It’s hard to decide where projects end and processes begin – or the other way around. At what point is building a motorway bridge just a process because you’ve done loads of bridges before? Each one is a bit different, but basically the same. What about running a training course – they vary and they need planning, but they are all similar. And moving house – the first time it’s a project but after a few it becomes a process. And at the other end, processes like making large machines could be thought of as a project every time – …or are they?
The answer is that if your PM process is simple and quick then it doesn’t matter. You’d want to think twice before invoking PRINCE2 (I love the word evoke, it sounds as if you are summoning the devil, which in a way you are with Prince2!) but if your PM process is a quick post-it note meeting and then a quick excel Gantt chart then why wouldn’t you use it on even a small project?
And then at the process end I think Agile is great for communication as you evolve your product, which I think is more of a process than a project. And I think even Agile advocates would agree that Agile runs out of steam when you’re doing bigger projects with fixed finish dates and outcomes and budgets.
So here’s my diagram of everything:
so APM is great for things that are definitely projects, and my reduced APM can go right across into really small projects, things that are really just “difficult processes” or processes with variations.
PRINCE2 is for for on projects only, and Agile is good for process and small projects that are really just processes but with some project attributes.