Project Managers are at the helm of the projects in almost all industries. Yet it is difficult to tell for certain, what makes a good Project Manager. Every Organization has stipulated roles and responsibilities for the Project Managers. As a Project Manager (PM), you may be working in small or large teams with some assigned tasks. PMs are responsible for managing the tasks.
A good Project Manager has to prepare project plans, estimate the time and effort, and ensure a smooth flow of the processes. There are various tools available for project management, which are used mainly by the Project Managers. Now the main question is- “Which tool is the best?” However, there is no direct answer to this question. In particular, you can’t define any tool as the best, because each one has its own pros and cons.
Four project management tools are widely used in the market. Let us talk about the advantages and the disadvantages of each.
Prince2 is the methodology of project management which is promoted by the Axelos and the UK government. It is an acronym for “PRoject IN Controlled Environments”. In Prince2, the project is mainly shaped by the principles laid down in the Prince2 guidelines.
Initially, Prince2 focuses on identifying the need of the customer, the overall targets, future benefits and a cost assessment. The overall responsibility of the project success is shouldered by the project team, and the Project Manager manages the day-to-day activities of the team members.
Prince2 emphasizes on carrying out the business cases, processes and governance. At every possible step, Prince2 guides you as a virtual Project Manager, telling you what to do. It also plays a vital role in laying out the necessary processes and principles.
The principal advantage is that, Prince2 provides detailed documentation which is useful for a clarity on the projects. It employs a standard set of tools used in the industry and aims to find the project managers who are trained in that direction. But in some cases, it can be burdensome to adapt with the project changes, and this can make it difficult to maintain the project related documents. This is a major limitation of Prince
PMP is one main qualification criterion for Project Management, which is built by Project Management Body of Knowledge, or PMBOK. Like Prince2, PMP course is the most popular certification in project management which are promoted by the Project Management Institute (PMI). Prince2 tells the Manager what to do, whereas PMP focusses more on the Project Manager knowledge and skills. PMP is a collection of the best practices. It is a theoretical reference guide. This makes it highly beneficial for the project managers.
The pros for PMP is that, it provides useful knowledge about the project management activities and organizes the higher level skills for PM professionals. The only cons for PMP is that, it is not a complete source for Project management skills. It is only an add-on to the pre-existing skill-sets.
Agile Project Management helps elicit a quick response to the changing demands and updated information. Agile allows you to make changes on your way to achieving a target. Agile completes its process through iterative activities, evaluating and managing the process accordingly. It works according to the “Agile principle” and the “Manifesto for Agile Software Development”.
Agile provides flexibility and appropriate end products. Initially when the end product is unpredictable and needs much more clarity, Agile proves to be the most useful tool. This essentially is the main advantage of using Agile. The disadvantage with Agile is that it does not provide much idea about the timelines and budgets, like other methodologies. It is totally unpredictable.
Technically speaking, Scrum comes under the Agile Project Management, along with the lightweight process framework. Here, productivity matters most. In Scrum, it comes in 3 roles- the product owner (company’s representative), the Scrum Master (Project Manager) and the Team. Teams complete the task under the guidance of the Scrum Master. In this case, the project is achieved in steps which are called Sprints, and daily meetings are arranged to discuss the project.
The pros of using Scrum is that, it becomes easier to deploy an error-free product rapidly. But the whole product development process gets affected if any team member leaves the project. This is one downside of using Scrum.
It entirely depends on the teams to choose the perfect project management approach for their organization. It depends on their target and the requirements as well, and more than anything else, on the business acumen of the project manager.