Should You Switch Methodologies During a Project?

Choosing the right project methodology can be a trickier task than it may first appear to be. With a number of different approaches to pick from, getting this right will pay a huge part in your overall chances of success.

What if you are thinking about switching methodologies part of the way through a piece of work? Can this be done and, if so, what are the benefits of doing so?

Did You Choose the Wrong Methodology Initially?

You really need to have a powerful reasons for making the move to a different project methodology. In most cases, it is likely to be the case that you feel you have chosen the wrong one to begin with.

Each methodology has advantages and disadvantages to it. For instance, PRINCE2 is good for planning extensively in advance while Agile encourages a more flexible approach. It is possible that you have simply chosen the wrong one for your needs and now realise this.

Of course, you don’t want to rush into making this switch and possibly repeating the mistake. Therefore, you should take into account all of the relevant factors. Are the requirements clear? How much time do you have? Is the business team likely to be keen to get involved?

Are The Team Comfortable with the New Choice?

One of the reasons you chose your initial methodology could be that it is the one that your team feels most comfortable with. Not all project managers and business analysts are experienced in several different ways of working.

This may turn out to be a mistake if the methodology they understand isn’t the best one for your project. Rather than trying to force your project into the way that the team can work, it is far better to give them the chance to expand their knowledge and use the right methodology for the project.

By allowing your team to go on PRINCE2 courses , learn Agile or pick up other knowledge you will ensure that you can choose from different methodologies in the future as you wise. This will also boost their future career options too. 

Take Everyone’s Opinions Into Account

The switch to a different way of working is likely to be driven by the project manager. Yet, it is also necessary to take into account the opinions of everyone else involved in it.

This is likely to happen at a project meeting first of all. It is important that you let everyone know about the proposed change and what it will mean to them.

Will they be more involved or less? Will there be a new plan? Does the budget need to be altered? Try to think in advance of all of the big questions that you are likely to be asked.

Good Communication is Vital

If you finally decide go ahead with this switch it is going to be a big moment in the project. The way in which you make the change is going to have a huge bearing on how successful it is.

Naturally, you need everyone who is involved to be on the same page. To achieve this, good communication is vital. You need to let them all know exactly what is going to change and what isn’t.

The project meeting that we looked at earlier is a big part of this. However, it is then an ongoing process that you need to carry out in order to make this change as seamless as possible.

Switching from one project methodology to another is a task that shouldn’t be undertaken lightly. If you are sure that it is the right decision then it is a question of making every effort to lead the whole thing to a happy conclusion that satisfies everyone.