Project Management Approaches

pre-title Why? What? How? pre-title

Project Management Approaches

There are several Project Management approaches (or rather philosophies) worldwide. At 5-Ways, we only differentiate between the 'Why-WHAT-how' and 'why-HOW-what' approaches.

In the first case, the emphasis is on planning and outcomes (Why? WHAT?), while in the other case (How?), the execution and control of interdependent tasks - sequentially or iteratively - are in the center.

The fundamental questions: what part of the Project Management Life Cycle (PMLC) do we want to emphasize? The 'democratic' or the 'autocratic' part? In other words, the planning or the execution-control phase? How precisely can we project what we want to achieve? Do we want parallel progress toward our final goal?

It all depends on the nature and type of the projects.

Project Management approach

Relevant project types









Application Features
1/a Task-driven, linear, sequential,
Historically all types of projects (from cc. 1944) Series of planned (CPM, PERT, CCPM) and ad-hoc linear tasks Complicated, task-based dependencies (FS, FF, SS, SF) Definable but indistinct Definable but indistinct Definable, 'zero-time task' Undefined Percent only MS Project,, etc.,
Gantt, CPM, MSP: 'z-t t' milestones
EP: GDPM milestones
1/b Agile development, iterative,
Software development, marketing, R&D Estimation, story points Sprints, backlogs Indistinct Indistinct None Defined (MVP to final products) None or undefined JIRA, Asana, Trello,, etc.,
Kanban, Scrum, Sprint, Story points
2/a Working Packages with WBS, sequential,
Implementation, deployment and development projects Work Breakdown Structure, Rolling Wave Working packages Definable Definable Definable, 'zero-time task' Defined (Working Packages) Percent or RACI Oracle Primavera,, etc.,
WBS, Gantt, CPM, 'z-t t' milestones
EP: GDPM milestones
2/b Goal-Directed on parallel result paths (PSO),
Programs, implementation, deployment, and development projects GDPM® milestone plan with Activities, Rolling Wave One-page milestone plan with result paths Definable Definable Mandatory Definable XDdPTCIA GDPM Excel, Goal Director, PM3, easyPROJECT
Milestone plan, result paths, Gantt, RAM
2/c Success- and result-oriented on parallel result paths (PATHS),
Programs, implementation, deployment, and development projects ❺PATHS™ milestone plan with Deliverables, Rolling Wave One-page milestone plan with result paths and risks Definable Definable Mandatory Defined (Deliverables of Milestones) IDEAL or RACI easyPROJECT
easyREDMINE with Easy-EPM™ customization package
Milestone plan, result paths, Gantt, WBS, Kanban, Scrum, Sprint, RAM, CPM, Risk Mgmt, CRM, Help Desk

The simplicity and efficiency of the goal-directed and success-oriented approaches come from the appropriate order of three easy questions.
Why? What? How? That is the NATURAL order. The emphasis is always on the first two during the 'democratic' part of the Project Management Life Cycle (PMLC).

We can manage the last one (How?) iteratively during the Execution and Control phase of the PMLC. We can choose between Rolling Wave Planning and Agile Sprint techniques. Please note that they are both iterative techniques but not the same! Goal-Directed, Success-Oriented approaches use Rolling Wave Planning.

On the other hand, if we iteratively amended the WHY and WHAT during the Execution and Control phase of the PMLC, we would be lost. In this case, it is better to create a new project.


The drivers of the change. The project definition view. S.M.A.R.T. goals are aligned with organizational objectives.


1. The Milestones on parallel result paths. The Milestone plan gives a complete overview of the project with risk areas. It also provides the most relevant information for everyone. It is a crystal-clear overview of the whole project on one page!

2. Deliverables of Milestones. We can drill down from each Milestone to get their deliverables. (5-PATHS approach)


The activities (or tasks) of the project. How we can reach a specific milestone (and/or deliverable). The activities (tasks) view. Rolling Wave Planning.