HERMES method

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HERMES is a software development methodology originally based upon the V-Model. HERMES is a phase based method, where some phases can be repeated. HERMES can be extensively tailored, using the PowerUser tool. Sub-models describe the activities overlapping phases. HERMES is Results oriented and provides additional views about Roles and Procedure.


Following British and German government examples, the Swiss Government has developed its own Project Management Method - HERMES. The first domain of application was software projects. HERMES has been in use for over 30 years. It is based on the German V-Model.

"HERMES, managing and executing projects in the domain of the ICT" is an open standard of the Swiss Federal Administration that supports most actual requirements. It is a complete solution, that meets the needs of most types of projects and project managers. Work is under way to integrate RUP into HERMES. The complete documentation is available online and in the HERMES PowerUser tool.

Objectives and concept[edit]

Successful projects maybe require target-oriented management, execution and controlling. The purpose of HERMES is to offer support to all those involved in this complex challenge in the management of their particular tasks. HERMES proposes goal and results oriented project procedures. Accordingly, it takes into consideration those interests and tasks of the purchaser and project manager, as well as those of the project collaborator. It thus creates the right conditions for successful coordination between all participants, by providing a common language.

HERMES structures the development and execution of a project by specifying project results and phases, from which the required project activities and responsibilities are derived. The methods name and describe phase-specific activities and their nature, as well overlapping and concomitant tasks required for the guaranteeing of the project’s success, as summed up in the sub-models (such as project management, quality assurance and risk management). The application of HERMES improves project transparency. It facilitates the monitoring of the project’s progress and enables more rapid and targeted corrections to be made during the course of the project, if the need should arise.


  • HERMES as a Global Solution for the standardisation and support in conducting projects with the following components :
    • the HERMES handbook as the core of the Global Solution
    • HERMES PowerUser, an Eclipse Process Framework based implementation of the method and the complete manuals
    • aid supports with detailed specifications of results, phases, activities and role responsibilities
    • HERMES website
    • HERMES Newsletter (in German and in French).
  • the adoption of sub-models for better combinations of overlapping tasks in conducting a project; the five fundamental sub-models of HERMES are:
    • Project management
    • Quality assurance
    • Configuration management
    • Risk management (new)
    • Project marketing (new)
  • improved integration of information security and data protection in project procedures
  • improved definition and delineation of tasks, responsibilities and roles of all project participants
  • incorporation of extensive experience from previous projects («best practices»)


As a project guidance method HERMES has already existed since 1975 (with extensive revisions in the years 1986 and 1995) in public administration in Switzerland and in numerous enterprises. The constantly increasing usage of HERMES, also outside the federal administration, has borne fruit and shown that the content of HERMES is largely formulated as «federal administration-neutral» and that references specific to an area, or abbreviations and the like coming from the federal administration environment, are avoided as far as possible.

External links[edit]