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Classical Project Management

Article Summary

Classical project management is a proven method for planning, controlling, and monitoring projects. It is based on clear structures, processes, and rules to successfully complete projects. This glossary entry explains the basics and methods of classical project management, its advantages and limitations, as well as helpful tools and techniques. Learn more about the added value that classical project management can offer your business.

Detailed Contents


Classical project management refers to a collection of methods, processes, and techniques aimed at efficiently and effectively guiding projects from initiation to completion. It is a tried and tested method widely used across various industries and organizations to ensure that projects are completed on time, within budget, and with high quality.

Basics and Methods

The basics of classical project management are based on five main phases in the project life cycle: initiation, planning, execution, monitoring and controlling, and closure. These phases are characterized by clear roles, responsibilities, and processes that enable projects to be handled systematically and in a structured manner. The methods used in classical project management include:

  • Waterfall model: A linear, sequential approach where each phase of the project must be completed before the next phase begins.
  • V-model: A plan-driven model that clarifies the relationship between the project phases and the associated testing and validation activities.
  • PRINCE2 (Projects in Controlled Environments): A structured method for project planning, control, and monitoring, which prescribes clear processes, roles, and responsibilities.

Advantages and Limitations

Classical project management offers various advantages, such as:

  • Structure and organization: Clear roles, responsibilities, and processes enable efficient coordination and communication within the project team.
  • Risk management: The systematic approach helps identify, assess, and manage risks early on.
  • Quality management: By planning and monitoring quality objectives and measures, it ensures that the project delivers the desired results.
  • Transparency and control: Project progress is regularly monitored and controlled, so deviations can be detected and corrected in time.

Despite its advantages, classical project management also has some limitations, particularly in terms of flexibility and adaptability. Since planning is done in advance and changes are often difficult to implement, it can be less effective in dynamic or uncertain environments. In such cases, agile project management methods may be a better alternative.

Tools and Techniques

In classical project management, various tools and techniques are used to support the planning, controlling, and monitoring of projects. These include:

  • Gantt charts: A graphical representation of the project schedule, illustrating the timing of activities, milestones, and dependencies.
  • Network diagramming: A technique for representing dependencies between project activities and for determining the critical path.
  • Resource management: Planning, allocating, and monitoring resources (e.g., personnel, materials, budget) within the project.
  • Milestone planning: Setting and tracking key events or outcomes in the project that ensure progress and timely completion.


Classical project management is a proven and versatile method for the successful execution of projects across various industries and organizations. The structured approach, clear processes and roles, and the numerous tools and techniques contribute to completing projects on time, within budget, and with high quality. Although classical project management can be less flexible in some cases, it remains an important discipline essential to the success of businesses and project managers.