The world of project management is a complex and baffling one; there are many ways to go about heading up a project in order to achieve the desired results. There are also different tasks and projects that require, by nature, a dramatically different method of performance than one is used to. Luckily, a variety of models exist that can allow for whatever management style is preferred; this will allow the manager to tailor their style to the most effective method of management. In this presentation, we will go over three unique project management models that provide unique attributes and advantages to many different managers - hybrid model, RAD model, and the general project management model.
Often, there will come a time to bring out a management model that combines aspects of two or more different models – this develops a hybrid model that provides a more customized way of managing for more discerning project leaders. The hybrid model of project management typically is non-project driven, with a few exceptions. Because of recent attitudes in project management circles that most organizations can be run effectively through a project-driven basis, even many hybrid models contain some semblance of project-drive attributes. Hybrid models depict actual, practical forecasts of projects more realistically; they work by dividing discrete events, which enable one to take it one job at a time (Whitten, 2004).
The most important part of hybrid management is flexibility – the capacity for managers to roll with the punches and adjust to different aspects of the operation going slow or fast. However, this also leads to significantly lower predictability – it is harder to tell just how things are going, or to accurately predict the end date of the project itself. It is similar to RAD models (which will be explored later) in that prototyping and development tends to be very fast, but it leaves investors uncertain as to how their pet project is going (Lakey, 2008).
Provided that one understands the requirements and can contain the scope of the project, the Rapid Application Development (RAD) model is perfect for these managers. Its development timeline is relatively short, and the approach is component based – this means that each task is broken down into mini-tasks that can be compartmentalized and handled one by one. Testing can be done incrementally, as can defect repair. This will lessen risk to a substantial degree; there is not the same pressure for comprehensive delivery that is present in most other models. There are pitfalls, though, to RAD; there will be extra costs to be considered in the event that a manager does not define the requirements to a satisfactory degree. This makes it more likely that requirements will be defective (Hass, 2008)
There are four phases to the RAD model; first there is the Requirements Planning Phase, where all the managers and staff decide on what the needs of the business are, as well as the scope of the project and what they need. Once everyone is agreed on the requirements, the User Design phase begins; this is where models and prototypes are developed to deal with all the processes and inputs/outputs of the system. The Construction phase just emphasizes on application development, while still permitting changes to be suggested or implemented. Finally, the Cutover phase ones when the data is converted, testing commences, and users are trained. This allows for quick delivery of the product or system (Whitten, 2004).
General project management is the overall, basic element of project management – it is the most generic, widely applicable method to project management, encompassing the essential components of seeing a project through to the end. It is extremely disciplined, almost to a fault – further flexibility is often required by these types of projects. Attention to detail is absolutely vital in a manager using this; they must tweak the system to fit their unique situation, and therefore must keep a close eye on every aspect (TK Strategies, 2008).
There are five phases to general project management in a traditional sense – Initiation is first, where the project is begun, and the resources are allotted to the completion of the project. Then, planning and design occurs, where the project itself is conceptualized and determined, as well as how the resources will be allocated. Execution is the third stage, wherein the system is developed and created. Next comes Monitoring and Controlling, which allows for quality control and testing of the product. If there are flaws, Planning and Design happen again, as well as Execution. Once Monitoring and Control passes with flying colors, the project is closed successfully (Abdomerovic, 2001).
In conclusion, these three models provide very different things for different managers. The hybrid model allows for two or more aspects of management to be combined, and for a more improvisational, flexible development strategy. The RAD model permits faster development time, which is perfect for those organizations that need to get something done quickly, but there is danger of too much overlap. Finally, the general project management model permits a more structured, disciplined system that is more in line with the basic tenets of keeping a project under control. If any of these systems are utilized that match the manager’s strengths, their project is sure to run smoothly.
Abdomerovic, M. (2001). Brainstorming the PMBOK guide: the complete reference for relating and chronologically sequencing process inputs and outputs (3rd ed.). Louisville, Ky: Project Management Inc Publications.
Hass, K. (2008, March). Introducing the New Project Complexity Model. Part III | Articles. Project Times. Retrieved August 28, 2011, from http://www.projecttimes.com/articles/introducing-the-new-project-complexity-model-part-iii.html
Kerzner, H. (2001). Project management a systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling (7th ed.). New York: John Wiley.
Lakey, P. (2009). A hybrid software process simulation model for project management. Cognitive Concepts, 1, 1-11.
RAD vs. General Project Management. (2008). TK Strategies Project Management. Retrieved August 28, 2011, from http://tk-strategies.com/16-RAD-vs-GralPM.html
Whitten, J. L., Bentley, L. D., & Dittman, K. C. (2004). Systems analysis and design methods (4th ed.). Boston, Mass.: Irwin/McGraw-Hill.