Project-Based Management (or Project-Oriented Management) is a designation for a management style that is based on the assumption that work tasks are distributed into teams and projects, and are managed in comprehensive, time and task unique units.
Project-based management in practice: Project-based management is in some ways the opposite of process-based management, which focuses on a repeatable set of activities and tasks. Project-based management is applied to the unique (in terms of content and scope) events and focuses on achieving results in a team of people (project team). It is therefore not typical for repetitive and routine processes. Project management style is applied practically in all sectors, and in all situations where you need high productivity and concentration of the working team on a specific goal.
Project-oriented management is used for example in the unit (custom) production. It is typical for the management of large investment projects, often for investment and development activities in organizations. (e.g. implementation of the specific strategic objective, introducing some changes in the organization), but it can also be applied for example in mass production, where specific teams can work of individual structural units on a project basis.
What are the most often used project management methods and approaches?
There are more approaches and methods for project management, and the most appropriate one for a given project must always be used for a given situation and type of the project.
Traditional Project Management is most commonly used and most suitable for small teams and small projects where individual team members work independently, so they aren’t dependent and do not necessarily wait for the outputs of other team members. The traditional method is based on planning and distributing project outputs to project tasks and monitoring the progress. During the project, the project manager manages and coordinates all project member activities.
Waterfall project management is derived from the traditional approach. It is suitable for more structured projects, where individual project tasks and outputs are mutually dependent and thus require careful planning (see Waterfall model). The waterfall model is much based on activity planning and its best-known tool is Gantt Chart which is used to plan all activities.
Critical path based project management is based on the theory of constraints, and the use of the CPM method that is used for project planning. It’s basically even more sophisticated version of waterfall approach. Planning is heavily based on estimated duration of tasks and their dependencies. Critical path calculations are focuses on speeding up project activities and tasks.
PERT Project management is suitable for large scale manufacturing and development projects. It is often used in combination with CPM. Thanks to the PERT method used, project managers can differentiate between events and activities, and approach allows to create a carefull estimations of the time plan and project budget.
Critical chain based project management (see CCM) combines PERT and CPM methods. It is used in manufacturing companies and is suitable for projects where tasks need to be prioritized according to resource availability, with a minimum of time to complete the chain of tasks. It takes into account the availability of resources and the chain of activities needed to complete the project. In comparison to waterfall approach, which is ideal for teams that need a clear, fixed plan.
Agile project management are almost the opposite of the above approaches. They are suitable for projects where it is very difficult to estimate and plan all activities in advance and where speed and flexibility is needed. Instead of a detailed plan, there is a gradual refinement during the project - under circumstances and conditions the best path is searched. Agile methods are typically used in software development, but they are used in other sectors as well. The advantage of agile approach is rapid and continuous development and response to the outputs and experiences of users or customers. They use fast project cycles (so-called sprints). Agile methodologies include SCRUM, Extreme Project Management.