written by
Sean Thomas

Popular Project Management Methodologies You Should Know

Project Management 5 min read

Many project management courses offer several hard skills, like how to account for risk or create a project plan. However, they don’t guide you on how to become a better project manager and improve your project management skills.

You must master project management methodologies to learn how to handle different projects and excel at project management. In this article, we will discuss popular project management methodologies.


Scrum is a branch of the agile methodology that focuses on delivering business value in the shortest possible time. The goal of scrum is to rapidly develop and deliver working software and making improvements with the help of user feedback.

The Scrum Framework is excellent for managing projects that are highly complex and unpredictable and where requirements are rather or likely to change. The scrum approach is therefore best applied in projects where you need room for evolving requirements and need software to produce value urgently.

A typical scrum team has three defined roles: the scrum master, the development team, and the product owner. The role of scrum masters is similar to that of project managers, but with fewer responsibilities.

Product owner and UX/UI designer sharing their positive energy
Photographer: Lala Azizli | Source: Unsplash

A scrum master’s main job is to act as an intermediary between the product owner (a representative of the stakeholders) and the development team. The development team, on the other hand, is similar to other project teams, but they need to be self-organized and share duties with the scrum master.

All of these teams have daily scrum meetings, where they set daily goals and discuss what needs to be achieved for the day. Similarly, the teams have meetings such as sprint planning, sprint review, and sprint retrospective at different phases of the project.

In short, Scrum emphasizes the importance of teamwork, accountability, and continuous, iterative progress towards a clear goal.

If you are interested in excelling in the concepts of Scrum, starting with a certification is a good idea. Certifications such as the Certified Scrum Master (CSM) or the Professional Scrum Master (PSM-1) can provide you with a firm foundation.

(If you want to know more about the Scrum methodology, you can read about in detail within the official Scrum Guide.)

Agile Methodology

Agile is a collection of principles and values that have paved the way for modern software development.  Agile methodologies have managed to replace tedious and time-consuming waterfall models and allowed software developers to release usable software incrementally.

Since agile software development became popular, a number of agile methods have emerged, of which Scrum is the most common. Although Scrum is a useful technique to develop reliable software incrementally, some developers have their reservations against the methodology.

Agile development teaches teams during projects to cope with uncertain and turbulent conditions. This helps them to adapt to, take charge of changing conditions, and learn how to deal effectively with them.

You must be able to tell your team why traditional SDLCs (such as Waterfall) is not compatible with modern product delivery. Furthermore, you must explain which roles, documents, and events are necessary for Scrum.

People are unsure about how they can master the concepts of Scrum. Like anything else, you first must learn the principles of Scrum by heart and implement, practice, and experiment with them in varying situations. The path to scrum mastery is a circle of steadfast effort and continuous improvement.

If you are interested in excelling in the concepts of Scrum, starting with a certification is a good idea. Certifications such as the Certified Scrum Master (CSM) or the Professional Scrum Master (PSM-1) can provide you with a firm foundation.

Critical Path Method (CPM)

The Critical Path Method is a unique project management technique uniquely derived from software development. In this methodology, managers categorize all activities they must execute to finish the project within a particular breakdown. After that, managers need to map the projected duration of every activity along with their internal dependencies.

I work in a software company designed and structured an app for field staff. That day we made a tour of our flow and could not miss a shot of our work :)
Photographer: Alvaro Reyes | Source: Unsplash

This approach has several unique benefits, namely improved scheduling. It also emphasizes the interdependencies between tasks, allowing you to manage them more effectively. Additionally, being able to identify critical tasks enables you to prioritize them and complete them before non-critical activities. This helps you spend resources on tasks that offer the most value.

CPM is ideal for projects where there are several interdependent parts. You can also manage simultaneous tasks effectively using the CPM and prioritize tasks that matter most.


Kanban is a development methodology inspired by the car manufacturing industry. A linear approach is used for the methodology which stresses the importance of continuous delivery without overburdening the development team.

In Kanban, you will create a workflow where you define, manage, and improve services that deliver knowledge work. By visualizing your job, the framework lets you continually enhance and optimize performance.

The term Kanban comes from Japanese, meaning a signboard or billboard. Despite having a background in manufacturing, it has been widely accepted in the software industry, specifically by Agile teams. However, the method is criticized for being too flexible for the development team, and managers avoid it because it lacks a defined structure like scrum.


The Waterfall methodology is one of the earliest project management methodologies in this list. It has a sequential nature, which means that the team carries out each step one after another. Managers stress a lot on requirements in the early stage. However, as the project proceeds, managers no longer have the option to change these requirements.

Even if they do, the cost of implementing those changes is too much to bear. This is why we divide the Waterfall method into discrete stages. Each of these stages are self-contained and the team needs to wrap up the entire stage to proceed to the next step.

We begin by collecting and analyzing requirements, developing and designing the solution, and implementing the solution through detailed steps. Nearing completion, we fix all impending issues.

Project management methodologies serve as a guiding hand for project managers to help better coordinate projects and schedule activities based on customer requirements. Learning about the methodologies listed in this article can enhance your aptitude and help you become a better project manager.

Project Management