

  • Individual interactions over processes and tools
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Responding to change over following a plan

2. Waterfall

This is a more traditional approach to project management with this model taking a linear approach. Using the waterfall approach, the project is broken down into sequences with the beginning of a phase dependent on the completion of the preceding one. It is more commonly used in manufacturing or construction sectors.

Key Features:

  • Classic linear approach that dates back to the early days of mainframe computing
  • Starts by drafting requirements onto a master document
  • Requirements are analyzed and modeled
  • Models and analyses figure into designing an architecture
  • The architecture provides a sketch that code and integration implements
  • The implementation undergoes a verification process before launch
  • The product undergoes constant maintenance once introduced to the customer


PRINCE2 is an acronym for Projects in Controlled Environments and is one of the most commonly used approaches globally.  It is a very process-oriented methodology, dividing projects into multiple stages, each with their own plans and processes to follow.

Key Features:

  • Provide the tips and help an organization by educated experts, mentors and project managers
  • PRINCE2® designs are sensibly intended to meet the prerequisites of the few levels in the organization team
  • Manages settled help and noteworthy sources of info pointed toward the regular project of the current enterprise
  • Encourages an organization to effectively use the accessible time and resources
  • It portrays an exact however financially cost-effective structure of reports
  • It guarantees that investors are sufficiently described being developed and basic leadership
  • It advances learning in addition to the constant upgrade in organizations
  • It enhances the unfaltering quality of project work and the ability to reprocess project resources

4. Kanban

The Kanban project management process removes sprints and milestones that are attributed to the agile method of managing projects. Instead, Kanban is a lean scheduling project management method that was developed by the Japanese Toyota Corporation based in the 1940s. With Kanban, project managers use a whiteboard with stickie notes placed in one of three columns: "in queue," "in progress" and "recently completed." The notes contain descriptions of project tasks so the team can easily see what tasks are coming up, which ones are being worked on and which are finished.

Key Features:

  • Visualization method for prioritizing workflow and fostering a high-level understanding of workloads
  • Kanban boards show real-time priorities and tasks to limit operational waste, discourage multitasking, and improving the flow of completion
  • Tasks and projects understood as stories that make clear to stakeholders the objectives, pathways, and goals—keeping leadership in the loop and less likely to interrupt work


The approaches outlined above are in not exhaustive and there are offshoots and variations of each. Although each method has their own advantages, they may not be suitable for the projects your team is working on. It’s best to thoroughly review each approach to see which fits well with your project. Each of these approaches can be adapted to your team’s workflow process, meaning you can maximize each approach's effectiveness.

If you are interested in a career in Project Management, we have a number of roles available across contract and permanent positions. Give our office a call on 01 571 3000 if you would like more information. 

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