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Deciding How to Manage Projects – it’s like Buying a New Smartphone!

Deciding How to Manage Projects – it’s like Buying a New Smartphone!

By Alan Ferguson

I don’t know about you, but I like Android phones.

I look at the different offerings from different manufacturers, and notice that each of them uses a slightly different flavor of Android. Which one to choose?

It’s kind of like deciding on a project management method or body of knowledge.

Personally, I like taking a project management body of knowledge and customizing it for my own use. Similarly, when I get a new phone there’s a lot of fiddling around to be done, but I can get it working just the way I want it to work. When I have time I might even go under the hood and start to modify the operating system.

But I’m a geek.

And it is not just a matter of personal choice anymore. If we equate a smartphone to organizational project management, we are not talking about buying a single phone for personal use. We are considering a bulk order for the whole company—a project management method for your organization.

You have three choices:

Option one – the ‘perfect’ solution

Choose a body of knowledge and build your own project management method. It will take time and you need project management experts, but you’ll end up with your own bespoke way of undertaking projects. Ideal if a substantial part of your business is running projects.

Option two – quick and dirty.

Adopt a project management method and tell everyone they have to adjust their behaviors and ways of working to fit in with the method. It’s quick… and brutal. But it’s ideal if you do a very small number of projects and just want to run those few project successfully.

Option three – the Goldilocks solution.


Choose a project management method that is built to be tailored. Then work out what you need to do to adjust existing working practices and behaviors, as well as to modify the project management method in order to make a cozy fit for your organization.

You can probably tell I’m a fan of option three – the Goldilocks solution.

PRINCE2® is an integrated approach to project management that can be tailored for different types of projects. By embedding PRINCE2’s structured project management in your organization in an orderly, realistic, and pragmatic way, you will achieve maximum business benefits.



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