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Key Project Management Methodologies – Outcome Mapping, DMAIC, Six Sigma and Kanban
By Michelle Symonds

A methodology is a process used by a project manager to help them organize and strategize their project successfully. Here are just a few of them:

Outcome Mapping

This is a process usually used within the charity sector as the structure of the methodology is orientated towards social change.

It involves two phases; record – keeping and design. The design phase is where managers will look at the records that will be kept and in the second phase document those outcomes. The key difference between this methodology and others is that it does not measure financial or other solid outcomes but behavioral and social change. The mapping is a way to document beneficiaries and contributory factors and isn’t commonly used in general project management.

DMAIC

A method used alone or as part of a Six Sigma method, DMAIC stands for five different categories which relate to data and improving the company processes involved in the optimization of this data. It is hugely beneficial as a project management framework for projects that focus on improvement, external to the Six Sigma Methodology.

The five categories (which make the framework) are:

  • Define

    Define who you are doing the project for and what they require from you. Define the key focus of the project and its purpose and define the project process plan and what the client expects from this process.

  • Measure

    Consider how you plan to record and measure the progress of the project, document and record data and analyze the data to assess if the current process is meeting the needs of the client.

  • Analyze

    Risk management and analyzing the most prominent causes of issues and gaps in performance, look at recorded data to confirm your findings.

  • Improve

    How to resolve any issues and deal with root problems. Discuss, plan and trial potential solutions that will deal with root problems and remove the problems completely, using data to consider the potential solutions and documenting any plans to implement and carry out those solutions.

  • Control

    Taking everything you have learned and using it to maintain control over your project. Consider the successes and standardize the strategies and processes that lead to success. Remain aware that future adjustments will need to be made whilst documenting the lessons learned from this process.

Six Sigma

A methodology which involves all of the above categories and a sixth additional category which is – Synergize. This involves using the entire process to eliminate any issues and improve processes and then Synergize the improvements throughout the company or business.

Kanban

A visual process where the different elements of project work is placed on a board for everyone to see. Sometimes people will use personal Kanban Boards for their own organization and development. The board will usually display a list of tasks and what status the task has within the project IE; waiting, currently in progress and complete. The idea of the board is to allow everyone to see exactly what needs doing, who is completing each task and how any additional tasks will affect the work of others.

If you are planning on investing in a good quality project management course you will learn about these project management methodologies and how they can benefit you in this job role.

Michelle Symonds is a qualified PRINCE2 Project Manager and believes that the right project management training can transform a good project manager into a great project manager and is essential for a successful outcome to any project.

There is a wide range of formal and informal training courses now available that include online learning and podcasts as well as more traditional classroom courses from organizations such as Parallel Project Training.

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