zandax online course logo
zandax website search
zandax phone callback
Info, Blogs, Contact & Login

The Approaches to Project Management

From the ZandaX Project Management Blog

Articles to help to manage projects on time and on budget

Home  >  ZandaX Blogs  >  Management Blog  >  Project Management Articles  > 
The Approaches to Project Management

The Approaches to Project Management

A post from our Project Management blog

Article author: Jordan James
      Written by Jordan James
Project management has evolved rapidly, especially over the last 50 years or so, and this means that there are now a number of different approaches taken for managing projects, each of which are popular with relevant industries and applications.

The Traditional Approach

The traditional approach involves following a series of five stages which are usually found when managing projects. These five stages are:
  • Initiation
  • Planning and design
  • Execution
  • Monitoring and controlling systems
  • Completion
It is important to remember that some of these processes may occur at the same time or, if the project needs dictate, some may not even occur at all. Some projects may also go through some stages several times as they are reviewed and evolve.

This approach has been appropriated and modified by different industries; examples include the Waterfall Method which follows a systematic approach, and Requirements Management, which is used to develop and define the behaviour of software. Alternatively, it might simply be known as problem solving.

Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM)

Critical Chain Project Management was developed by Dr Eli Goldratt in 1997 as an alternative to perceived failures in the traditional approach. In brief, the system works by identifying the Critical Chain (defined as the longest chain of dependent tasks) then cutting task estimates in half, and inserting "safety buffers" between tasks. Priorities are set and execution is carried out with continual focus on each task until completion. This is backed up with continual reviews that ensure projects stay on target and deviations are addressed in the shortest possible time.

Critical Chain Project Management


PRINCE2 (an acronym for Projects in Controlled Environments) is a product-based approach to project management, and was established in 1989 by CCTA (the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency), since renamed the OGC (the Office of Government Commerce). It is widely used in the UK both in the Public and Private sectors, and is now the de facto standard within the UK. Many organizations actually stipulate the project managers involved are PRINCE2 certified when setting up the details of tenders etc.

The core elements of PRINCE2 concentrate on business justification, defined organizational structure, product-based planning, executing the project by dividing it into bite-size components, and remaining flexible at all levels of the project.

For organizations, PRINCE2's recognition of responsibilities within a project, along with its focus on project deliverables (the WHY, WHEN and FOR WHOM) provides an organization with tangible benefits of control, consistency and structure of both tasks and review cycles.

Agile Project Management

Derived from software development, Agile is a popular project management method that views a project as a series of smaller tasks to be accomplished, and which are designed to fit around the flow of the situation instead of being constrained to a rigid pre-planned process. Agile project management is a popular method especially favoured by the software development and creative industries.

There are two main advantages of this method. Firstly, it is logical, since it constantly examines the project being developed. Secondly, it is the only project management technique which incorporates client involvement - as long as the client is able to invest their time into project involvement.

Agile embodies many different project management methods, including the following:

Scrum - A complete approach which concentrates on iterative goals as decided by the project owner. These goals are then refined by the delivery team and carried out by the scrum master
Crystal clear - which focuses on making sure that relevant information is easy to understand
Kanban - The method of performing work through a defined set of instructions
Scrum ban - This technique also uses both the Scrum and Kanban approaches, enabling projects to be managed in a new and consistent way.

Agile Project Management

For many, and specifically those within the IT industry, Agile is better than PRINCE2 primarily because it is more flexible, hence the name Agile. In trying to respond, those controlling the curriculum of PRINCE2 have started to try and incorporate more of those lessons learnt from Agile into their approach. For this, you can now even find PRINCE2 Agile Practitioner courses.

Lean Project Management

Lean Project Management is a method which uses the concepts originally derived from Lean Manufacturing. It has parallels with lean construction and lean manufacturing, with the aim of delivering projects while minimising time and waste.

The are many ways to do this, but the two most common methods are:
  • The 6 Sigma DMAIC method -- This uses 6 Sigma Black Belts to take a project through the steps of Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve, and Control
  • The Deming Cycle or PDCA -- This is based on the methodology of "Plan-Do-Check-Act(/Adjust)
Lean project management

Extreme Project Management (XPM)

Extreme project management is often used by industries that deal with constant change; examples are the mobile phone and software industries. The common theme in these businesses is that it isn't easy to gain a proper and stable understanding of requirements, and outcomes may be heavily affected by changes in external factors, especially the market.

XPM requires an acceptance of high unpredictability and therefore a need for fluidity and rapid change. A main focus is on the human side of project management (e.g. managing stakeholders), rather than on formal and often theoretical processes for scheduling tasks and assessing progress.

Benefits Realisation Management

Benefits Realisation Management is an enhanced project management technique which concentrates on the benefits of a project instead of its products or outputs.

Throughout its cycle, the project is constantly assessed to check that its progress is in line with producing the key benefits, and this helps to minimise the risk of underperformance or even failure.

This technique also aims to co-ordinate project outcomes with business strategies, and this has enabled it to become popular with a diverse number of industries around the world.


As you can see, there is no "one size fits all" method when it comes to project management and some industries favour one technique over the other. What is common, of course, is that they all aim to manage the project in an efficient way, and if they are properly implemented by people who fully understand them, the upfront investment in planning and management will repay itself many, many times over in greater efficiency and effectiveness.

Back to the Project Management blog

Click the button for more Project Management articles.

The ZandaX Leadership & Management blog

Click a panel for great articles on leadership & management

Write For Us

We pride ourselves on our busy, high-quality and helpful blog, and we're always looking for guest contributors to increase the variety and diversity of what we present.

Click to see how you can write for us with an original and well-written guest post.

ZandaX Blog Contents

Want to see them all? Click to view a full list of articles in our blogs.

Online courses to boost your skills
Click a button to see more about each course
Personal Development
Microsoft Software
Leadership & Management
Sales & Presentations
Service & Support
ZandaX online training course logo
ZandaX – Change Your Life ... Today
All content © ZandaX 2023
ZandaX LinkedIn logo
ZandaX LinkedIn logo
ZandaX LinkedIn logo
Close menu element
See how you score on a range of skills that are critical to your well-being and performance
Communication Skill test
Communication Skills
How Can You Communicate Better?
Would you like to see what kind of communicator you are? And how you can improve the effectiveness of your communications?
Likeability test
How Much Do People Like You?
Do you sometimes wonder just how likeable you are? And wouldn't you like to see how you can (genuinely) become more likeable?

Time Management test
Time Management
How Can You Make More Use Of Your Time?
Are you frustrated by how easily time slips away? Do you get frustrated when things don't get done just because you run out of time?
Assertiveness test
Are you Passive, Aggressive or Assertive?
Would you like to know where you fall on the behavior spectrum? Does your response to events sometimes surprise you?

Close menu element
Information & Resources
ZandaX information
Read more about us, our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Service
See how we want to help you, and how we make everything easy for everyone
Callback request
ZandaX Blogs
Articles to increase your knowledge and understanding in key areas of your life and career.
Read our blogs on Personal Development, Business Skills and Leadership & Management

Time Management test
Log In
Log in to your online dashboard
View your courses, review what you want and download your workbooks and certificates
Assertiveness test
Contact Us
An easy online form to get in touch
With options for More Information, Customer Service and Feedback

Close menu element
Develop Your Skills, Knowledge and Understanding with ZandaX
Click any subject in the listings for more information and a full list of courses

Personal Development
Personal Development training
Your soft skills affect everything you do, at work, at home and with friends ... they are truly life changing!
Online training courses
Hot Off the Press...
We're always adding to and upgrading our courses, so here are a few of our latest releases:
For a full listing of courses, please visit our Quick Course Finder to find exactly what you want.
Site Cookies
We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better.

You can change your cookie settings in your browser. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

I'm fine with this