Flavors of Hybrid Agile

PMI Southern Alberta Chapter

Mike Griffiths is a consultant and trainer who help organizations improve performance through shared leadership, agility and (un)common sense. He maintains the blog LeadingAnswers.com.

The term “hybrid” means a combination of two or more different elements. Hybrid cars often combine gasoline and electric motors, but other combinations are also possible. Hybrid agile approaches typically combine traditional and agile elements. Like baking, how we combine elements results in very different outcomes, each suited to different occasions (or just a useless mess). This article explores the reasons and results of a couple of popular hybrid project approaches.

First, let’s define a couple of terms. I will use the same definitions used in the Agile Practice Guide that was recently published alongside A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)—Sixth Edition. Hybrid is the combination of dissimilar elements like predictive and agile. Blended approaches combine two (or more) similar approaches. So, using a combination of Scrum and XP is a blended agile approach since they are both agile to begin with (I am avoiding the “Is Scrum agile?” debate).

For this article, I want to highlight some commonly occurring patterns. However, for anyone wishing to learn more about agile hybrids and blends, I recommend consulting the Agile Practice Guide. It explains how agile blends are still fully agile in nature since they bring in nothing from outside, yet hybrids are not classed as agile in nature since they now have…

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