Breaking It Down: A Guide to Project Management

Successfully completing a project involves more than just timing and budget. It comprises an amalgamation of planning, management, organization, and communication. A successful project needs people with the right skills and knowledge working together with clear roles and responsibilities in order to carry a project to its conclusion without compromising on time. 

These days, project management is needed to guide a project from conception to completion in a way that meets all articulated outcomes and effectively utilizes the company’s resources. 


Project management is achieved in phases: 

  1. Initiating
  2. Planning
  3. Execution
  4. Monitoring and Controlling
  5. Closure

Project management can be a complicated endeavor, with countless principles and practices employed to deliver objectives to reach a project’s conclusion. Various goals must be factored in, from risk-taking ability to cost and budget. Hence, different methodologies are associated with project management, with some more commonly used than others. 


A type of agile methodology, scrum is a short ‘sprint’ approach to managing projects led by a ‘Scrum Master’. Performance is reviewed after each sprint, during which any necessary changes will be made. This methodology is ideal for teams of no more than 10 people and is most commonly used in the software development industry.


This methodology describes a straightforward process in which phases of the project ‘flows downward’ sequentially, where each stage must be completed before the next begins. It is ideal for projects with a clearly defined end goal or projects for a regulated industry requiring extensive project tracking or documentation. 



This methodology visually represents tasks on a kanban board, so workflow and progress are clear to all team members. The board’s basic structure is made up of three columns: To-Do, Doing, and Done. Kanban is used in almost all industries and is best suited for projects with pull-based workloads. 


Originating in the Japanese manufacturing industry, this methodology is all about maximizing customer value while minimizing waste. It identifies 3 types of waste:

  • Muda – getting rid of an activity or process that does not add value
  • Mura – improving flow by eliminating variances in the workflow process (scheduling, operations, etc.)
  • Muri – removing overload, so nothing slows down

Lean methodology is ideal for companies interested in transforming how they do business.


The agile methodology describes a set of principles of collaborating to iteratively deliver whatever works. Projects under this approach usually appear as a series of tasks that are conceived, planned, and executed incrementally as the situation calls for rather than planned ahead. Since this allows for greater flexibility, this methodology is ideal for constantly adapting projects, requiring constant communication between the team and client. It is primarily used in the software and game industries.


Ultimately, the best choice of project management methodology depends on the team, project, and resources available. It is the project manager’s job to consider all these variables when choosing a methodology. In the end, what truly matters is successfully getting the project done in a way that meets user needs and delivers satisfying results.


Siti Mahsadinar Zams | @mahsazams

Mahsa is a content writer for ASEAN Youth Organization. While born and raised in Indonesia, Mahsa is currently studying International Relations at Tokyo International University. She loves to travel and learn new languages. You can usually find her sipping an unhealthy amount of iced green tea lattes, reading a book, or debating politics.

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