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Project Management Approaches

Applied IT (Year 12) - Project Management (U3)

Christian Bien

There are two types of project management approaches:

  1. Prototype

  2. Structured

What is the Prototype Project Management Approach?

Agile project management, Image Sourced by Planbox, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Prototype project management approach is where a limited working model or draft of a final product is made to allow the client to evaluate the prototype and modify or add features where desired. For example, if a client wanted a web design, a prototype approach would draw sketches or drafts of a proposed web design. The web designer would discuss the suitability of the sketches to meet the client's needs. The client can add or remove features of the design where desired, and once satisfied with the sketch, a final product will be made.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of the Prototype Management Approach?


  • Beneficial in projects where there is no clear and definitive product - usually occurs in creative tasks

  • Allows the client to be actively involved in the project which reduces the risk of client unsatisfaction with the product

  • Errors can be spotted early

  • Model removes assumptions about how something is going to work


  • Time consuming - a working model or draft must be made, and if the client is unsatisfied with the prototype, another prototype will have to be made

What is the Structured Project Management Approach?

Example structured project management approach, imaged sourced by Rahulkepapa, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Structured project management is where a project is completed in a logical set of sequential steps. Each step of the project must be worked in chronological order. Structured approaches are suitable where there is a clear and definitive product that needs to be made.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of Structured project management?


  • Time efficient - takes less time than a prototype approach, as a prototype approach requires the manufacture of a limited working model or concept

  • Transparent and clear - each member of the project has a clear indication of the tasks required and the current progress


  • Limited client involvement - Client does not get to actively participate in the project which increases the chance of client unsatisfaction.

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