Stacey matrix, a project management tool designed after the project management methodology was developed. The comparison between the two forms the basis of the Stacey matrix. The Stacey Matrix is a simple yet powerful tool that helps to correctly estimate project strengths and weaknesses, as well as a method for determining the right methodology for a project. Many organizations struggle with selecting the right methodology for their projects, a problem that can be addressed with this framework. Before we go any further, we should know that, what exactly is stacey matrix and who developed it?
Stacey Matrix is a simple 2 by 2 grid first developed by Alan R. Stacey in 1959 to identify and select the right project management methodology for an organization. It compares the level of uncertainty and risk in a project with the level of standardization versus customization required of the project management method.
Before going deeper into this subject, I think it is very important to tell you about project management methodology what is meant by this term.
What is project management methodology?
A project management methodology is a set of different practices, structures, and principles that help project managers achieve and ensure project success. There are many methodologies used by project managers. Some of them are listed below.
- Agile methodology
- Scrum methodology
- Kanban methodology
- Adaptive project framework methodology
- Lean methodology
- waterfall method
This methodology is a more common project management method in use today.
How to select the right project management methodology?
Agile project management is a very broad concept. You have many methodologies in front of you, but how do you know which method suits your project and your team. To choose the best methodology for your team and project, the Stacey matrix model can help you with this.
Steps to use Stacey matrix to choose the right project management methodology
Stacey matrix is one of the most popular tools and techniques for selecting the right project management methodology for a project. Here we will see the description of the Stacey matrix and the steps to use the Stacey matrix to determine the appropriate project management methodology for a project.
Stacey Matrix is based on two dimensions:
- The complexity of a project
- The uncertainty (or risk) in a project
The four quadrants formed by these two dimensions represent different methodologies to be applied for their respective projects. These are as follows:
Quadrant 1: Simple and predictable
This quadrant represents projects that are simple and predictable. The focus of these projects should be on efficiency, i.e. getting things done quickly at minimum cost with maximum quality. Project managers should use traditional methods such as Gantt charts, PERT charts, milestones, etc. to manage such projects.
Quadrant 2: Complicated and Predictable
This quadrant represents the situation, where the effect and cause of the problem is clear, but stakeholders disagree about the importance of the concerns and how stakeholders can move forward. For example, who would become the next president, and the wages of various participating entities etc.
Quadrant 3: Complex and unpredictable
In this quadrant, stakeholders and their relationships are unclear and they are far from being tied to a single decision. Solution to this can only be found through creativity, indicative ideas and experiments. Agility and adaptability are the core competencies of managers, team and stakeholders.
Quadrant 4: Chaotic and unpredictable
This type of quadrant represents a very unstable situation, where cause-effect relationships are unknown and the possible solution is just a guess. Managers and organizations do their best to avoid a chaotic phase, but it is sometimes unavoidable.
With the situation in mind, you can choose the desired methodology that suits your project.
Choosing the right method for your project will have a big impact on its success. If you can look at all aspects of your business and find out which matrix cell you are in, chances are you can select the right method that fits your needs.