HR Tip of the Week: Specialized Project Management Approaches
Alternative project management approaches have evolved from the needs and conditions of different industries. HR professionals should be aware of these approaches and the extent to which they are used in their organizations. There is overlap in these methods, but distinctive characteristics of each include the following:
•Lean Project Management focuses on eliminating waste by:
⁃Maintaining a tight focus on the intended value of the project.
⁃Empowering the team to make decisions.
⁃Analyzing and solving problems rather than working around them.
⁃Emphasizing continuous learning.
•Six Sigma project management derives from quality principles. “Six sigma” refers to a level of quality so high that very few errors occur. It emphasizes focusing on projects with a quantifiable return of value, encouraging team commitment to quality and involvement in problem solving, measuring results in a manner that allows empirical analysis, and fact-based decision making.
•Agile project management is used when the assumptions on which a project is based are unclear or may evolve as project work proceeds. The project focuses on iterations of the deliverables- completing one iteration and then using customer input to plan the next iteration.
•Critical chain project management is used when resources can’t be increased to meet deadlines. For example, an HR department may be able to allocate no more than 10 hours per week of staff time to do project work. Project activities are scheduled both to account for dependencies and to allow some room for variance for the estimated task requirement. Once the buffers are set, however, they are strictly enforced.