Tuesday 7 December 2021

Project management methodology

Good project management is a very important thing for every professional. combined with his 3 years of work experience, the author combed through a set of his own methodology, and this set of methodology to share to everyone, hoping to be helpful

why did you write this article?

Engaged in project management for 3 years has been around, from the beginning of what do not understand, to now at the same time to deal with a number of key projects, along the way there are some ideas, i hope you can sum up, help themselves comb out their own methodology, easy to more clear and convenient in the future to complete the follow-up project delivery, but also to sum up their own shortcomings in the future when there is some basis.

various types of projects and various types of project management methods

"everything is a product, everything is a project"

the above is my understanding of all things, each "thing" can be understood as a product, each "thing" can be understood as a project, each "thing" in the world has its own way of dealing with, put into the work can be understood as all kinds of projects have various types of project management methods.

i am not in favor of using a unified project management approach to manage all projects, such as engineering projects and research and development projects, waterfall projects and agile projects, and so on.

in fact, for the sub-category, there have been many industry project management methodology, such as huawei has a "six-step-one" methodology, now i would like to introduce my summary of the project management methods.

six one-way:

the first step: clear objectives, scope confirmation;
step 2: develop major project milestones;
the third step: project activity decomposition, preparation plan;
step 4: quality control, implementation guidance;
step 5: progress plan and site plan development;
step 6: develop the regional planning process;

One method: the project's communication strategy the classification and content of the project management methods i have written:

first, my industry is the software industry, where delivery project management is done, characterized by standard products within the company but partially customized development when delivered to customers.

after a long period of practice, i summed up the industry's own project management methods: two-dimensional four-phase project management methods.

here's a look at this approach:

how to use the two-dimensional four-stage method, what is the use?
first, methodology must be used to guide work, so the methodology is used to suggest that the project delivery process be combed according to methodology when planning projects at all stages of the project, which is particularly important during the project start-up phase.

so what's the use of methodology? in fact, the so-called "methodology" is the experience summed up by previous people, the active and correct use of methodology can avoid the existence of the vast majority of "pits" in the work.

what is a two-dimensional four-stage

two-dimensional: that is, internal and external dimensions.

it is mainly divided according to the interests of the dimension, the dimension is mainly used to distinguish the related parties, the internal dimension is "own person", specifically refers to the project interests of the people, the external dimension is "outsiders", specifically refers to the project interests of the negative related people.

whether there are internal or external dimensions, there are stakeholders who will help the project manager move the project forward and those who will prevent the project manager from advancing the project, so identifying the stakeholders for each dimension prior to project start-up is especially important for future project delivery.

four stages: start-up phase, program stage, research and development on-line stage, closing stage.

distinguishing the delivery phases according to the different purposes of project delivery, and completing the assigned tasks at each stage, is at the heart of the two-dimensional four-phase approach.

in everyday life, people deal with things basically: get notified to do one thing (start), understand what it's going to be like (plan), do it (research and development online), and get things done (end).

therefore, according to people's daily habits, the project delivery is also divided into four stages to manage, more intuitive and convenient.

the following diagram is an implementation flowchart for a two-dimensional, four-phase approach:

personnel responsibilities at each stage:

each category of stakeholders has different responsibilities during project delivery, which are summarized in this approach as follows:

a brief description of the work at each stage:


standard product modules and customized project delivery are very different from traditional large-scale project delivery, and the differences include, but are not limited to:

traditional large-scale project development is more mature, with market standard delivery, delivery process

Compared with the traditional it industry pure custom delivery method, there are standard product modules, can not all according to customer needs to process product design and delivery

Compared with the emerging SaaS products Internet companies, the product application environment is complex and the function is relatively incomplete, so it is not possible to directly let customers use the standard product features the mode is newer costing is difficult

In recent years, there have been dozens of domestic companies with such projects as the main business, the reason is that such companies want to project to support products, and eventually become pure SaaS-type companies. 

However, due to its special product type and complex function, it is still a long way from the final result.

In other words, such standard modules plus custom projects can still exist for a long time.

here's a formal introduction to the "two-dimensional four-phase":

Start-up phase

"project" is defined as "temporary work to create a unique product, service or outcome", in which "temporary" means that the work must have a clear start and end time, and the start-up phase is to define the "start" of the project.

the objectives of the start-up phase are:

  • transfer the person in charge of the project from business to project manager;
  • organize the project members within the company and party a project related parties, form the project team and confirm the division of labor;
  • confirm the project "start" time and mobilize project team members to start work.

Based on the objectives of the start-up phase, the work that is typically required during the start-up phase is the handover and collection of project information, the formation of the project team and the organization of the project launch meeting, in which:

Transfer and collection of project information: 

mainly refers to the transfer and collection of project information between the project manager and the business or other members. the project information mainly refers to: 


Customer demand, customer organization structure, customer's main docking and project related parties, customer expectations/goals of the project, customer company information and docking personnel/department information. 


Business personnel do not necessarily have all the project information, so if there is any lack of information needs to be continued to collect by the project manager and business personnel.

The main significance of the handover and collection of project materials is to allow the project manager to learn more about the customer and the customer's expectations of the project from the various dimensions of the client's company information, organizational structure information, member information, target information, etc., 


So as to analyze the support that the relevant members of the customer may give to the project.

confidants know each other, a hundred wars are not lost.

build a project team: the project needs someone to execute, and the project manager can't do it alone;

at this stage, the common mistake of novices is to identify only the very perfect project members of the company, but the project members of the client side are not defined, or the definition is unclear. this can result in a project extension if the project changes or requires information from the customer side, etc., if the customer's contact person or related responsible person is not found.

therefore, when identifying the project team, in addition to the internal members, it is important to know in detail who the decision maker on the customer side, the project owner butt, the contact person with the decision maker, the user of the relevant business, and so on, and try to include these people in the project team members. or jointly define and assign these members to form a customer-side project team.

project launch meeting: when the project data collection is completed, the internal project team is formed, and the client side project team is defined, a "ceremony" is required to announce the official launch of the project to all project members, which is the project launch meeting.

since we need to define the project members on the customer side at the project launch meeting, and strive for more resources that we can call, the customer's decision maker must be present at the project launch meeting, and we need to use the decision maker's hand to help us mobilize the client's human resources.

The programme phase

once you have confirmed when the project will start from the start-up phase, you can enter the project scenario phase, which aims to:

  • according to the contract content, research the customer's related needs content and expectations;
  • convergence of demand range, unified delivery target;
  • confirm the project implementation and research and development plan;
  • both parties confirm the project "solution".
  • the programme phase is mainly to confirm "how to do" and "how much to do", so the main work of this phase is: business needs research, project plan output, program output and confirmation.

Business Needs Research: Since the products that generally need to be delivered on the project are toB products, for which customer needs are the most important factor in determining the product shape, work during the business requirements research phase is particularly important. As for why this phase of the work is called "business needs research" rather than "demand research", the reason is that in understanding customer needs at the same time to understand how the customer's business works, the customer's proposed needs can meet the customer's real business scenario.

at the same time, as a professional project manager, the business needs to have a holistic forward-looking consideration, in the business needs research also need to combine their own thinking and planning for the business, appropriate guidance to customers.

this part of the work content and order are mainly: to identify business needs research objects, based on customer needs to write "business needs research content", the implementation of research, the output of "business needs research report", both sides of the business needs research report signed or email confirmation.

project plan output: planning is the basis for normal project delivery and is the standard for internal project members to implement the project.

when formulating the project plan, first according to the customer's needs, confirm the implementation/development cycle and preconditions of each task in the demand, combine the customer's time expectations, make adjustments to the work, and finally output the project implementation plan or project implementation plan, both sides confirm.

Scenario output: the "scenario" here usually refers to "business solution", which is a unified solution that combines your company's product capabilities with the customer's business needs collected during research, and finally outputs.

this task is the most important part of the whole project delivery process, the significance of output of this program is to unify the customer and the company's project members' goals, limit the scope of the project's needs and product form, to avoid the early demand communication content is not clear, the requirements description in the contract is not perfect, personnel rotation and other reasons caused by the demand range is not clear.

Because each company's product patterns are different and the business solutions required are different, it is not possible to define in detail what the business solution specifically covers. in general, however, business solutions should include project context, project objectives, business requirements research content, product design solutions, functional responsibility departments/responsible persons, etc., which are selectively increased or decreased depending on the product form.

It is important to note that the description of the product in a business solution should be presented as far as possible in the product design high-fidelity prototype diagram plus text interpretation to constrain the boundaries of product details. at the same time, the business solution must also have the decision maker's signature or e-mail confirmation, before the next step in research and development work, otherwise once there is a change, the cost may multiply.

Research and development on-line stage

the main work of the project manager in the research and development launch phase is to supervise the project members according to the project plan and solution content, on time quality and quantity development is completed, and can be delivered to customers for use, so the objectives of this phase are:

  • ensure that products on time;
  • get customers online.
  • in the research and development on-line stage, the project manager needs to do the main work is: to assist the project members to complete the product development and online and training customers, product online mobilization meeting, sign the product on-line confirmation.

To assist in the completion of product development and training: product development on-line process, involving more work, but most of the implementation personnel to promote, related work may be:

  • procurement and preparation of research and development on-line environment;
  • continuous communication with various departments such as product managers, research and development (front end, back end, client, etc.), testing, operations, etc. to ensure accurate demand communication;
  • communicate with party a project related personnel to collect business basic information and complete the configuration;
  • prepare product manuals and functional training materials, etc.
  • product online mobilization will: in most cases, the customer understands the "on-line" and our understanding of the "on-line" is not the same, we think that the code deployed to the formal environment is the product online, and the customer's understanding of the online may be diverse, we need to have a "ceremony" to the two sides of the "on-line" understanding of unity.

at the same time, after the product goes online, the relevant members of the customer may be due to responsibility, increased workload and other reasons, resulting in the formal use of product features, so that the product features are not used after delivery, we also need to have a formal product promotion to the project members to promote the introduction of products, and through the customer's decision-makers to promote the relevant members of the customer side to use the relevant product features.

after understanding the above two points about the role of the "product online mobilization meeting", we can organize a mobilization meeting, the notes on the mobilization meeting are:

to ensure that party a decision-makers are present, otherwise the high probability is difficult to promote the relevant members of party a project;

try to ensure that product functional responsibilities are put into practice, not roles or departments, otherwise, due to unclear attribution of responsibility and resulting in mutual blame among members;
after the meeting, leave the minutes of the meeting and the minutes of the meeting and other left-behind documents.

at the same time, the project manager also needs to arrange some training on product functions according to the contract constraints or project requirements.

sign the product on-line confirmation: almost in each project, the product on-line is the key milestone node of the project, so it is also important to confirm the completion of this work;

product on-line confirmation list to describe in detail the completed and pending items, in order to facilitate the follow-up work and project acceptance.

Closing stage

products on-line to mark the completion of the project work, but in fact, the project final stage of the work is not necessarily less.

Since there is already a gap between research and development and product online during the business research and development phase and the product development phase, it is difficult to ensure that 100% of the demand is handled in accordance with the original business solution. at the same time, the initial online products are also difficult to ensure that there are no defects ...

At the end of the project, the main objectives are:

  • complete tasks that were not completed in previous phases.
  • address issues that occurred in previous phases (documentation loss, bug fixes, supplemental training, etc.).
  • improve the deliverables required in the contract.
  • carry out project acceptance.

In the closing stage of the project, what the project manager has to do boils down to a word - "find gaps", the main work content is: verification and completion of outstanding matters, per-acceptance communication, project acceptance meeting, signed project acceptance documents.

Verification and completion of outstanding items: 80 per cent of the main work to close is to verify and inspect outstanding items, including: outstanding requirements, BUG to be resolved, unavailable documentation, unconfirmed configuration items, unconfigured training, etc., which cannot be elaborated.


It is important to note, however, that ideally, the project manager's primary responsibility is to complete things according to the "list". in other words, at this stage, the main goal is to complete the requirements of the so-called "list" - i.e. contracts, change orders, supplementary agreements, etc. - without completing what has not been done.

Per-acceptance communication:"china's society is a human society", even if it has developed to such prosperity, still can not escape the human nature of the world.

In doing the project, the most difficult is actually the acceptance of the project, difficult to meet all the contents of the contract, not necessarily to meet the needs of key docking people. therefore, before the formal acceptance, must organize many acceptance before the communication, the main communication content is to understand the customer side acceptance process, as well as the whole process plays a key role (mainly signed) key personnel for the acceptance of the idea, and one by one, until the entire acceptance process of all personnel agree to the project acceptance.


As for conquering all the ways, is the use of contract negotiations, high-level pressure, interest temptation or other means, all by the character characteristics of the docking person and the form at that time and the project manager's personal experience, can not be opened to tell;

Project acceptance meeting: when the per-acceptance communication has been successfully completed, the project acceptance will become a form of over-the-top, but even if a formal meeting, but also to do party a decision-maker must be present, after all, there is nothing more convincing than the decision-maker on-site decision-making.


Sign the project acceptance document: the project acceptance document can be signed on the spot at the meeting of the project acceptance meeting, can also be signed on the day or week after the meeting, it is best not to delay too much.


When the project acceptance document is signed, it also marks the completion of the delivery of the project, the project manager can hand over the project with the business, the main purpose of the handover is: 


To allow the business to continue to follow up the project returns and whether there is a secondary sales opportunity.

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