The approaches to project management differ between industries and organizations. The differences come by as per the nature of functioning of organizations and the nature of projects that need to be handled by such approaches. The main aim of any project management approach remains the same – the efficient accomplishment of the projects objective. Every project has a goal or objective to accomplish. Internal constraints need to be overcome as well as dynamic external factors need to be considered in the approach toward project management planning. Usually an organization adopts a traditional approach to project management or combines the benefits of multiple approaches to plan a project in a comprehensive manner. Today there are different kinds of project management software and programs that help guide the planning process as well as in the implementation and monitoring aspects of a project.
The traditional approach towards project planning is a non dynamic approach. Here it is assumed that the goals and the scope of a project will remain constant till the project is completed. A project manager plans as well as identifies the project resources to be utilized based on such assumption. The following key phases of a project are laid down as per the traditional approach:
Initiation of project
Monitoring of project
Completion of project
As such an approach is rigid and does not allow for changes in goal or scope of a project as a project is undergone, most organizations adopt a more hybrid approach towards project planning these days.
Critical Chain Approach
The critical chain approach assumes that a constraint which can be process related, might hinder the planned progress of a project. The constraint might be due to the large involvement of cross functional teams and complex processes. Such an approach uses statistical tools to predict and analyze the constraints and probability factors of success. Analytical formulae are defined in order to remove constraints which are found in the course of a project. This approach is handy to incorporate unforeseen obstacles and bring about changes in the project as per constraints that are faced in the course of a project. Project planning templates are found on different sites.
Many organizations take on the extreme approach to build into account the changing customer requirements in an ongoing project. Such a project plan can handle dynamic changes in the environment. Such an approach comes of use when a project is guided mainly by market conditions and its requirements cannot be ascertained fully at the commencement of the project. The projects undertaken by the mobile industry is an example of such projects. Here projects teams need to plan as per current data and incorporate changes as and when market condition or customer requirements change.
Event Chain Approach
Another approach to project management planning is the event chain approach. A single constraint can lead to a series of events that negatively impact a project. For instance, projects that are dependent on different functions might suffer when there is a setback in one department or function. Here past data is used to understand the impact of negative events. Event chain tracking tools are used in this method.