Hybrid Project Management: The Practical Choice - PM 360 Consulting
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Hybrid Project Management: The Practical Choice

Hybrid Project Management: The Practical Choice

It’s true that not all projects are made equal and not all teams can stick to one specific methodology. most importantly, neither waterfall nor agile methodology suits every project. Maybe that’s why the concept of hybrid project management has been gaining a lot of attention and the number of project managers and Scrum masters combining more than one methodologies is increasing day by day.

That’s why 39% of Project Managers use multiple project management methodologies.

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What is Hybrid project management?

“Hybrid project management” refers to methods that combine planning strategies from the traditional PM environment with the agile me­thodol­ogy’s flexible approach.

There have been some major factors that contributed to the rising popularity of Hybrid:

  • Uncertainty and complexity – With the increasing integration of AI, the complexity, and uncertainty of a project are also increasing at an alarming rate. PMI’s 2018 Pulse of the Profession survey notes that the percentage of projects with high complexity is on the rise. It’s risen from 35% in 2013 to 41% in 2018 and rising constantly.
  • Competitive markets – In today’s market you need to anticipate competitive issues and influences to ensure you always have a proactive plan and strategy in order to stay ahead of the game.
  • High client expectations – Personalization, ease, and speed are what most clients have come to expect, even with large-scale projects.

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The beauty of the hybrid project management method is that it lets the team plan before starting to work on the project, but also divides the development cycle into short-term deliveries called sprints.

Hybrid can handle requirement changes and, due to its iterative nature, can deliver products in stages. As soon as the product reaches the minimum viable product or MVP, it can be shipped and the development team can continue on future enhancements.

In hybrid, the planning is done using the waterfall approach. The execution and delivery are handled by the Agile method. This hybrid approach makes the planning and project estimation a lot more accurate. At the same time, the team can react to market changes and deliver what the market demands in place of what the team planned.

Organizations that mix these approaches can do this by breaking projects into small tasks and stages. Each task can be completed using different methodologies. Some elements, such as document requirements, planning the initial project plan, conducting full pre-testing, and launching the final project, often work well within the Waterfall approach. However, product development can use the strengths of Agile – two-week sprints, continuous testing, and analysis of user feedback.

For example, organizations can choose a model that includes both methodologies in their processes, such as:

  • Development of product requirements and user interviews [Waterfall]
  • Creating a source of User Interface designs and frameworks [Waterfall]
  • 1-or 2-week software development and design cycles [Agile]
  • Testing, creating increments, applying feedback before beta testing [Agile]
  • Conducting beta testing [Agile]
  • Launch of the final version of a product [Waterfall]


Recommendations for creating a Hybrid:

  • Trust the team-Agile: the trust environment encourages team members to experiment, be creative, and discover effectiveness during development.
  • Face-to-face communications help encourage collaboration and teamwork. Daily meetings, such as quick 15-minute reviews with all team members, help keep everyone “on the same page” and work together.
  • Listen to interested clients to ensure fast and clear project direction. Their feedback is invaluable and should be recorded and applied after each iterative cycle.
  • Expand team capabilities-encourage team members to help with planning. Ask them for their opinions on strategies and workflows. Promote the growth and empowerment of team members.
  • Prepare for changes – be ready to track changes in the requirements and expectations of the customer and end-users of the project product.

Each method-both Agile and Waterfall – offers a structure that allows the project to move forward, but together they can increase flexibility in meeting project budgets and deadlines.

It’s wise to create your hybrid project management approach at the beginning of the project. Switching your strategy in the middle creates problems and delays. Make note of any inefficiencies you find, and address them by adjusting your hybrid approach for the next project. You can still use pure Agile or Waterfall sometimes, too. That’s the strength of hybrid project management — you use whatever style is right for the situation, even if it’s not blended. There’s no need to shove Agile methodologies into a 4 week, simple Waterfall project. Just use Waterfall and ship it. that is why hybrid project management is the most practical choice.


Article written by Sakib Hussain 25th March 2021


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