Hybrid Is Not the New Agile!

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at andy.jordan@roffensian.com. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

Looking back at “top trends” lists for previous years is always informative and often entertaining. In project management, agile was a top trend for almost a decade on some lists (which has to make you wonder when it stops trending), and in the last couple of years hybrid has been appearing on more and more lists.

It’s also been getting some coverage in serious publications. Here’s a quote from a CIO article from September 2017 about hybrid: “It combines the best of agile and the work breakdown structure to create a new project management method that fits the majority of the projects.” Say what?! I need to take a step back here. So, having been a trend for a decade, agile is now going to be replaced by hybrid? That’s the implication…the claim is that hybrid will fit the majority of projects. We need to look at this.

I have a pretty good idea where that comment came from, and let’s just say it wasn’t a completely objective source. But let’s start with the fundamental flaw in the argument: Hybrid isn’t a project delivery methodology (I’m going to look at the idea of hybrid agile in an upcoming article this month). Sure, there are a few individuals and organizations that are trying to define a hybrid framework that combines specific elements of waterfall with specific elements of agile to …

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