Types of Project Management Models

Instructor: Saranya Ramachandran

Saranya has a Bachelors in Science focused on Electronics and Telecommunication and a Masters in Business Administration. She has 8 years of Project Management Experience and is PMP Certified.

The lesson describes the various project management models and how to choose the right model for successfully implementing a project. A project management model is a framework that describes how a project will be executed.

What Are Project Management Models?

Every project is extremely unique which means we cannot have a standard structure to execute our projects and achieve success in our endeavor. However, to have a good plan we need some kind of framework or structure to follow depending on the nature of the project. Project management models or methodologies provide the framework to execute projects.

A framework is something that tells you how often you will meet and discuss the progress, how you will document results, how you will communicate and so on. There are several project management models. Let us discuss a few.

Commonly Used Project Management Models


When the cost of change is not too high, Agile can be used. Some of the major characteristics of Agile are that team members are self-empowered and communicate regularly without extensive documentation. If the team agrees that there is a better way to do the project, they move right ahead with the new approach. The project scope can be discovered as the project moves forward.


Waterfall methodology is traditionally used by construction and manufacturing industries where project change is very expensive. Hence they operate sequentially and rely heavily on documentation and plans. If you know the project scope fully and don't want many changes, then waterfall is a good methodology to follow.

Lean Startup

Lean Startup is mostly used by new startups that are creating a new product. Instead of spending heavily on research, they can quickly validate a product idea by creating a minimum viable product. A minimum viable product has just enough functionality to solve a business pain. If that product idea is validated, then the firm starts adding more functionality and features to the product.

Six Sigma

The Six Sigma approach is used by firms to improve their processes and efficiency by reducing project waste. Six Sigma uses three steps; DMAIC, which stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control; DMADV, which stands for Define, Measure, Analyze, Design and Verify; and DFSS, which stands for Design For Six Sigma. This framework is used throughout the project measuring inefficiencies and improving the processes.

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