Project Management is soooo not ``paperwork & meetings``.  PM is pure Business Value. Good PMs know when to balance between guidelines, processes & policies.

They can be defined as:
1) Guidelines - often not documented but should be followed
2) Processes - often documented and most of the time are followed
3) Polices - must be documented and clear and are penalized if not followed 

Mature companies have few policies but hire good people, so can have many processes and then also enable their people with good guidelines.

Often project management is associated with how a “standard” project should be delivered to its stakeholders. And PM offices tend to state that the methodology they have must be followed exactly as documented (similar to having many policies). However, depending on complexity and uniqueness of the project, Project Managers must be able to have flexibility for unique circumstances and not be overloaded with excess administration.    

Use the tools on your belt for the situation at hand.  But follow a structured, systematic format as much and often as possible.  As you manage the project and make decisions, think in a type of manner that gives the ability to have someone audit or re-use your project in the future.

Ensure your PM Methodology is aligned with the business (surprisingly this is common) and it is able to adapt as the business evolves and changes with the market. If sometimes you have to manage the project “off the corner of their desk” then also ensure expectations are set with all stakeholders (align realistic expectations, "informal" time for planning and management does work - but you will only get back what you put in, will not get high success probability !!)

A consistent structured approach will greatly facilitate a collaborative working environment (ability to work together in teams and collaborating with other departments, cities, countries, etc).  A consistent approach provides benefits to company resources (the foundation of any company) which include:

  • reduced stress and anxiety;
  • improved confidence;
  • increased level of pride;
  • professional company culture
  • employee retention;
  • attraction of top quality employees.

Functional benefits of creating a standardized methodology include:

  • repeatable, predictable project success (consistency);
  • high quality of delivered product or service;
  • accurate and timely tracking and reporting of project information and results (which ties into the core business operations);
  • project prioritization and strategic planning (balanced for the organization);
  • operations coordination (schedules, budgets, resources, capacity, launches, risks, procurement, etc.);
  • delivering on time, on budget and on scope;
  • modeling and reuse (not re-invent the wheel);
  • teamwork systems (facilitated communication, team-building, cohesiveness, etc.);
  • capability to create a centralized repository/center of excellence;
  • consistent organizational support (training, coaching, mentoring).

There are numerous types of methodologies created by multiple different organizations and associations.  The right one brings value, the wrong one can hurt you and also gives PM a bad reputation.  It is best to follow a globally recognized methodology that is designed to act as an umbrella and still allow creation of customized approaches underneath that suit specific business culture and needs. Just ensure that the person creating your methodology has a balance of experience and knowledge (best practices and do's and don'ts) and can fit them all together in a formal, systematic way.