Project Management Methodology

Why have a project management methodology?

The Change Team’s project management methodology aims to provide guidance on how to approach projects in order to enable the team to consistently deliver successful results. The methodology is primarily for the Change Team’s use but will also be available for the wider University to access via training courses and the team website.

For the Change team, the methodology enables:

  1. New starters to become effective more quickly
  2. Acceleration of the pace of  work;
    • To be able to know how external processes work – who to go to, what they need from you eg legal, procurement
    • prevent re-invention of common approaches through the creation of how to guides, best practice examples
  3.  The team to work together;
    • Use of the same language and terminology
    • Cross team training and learning
    • Better transfer of projects between project managers
    • Re-inforces the Change Team brand – this is the way we do this
  4. The team to deliver a better service for its customers
  5. Helping the team to set expectations with our sponsors, team members and all project stakeholders regarding what running a project involves and the respective accountabilities
  6. Ensuring a consistent approach
  7. Helps standardise our processes, tools and skills to be able to train others to use them

What are the characteristics that will make the methodology effective?

Due to the diverse nature of the projects that the Change Team engage in, the methodology needs to be:

  • Scalable  Tools, processes and skills which are suitable for small simple projects, through to large, complex projects
  • Flexible   Applicable to all kinds of Project (eg IT as well as pure Operational projects) Contain a mixture of mandatory and optional elements
  • Dynamic  Develop our methodology by applying ideas from outside the team, and building on our own experiences

Working with our sponsors, we need to ensure that the University’s investment in change delivers to expectation which means that throughout the lifecycle of a project we need to ensure that:

  • The project maintains a business justification – that it is clear that it is needed, is viable and can deliver the expected benefits
  • The right people are engaged and change is owned
  • The quality of delivery is maintained – there are clear acceptance criteria from the outset and the project outputs are checked to ensure that they meet those criteria

Our project methodology will enable us to ensure these elements are present in our delivery.

To date, no single methodology has been identified that caters for these things and therefore the methodology will:

  • Be an amalgamation of the best elements of all project and change management methodologies eg Prince 2, Agile, Lean  etc
  • Not  be prescriptive – it will be a set of frameworks and tools that will drawn upon by project managers to develop bespoke approaches to suit given projects
  • Not be static but will continue to evolve as experiences from projects and the knowledge of new members enhance it

 The methodology covers the phases of a project


 PlanPlan DoReview
Phase Preparation Start up Delivery Close Down
Aim of stage Working with sponsors to move from a high level of understanding of a need for a project through to understanding in detail the scope, objectives and outcomes for the project having engaged all appropriate stakeholders in that process. To have a clear understanding of the:
  • business case for the project
  • high level costs
  • likely resourcing implications
  • change impact
To put in place all the resources and processes required to run the project. To deliver the outcomes of the project To ensure:
  • all aspects of the project are complete
  • all activities are handed over to business as usual and sustainability is achieved
  • any lessons learnt are captured
  • full on actions/recommendations are owned
Typical activities 2 stages: feasibility and then scoping. Activities include: Fact finding:
  • discussions with stakeholders, external xpertise eg other HEIs, suppliers
  • gathering data, docuuments eg lessons learnt
Documenting findings, compiling business case, creating high level plan and benefits and agree acceptance criteria.
  • Form project team
  • set up project governance
  • agreement of budget and confirm funding
  • detailed level plan for first phase of project
  • agree approach to risks/issue/quality/communications
  • build tools for managing risks/issues/quality/communications


  • procurement
  • process mapping
  • testing
  • training
  • progress review,quality monitoring and stage management
  • benefits delivery
  • stakeholder management and comms
  • configuration management
Handover of ownership to business
Closure of project governance
End of project report
Recognition of achievement/profile raising Close all logs
Outcome Agreement that the project is feasible/desirable now. A high level view of all aspects of the project sufficient to inform resourcing decisions. Agreement from business to proceed with setting up the project The people, process and other resources in place to enable the project to progress to delivery Delivery of the key outcomes of the project The change is complete and no further engagement with the Change Team is required. The experience from the project is fed back into the Change Team


Each phase has its own process, tools and skills

The following table details all of our processes, tools and skills. Further information on all of these can be found on our Toolkit  page, including guidance notes and completed examples.

Phase PreparationStart UpDeliveryClose Down
Process   Scoping IT governance Start up Procurement
Quality gateways
Project Review by Governing Group
Tools We have
  • Feasibility study
  • Business case
  • PID
  • Project Charter
  • Fat arrow diagrams
  • RACI
  • ABC prioritisation and capacity models
  • Project checklist
  • Project Governance Guide
  • Project TOR
  • Stakeholder map
  • Comms plan
  • Benefits management process
  • Expectation setting
  • Project paln
  • Risks and issues registers


  • Procurement guide
  • Standard legal contract
  • Requirements template
  • Functional specification template
  • Project reports
  • Building in sustainability
  • AIOS
  • Change champions
  • Lessons Learnt Log
  • End of project report
  We need to develop
  • Project scoping documents for non IT projects
  • Options appraisal

Standard budget setting and management

  • Change impact assessments
  • Project diagnosis tool
  • Benefits management templates
  • Guide to training
  • Guide to testing
Knowledge transfer
  • Visioning techniques
  • Business analysis
  • Project planning
  • Transition planning
  • Go live planning
  • Workshop creation
  • Requirements capture
  • Functional specification

The following skills cut across all the above phases:

  • Meeting management
  • Facilitation
  • Process mapping - both current and future state
  • Influencing skills - MBTI, giving and receiving feedback, listening, dealing with resistance to change

    Further information can be found on our Toolkit page.