I hear very often that some made “almost all” by the project management methodology. They usually say, “I used maybe 99% by methodology”. But their projects still crashed. And, this is not connected with methodology type they used. You can use waterfall, agile or some mixed type, but you must really USE it in practice. First, you must know methodology you choose and then you can choose tools for your project leading.
If you want successful project, you have to provide top managers support, well known methodology for using and project leadership by someone who has successfully implemented a similar project(s). But, if you think about these, you will see that all of that is actually Project Management. If you correctly lead a project, this project will be successful. On other side, you can find a lot of reasons, why projects are unsuccessful, but they are mostly unsuccessful because of project management missing (either on the side on implementer or on the client side). Sometime in very rare situation, project can crush because of inexperienced or bad developers or consultants. But, this situation is really rare, because Project Management is the main reason for both of them, SUCCESSFUL or UNSUCCESSFUL projects.
You cannot use almost all from Project Management Methodology. You can USE Project Management Methodology or you can NON-USE Project Management Methodology. Because of that, I like to say that Project Management is Boolean, you can use or non-use. You cannot use 87% or 96%; you cannot measure usage of Project Management Methodology by percentage.
Imagine for a moment car driving. I pass driving test, I never drink alcohol when I drive, I always drive slower than the limit, I never drive through red light, etc. But, I just keep my eyes closed while driving, but everything other is OK. I respect 99.9% of the rules. But are you want to be in car with me. Maybe I can drive a few meters, but for surely I cannot drive on this way for kilometers. The same situation is with projects. Maybe, you have to brake some rule in some specific situation, but I must know how and where to return to be on a right way again. If you don’t know it, you will never (successful) arrive to the end of project.
On the simplified diagram, we can imagine an ideal project flow, from the beginning to the end. This is ideal situation and I think usually it is not possible entirely:
But, this is for example one project flow in non-ideal situation, but in situation where we know where have to go. We can see that sometime we do something irregular, but if we know where we have to go back, we can finish project successful. It is not so easy, but project management is a complex job and not so easy :).
But if don’t know tools, roles, risk, deliverables… we don’t know where have to go and for sure, we cannot finish project successful. Maybe we can do it, but only accidentally. And, this success is not repeatable.
And you can use any type of project management methodologies. OK, for some project type is better agile, for some other project types is better waterfall and so on. But if you well know project management methodologies, you will choose a right model. But even, you make a wrong choice, you just have to respect all the rules of this methodology. If you choose what you have to use and what you have not to use, YOU DO NOT MANAGE WITH THE PROJECT.