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Different Types of Project Management with Explanation

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Project management is a process in which you start, plan, implement, control and close a team’s work to attain particular goals and success criteria within a specific time period. A project manager knows it well that the selection of the proper methodology is very important to get the work done properly.

Types of Project Management

There are different types of methodologies for project management, still, we have picked up the six most popular ones among them:

  1. Agile
  2. Kanban
  3. Waterfall
  4. Six Sigma
  5. Scrum
  6. Lean

A detail discussion on each of the types is given below.


The agile approach develops a project in pieces which are sequential. Team members arrange "scrum" meetings to evaluate the project’s latest version and ask for suggestions to improve it. Then the project’s second version is created by them according to the suggested changes and it is presented before the team members. This process will be repeated up to four or some more versions until all of the requirements are met. In a word, the agile approach presents full versions of the project which can be bettered and changed.

This approach should be applied when:

  • production is more important than quality
  • the clients can change the project’s scope
  • the final product’s picture is not clear
  • skilled project developers work for this project who have adaptability and can think independently
  • the industry’s standards are rapidly changing


Under the Kanban approach, a whiteboard is used by the project managers where they have three columns: “in line”, “in progress” and “recently finished” and stickie notes are placed by them in those columns. These notes have a project task’s description. The team members can easily have a look of the upcoming, on-going and completed tasks. When anyone comes up with any new task, the manager can understand where it should be placed on the board of the Kanban and how other tasks are going to be affected by it. As for example, a new urgent task may cause an on-going task to be stopped for the time being and held back to the “in line” column.

This approach should be applied when:

  • the project has smaller teams
  • the team requires an approach which is flexible in delivering the product/ service.
  • the productivity purpose is personal


The waterfall approach by nature is linear where the project’s each stage is performed sequentially. Typically, there is a gate between every stage, e.g. a manager can review the result from every stage. At first, the project manager decides the things which are required for the project. Then the project is designed by a project developer, the full project is built by the project members by placing each of the pieces sequentially and the project is integrated by the manager into the business for the purpose of testing and correction. Finally, when the project is complete, it is implemented by management under the maintenance of the assigned manager.

This approach should be applied when:

  • the final product’s picture is clear
  • clients cannot change the project’s scope after it has been started
  • the definition should be the core to success rather than speed

Six Sigma

The Six Sigma approach is good for projects which can be measured precisely. The concept is to find out the deviations from complete perfection if there is any, and also the reasons for these deviations. While developing and implementing the project you have to DMAIC where

D- Define the project

M- Measure the project

A- Analyze the project

I- Improve the project

You will be able to achieve the exact result with a little variation as per your requirement by doing so. As for example, a project for building a software system for detecting the uses of employee- computers for non-business purposes can benefit from this approach. Complete perfection is to detect every business computer’s personal use. The system would be tested and refined so that there are not more than 3.4 defects for every million opportunities. This standard is Six Sigma.

This approach should be applied when:

  • the size of the organizations and companies is large
  • the companies and organizations are in an attempt to improve efficiency and quality with the help of a data-driven system.


Scrum consists of five values: courage, commitment, focus, respect, and openness. The goal of this approach is to form, deliver and strengthen complex products through accountability, collaboration, and continual progress. It functions by applying particular artifacts, events, and roles.

The particular artifacts are product backlog and sprint backlog. The product owners manage the product backlog. It contains the list of all needed requirements of a viable product on a priority basis such as requirements, functions, features, enhancements and so on. The sprint backlog is the list of the requirements and tasks which require to be accomplished throughout the next sprint.

The particular events are sprint, sprint planning, daily scrum, sprint review, and sprint retrospective. A goal needs to be accomplished in continual time boxes which are known as sprints. The time frame is not more than a calendar month and remains constant within the development process. Sprint planning is where the whole Scrum team meets together at the starting of each Sprint for planning the next sprint. A meeting of 15 minutes time span which is held daily at the same time, where the achievements of the previous day and the expectations for the next day are discussed. Sprint review is a meeting which is informal in nature and takes place after each sprint, where the increment is presented to the stakeholders by the Scrum team and feedback is discussed. Sprint retrospective is a meeting in which the Scrum team focuses on the previous sprint’s actions and creates improvements for the upcoming sprint.

The particular team roles are the product owner, development team and scrum master. The product owner is the representative of the stakeholders and speaks for the customer. Development team consists of professionals like designers, programmers, and developers. The scrum master is the servant-leader who is organized and by whom the proper execution and the understanding of Scrum are ensured.

This approach should be applied when:

  • the project has teams consisting of less than 7 persons
  • a flexible approach for delivering the product/ service


Lean approach minimizes waste and maximizes customer value. It uses fewer resources to generate more value for its customers. It was originated from the manufacturing industry of Japan. Its values state that ‘as waste is eliminated, quality improves while the production time and cost are reduced.’

This approach should be applied when:

  • an organization or company is not concerned for a process but is interested in the transformation of how they perform doing business.

Project management has several other approaches which involve different degrees of standardized methods. If you search online or discuss with your business partners or colleagues, undoubtedly, you will find other methods. Some experienced managers of projects combine concepts from various project management approaches to generate a hybrid approach, e.g. a project manager who prefers the waterfall methodology may borrow the stickie notes concept from the Kanban approach to amplify his method.


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