My first partner in PM Consulting tells a story about an early 1980's workshop he held in Stockholm, Sweden. The class went well, but every time he said the word methodology, a small group in the back of the class broke out in laughter. He'd glance at them with a questioning look, and then continue.
At a break, he asked one of the participants what was so funny about the word methodology. That back row included participants who's English was not strong, and the others were translating the difficult words. They said the only word in the Swedish language that came close to methodology translated to "dust sucker". In that era, a methodology was most often an 8-12 binder-set that required its own shelf. Moreover, it also required the services of one of the "Big Eight" firms to manage it.
But today, "Methodology" is no longer a "Dust-sucker" and by now, you would think that everyone who needs a Project Management Methodology would have one. They have been in popular use for over 30 years. But as more Enterprises understand the importance of demonstrated PM Competence in projects, programs and portfolios, new requirements emerge that your current methods do not support. In this article, we answer the question "What is a PM Methodology" from a perspective of today's requirements. We list the criteria against which to score your in-house or commercial methods that you can use to help improve the effectiveness of your PM Methodology.