As industries and customer needs change, the way we manage our projects need to change along with it. What used to work 10 years ago unfortunately cannot guarantee success today. If we’re not flexible in the way we approach project management, we will get left behind in a world where continuous improvement has become a necessity to survive.
For a very long time. the Waterfall method dominated the world of project management as everyone adopted the understanding that a project consisted of distinct and sequential phases where a lot of planning needed to be done upfront and work could only begin once all scope elements were completely understood. This caused some frustration as technology advances led to increased market demand for change and organisations needed to find a way to respond faster in order to retain their competitive position.
In the early 2000s, Agile emerged as the exciting new kid on the block – one that would revolutionise the software development industry in particular. It promised shorter turnarounds & improved customer satisfaction thanks to a project team’s ability to deliver something quicker while being able to absorb new or changing requirements. It seemed to be the answer everyone had been looking for, but from a practicality standpoint it wasn’t that easy for organisations to make the change to become fully Agile.
This led to the heated Waterfall vs Agile debate, with most organisations feeling that they could only select one of the two based on which they felt would be the closest match to their specific needs.
Now enter a new way of thinking: Why not merge the best of both worlds? After all, nobody ever said that everything about the Waterfall method was bad, and we’ve certainly seen that Agile has its own set of challenges. Hybrid project management allows a team to spend the needed time on planning and analysis upfront, but divides the development cycle into smaller deliveries or sprints.
In essence, with Hybrid project management your planning is aligned with Waterfall principles where a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is created to identify the smaller, more manageable components of work while execution is done in the Agile way to allow for faster delivery of a Minimal Viable Product (MVP) which can be presented to customers.
In the Hybrid world the initial project plan shouldn’t take too long to create as it’s only done at a high-level. You’ll also find that there are certain elements that’ll have a higher level of certainty, such as training, marketing & procurement, while development in comparison will have a high level of uncertainty. This level of uncertainly may create some anxiety at first, but this is where Agile practices come into play to review and finalise the expected goals & outcomes which in turn inform user stories and sprint planning.
At Analyze, we’ve seen the Hybrid method in practice and can attest to its effectiveness within a variety of different contexts. Therefore, we are not seeing it as a passing trend. We feel that it’s a real solution for those organisations who are struggling with the effort involved with becoming fully Agile.
If you’re interested in discussing how our team can help run your next project in a Hybrid manner, give us a call on 021 447 5696 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re always on the lookout for opportunities to put new concept into practice.