Project Management

The Truth About the Agile/Hybrid Divide

Michael R. Wood is a Business Process Improvement & IT Strategist Independent Consultant. He is creator of the business process-improvement methodology called HELIX and founder of The Natural Intelligence Group, a strategy, process improvement and technology consulting company. He is also a CPA, has served as an Adjunct Professor in Pepperdine's Management MBA program, an Associate Professor at California Lutheran University, and on the boards of numerous professional organizations. Mr. Wood is a sought after presenter of HELIX workshops and seminars in both the U.S. and Europe.

There is a lot of material published that compares agile and hybrid development frameworks. One takeaway I had from pouring through the literature on the topic was how complicated and jargon-laden most of it is. Critics on both sides of the agile/hybrid aisle seem to be somewhat jaded and often misinformed.

So that we all start on the same page, here are some observations and definitions on each. To begin, let’s clear the air about what all frameworks and approaches (agile, waterfall, PRINCE, hybrid, seat-of-the-pants, etc.) have always had in common, at least in terms of management’s expectations:

  • Each is intended to engage and collaborate with stakeholders (customers, employees, strategic suppliers, etc.) in order to deliver on the value proposition as set forth in the project’s goals and objectives.
  • Each has the goal of completing a successful project in the least amount of time and money within a prudent level or risk, and with as little disruption as possible.
  • Each seeks to identify all the functional requirements needed to achieve the objectives of the project.
  • Each uses common techniques like time-boxing, heuristics, prototyping, scope management, user stories, cross-functional/inclusive engagement, etc.
  • Each is intended to produce quality and durable results that are functionally correct, complete and adaptable to the changing needs of…

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