Project Management Methodology: Financial and Business Services

Managers are always tasked with ensuring an organization achieves certain goals and results which are always defined within a specified timeline and covered by a budget. This is usually done through a written project which the manager is supposed to follow in order to achieve the spelled goals and objectives. In order to achieve these goals and objectives, there are certain methodologies that are available to help managers implement their projects. These methodologies always help managers in developing the project from initiation stage to implementation stage up to the final stage of completion. A methodology usually refers to the model which is used to achieve the results of a project. It usually involves the designing of the project, planning, and implementation to ensure the objectives are achieved.

In the field of financial services, there are a lot of requirements for projects based on the nature of the industry. This industry is characterized by being complex and fast moving. All stakes are high as performance is key towards success in the industry. The running of projects in financial services industry requires due diligence and honesty since it involves other people’s money. The process, as well as the results, therefore require constant scrutiny to ensure no funds are either lost or carelessly handled during the process (Cooper, 2015). Due to these issues, it is crucial that only the most qualified and honest project managers should be considered to manage projects in the financial sector. The market is also very competitive and therefore only and workers have a chance of succeeding in the industry.

There are several methodologies that are commonly used in various projects. Project managers have an option to choose the kind of methodologies that they prefer for their projects. Some of these projects include:

Agile Software development-this methodology is usually for projects that require agilities. This methodology includes features such as short-termed delivery cycles, dynamic team culture, agile requirements, and emphasis on prompt communication as well as few restrictions on the project control.

Crystal method in this methodology, the project lays more emphasis on team communication. The processes of the project are given less priority and more attention to team communication to ensure all are on the same page.

Adaptive project framework- this refers to a methodology where the project scope is variable. This methodology is based on time and cost being constant for the whole project. The execution of the project requires that the project scope gets adjusted so as to achieve maximum business value from the project (Rigby et al., 2016).

There are several methodologies that are mainly used by project managers to guide them through their projects. This paper will look at one methodology that can be used in financial services to ensure better results. According to Deloitte (2017), agile methodology remains the best methodologies to apply within the financial services industry. This is based on several factors that help the agile methodology to thrive in this industry. It does not only offer quality results but also a timely and manageable process for project managers. It also offers transparency base on the fact that it allows clients to be involved throughout the project. The project manager is easy to develop a cost prediction and scheduled before its implementation and the results are easy to predict. In the case of anything, a project manager has the ability to initiate change in the middle of the project and still be able to achieve the desired result without any hitches (Serrador & Pinto, 2015). It is, therefore, a system that enhances quality and helps organizations improve their business value and brand.

Nature of Financial service industry

The financial sector is a complex and first moving industry that has higher stakes compared to most industries. It, therefore, requires stringent regulatory structures to ensure better management within the industry. This industry is always defined with the existence of pressure that comes from different quarters. It, therefore, is a demanding environment and is easily affected by any entrant or exit from the environment by players (Talk, 2016). Running a financial organization, therefore, requires management by initiating change across different departments of the organization. The most pressure is always exerted by the government which is always keeping an eye on how organizations run this sector. It is upon the various organizations to operate within the guidelines provided by the government.

Governments always have various regulators that are supposed to watch over this market to ensure all players do not deviate from the set rules and regulations. These regulators always demand greater and better transparency from financial organizations, especially in their working practices. They focus on organizations having more control services to cover their risks as well as capital. The government ensures that investors in the financial market are protected from mismanagement by financial organizations as well as against fraud that may occur due to either inside or outside action. They also help ensure financial organizations engage in serious investments as well as the general public to help grow the industry (Cooper, 2015). They also help bring about stability as well as security within the industry. It also helps ensure organizations release accurate and audited financial information that can be used to gauge their financial health. The government performs various regulatory services in the financial sector due to its sensitivity as well as the fact that it affects the majority of citizens. Such regulatory actions help boost investor confidence as well as encourage growth and investment within the industry.

Despite the stringent rules and regulations in the financial sector, not all organizations have the ability to thrive due to the volatile and risky nature of the market. The nature of the financial market is that it is constantly changing meaning that it may lead to either loss or gain just like any other business (Hardy, 2016). For example in the securities exchange market, securities keep on fluctuating due to various factors. It is crucial that a good management methodology is applied to ensure a project is well implemented and that favorable results are achieved.

Application of the agile methodology on financial services industry

Looking at the nature of the financial sector, it is crucial to note that it is a volatile and sensitive industry that requires properly written methodologies to ensure its success. The agile methodology offers just that. Since the financial crisis of 2007, the financial industry has been having various regulatory changes all aimed at ensuring such a crisis does not happen again in future. Various financial institutions have come up with the various process and system changes all aimed at ensuring they do not experience the recession again. With better and enhanced services in the financial industry, safety has been improved as well as security. For example in banks, customers are able to access their money 24 hours a day without any limitations. Such has been made possible through online banking and mobile banking services that allow the customer to access banking services anywhere anytime (Cooper, 2015). This is an improvement compared to the latter years where customers had to wait only until certain times of the day to be able to access their funds.

As a result of these changes that has been experienced in the sector, it is important that banks and other financial organizations develop successful projects that are able to cope up with the changes as well as help deliver required changes in the industry. These financial organizations also have the need to make strategic changes as well as be able to develop and maintain their technological infrastructure to ensure its efficiency. The agile methodology has been touted as one of the best methodologies to help improve project outcomes in the financial industry. The use of agile is quite common among various major organizations across the world while developing projects. Agile methods have proven to be among the best to test the conventional methodologies to software development in most organizations. However, Clarke (2010), suggests that agile methods are not always the best for every project in a financial organization. Therefore each project requires its own methodology to enable it to bring the desired benefits that are required by the management.

The use of agile is applicable on several projects in the financial sector. However, they are best used in conditions that are appropriate for their success. Agile methods require conditions that are either fluid or unclear. In such cases, they help the manager to move through the storm of lack of clarity or fluidity to a situation where the manager has control over his project. They are also appropriate where the timelines set are aggressive and the business cases uncertain (Comella-Dorda et al., 2016). This means that they are best for situations where the project team has to work closely with the clients thus making it easier on the project manager to manage his team.

The agile methodology offers various unique aspects to the projects that apply it. It offers unique concepts and approaches which are uncommon in most other methodologies. To implement the agile method, there is the need to carry out training to the people involved from the project manager (Gill et al., 2015). Such ensures that everyone involved has at least basic knowledge of the method before its implementation. There is also the need to carry out a change exercise in the organization. This change exercise must be done with the main aim of introducing the agile methodology to the staff as well as all those involved.

The success of the agile methodology relies heavily on the ability of those tasked with employing it in the project management. These people need to possess thorough knowledge about the system as well as all other requirements. It is due to this reason that training and development are needed to all those involved. Experience in agile systems is an added advantage to any project manager that seeks to use it (Benson & Grieve, 2016). The methodology requires a manager that can be able to apply its principles appropriately to be able to achieve the success that is needed. It is the application of these principles that determines the success or failure of a project.

According to Rigby et al., (2016), agile projects are advantageous to a project manager based on the fact that it helps reduce the need for governance controls. Issues such as developing a business case, developing the objectives or requesting status reports are well taken care of within the agile system. This is because the enhanced speed of change in this methodology requires a flexible method. However, there is need to adjust project processes and controls to enable them to meet particular needs of a project.

The agile methodology remains an appropriate system for most organizations especially in the field of finance. This is mainly because it addresses almost all the needs that financial organizations have when it comes to developing and implementing a project. The financial sector is one of the most sensitive and requires foolproof systems that are able to deliver the required results and with minimum supervision. To be able to achieve this, a project manager needs to firstly acquire a thorough knowledge of the system to be able to apply it effectively. The project manager also has to ensure that all the people involved in the project have at least basic knowledge of this methodology to ensure easy implementation. Several issues such as governance controls, developing the business case, as well as the objectives, are well taken care of by the system. The system also offers the manager a chance to view constant status reports to ensure they are on the right track. However, to be able to achieve desired results, they need to adjust the process accordingly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Benson, T., & Grieve, G. (2016). Principles of FHIR. In Principles of Health Interoperability (pp. 329-348). Springer International Publishing. Retrieved from https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-30370-3_18

Clarke, P. (2010). Which project management qualification is best for investment banking techies? Efinancial careers. Retrieved from http://news.efinancialcareers.com/uk-en/19913/which-project-management-qualification-is-best-for-investment-banking-techies

Comella-Dorda, S., Lohiya, S and Speksnijder, G. (2016).  An operating model for company-wide agile development. McKinsley and Company. Retrieved from http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/digital-mckinsey/our-insights/an-operating-model-for-company-wide-agile-development

Cooper, M. (2015). Laying the foundations for agile financial services. Banking Technology. Retrieved from http://www.bankingtech.com/276202/laying-the-foundations-for-agile-financial-services/

Deloitte. (2017)Project management. It could be agile? Retrieved from https://www2.deloitte.com/au/en/pages/financial-services/articles/project-management-technology.html

Gill, A. Q., Chew, E., Bird, G., & Kricker, D. (2015, July). An Agile Service Resilience Architecture Capability: Financial Services Case Study. In Business Informatics (CBI), 2015 IEEE 17th Conference on (Vol. 1, pp. 209-216). IEEE.

Hardy, B. (2016). How to Apply Agile Marketing in Financial Services. CMG Partners. Retrieved from http://www.cmo.com/opinion/articles/2016/4/27/six-steps-to-agility-in-financial-services.html#gs.DrQ7d84

Rigby, D. K., Sutherland, J., & Takeuchi, H. (2016). Embracing agile. Harvard Business Review94(5), 40-50. Retrieved from https://systematic.com/media/1649532/Embracing-Agile.pdf

Serrador, P., & Pinto, J. K. (2015). Does Agile work?—A quantitative analysis of agile project success. International Journal of Project Management33(5), 1040-1051. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0263786315000071

Talk, O. M. (2016). Operations management. Retrieved from https://business.smu.edu.sg/sites/business.smu.edu.sg/files/business/OperationsManagement/OM%20Major%20Talk%20AY2016_17.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix

Diagram of the Agile Model

Source: Comella-Dorda et al., 2016

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