, , , ,

Project Management in general is a solved problem; the big project management methodologies PRINCE2 and PMBOK contain all the processes necessary to run a project and the best practices to keep everything running smoothly. They can be used to build everything from a nuclear submarine to a banking system. I will refer to PRINCE2 from now on but my comments apply to PMBOK as well.

PRINCE2 is ideal for commercial control and project governance but it does not seek to address specific domains. It is best used as a commercial wrapper around a project management system optimised for the domain. For example, in software development we may choose to use a “heavy” methodology such as RUP or a lighter one such as XP.

It is simply not practical for a small project to run both PRINCE2 and RUP (say). There is a requirement for a simple methodology which combines elements of PRINCE2 with elements from software development systems. This new methodology is “ElephantPM”

Why “Elephant”? Well there is a playground joke,

Q. “How do you eat an elephant”

A. “You cut it up into small pieces and use a knife and fork”

This is the key insight of PRINCE2. The most important task of a project manager is to help define the scope of the entire project and then break it up into Business Products (“Cut it up into small pieces”). The Business Products can then be understood and addressed by the team using familiar tools (“knife and fork”).

ElephantPM will explain exactly how to do work with a business to define the scope and create a Business Product Breakdown.