Project Management

Challenges and Opportunities of Hybrid Projects in Complex Environments

Singapore Chapter

Sebastian Sohn holds both Project Management Professional (PMP)® and PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® certifications in addition to being a Professional Scrum Master I (PSM-I). He also holds a master’s degree in management.

The use of hybrid project approaches comes with a number of challenges and opportunities, in particular in complex environments. One of the benefits is that hybrid projects help to leverage the advantages of agile approaches within projects that need to be managed in a more traditional way (e.g., for reasons such as complexity or organizational requirements). Combining agile, iterative, incremental, and traditional project management methods may have some obstacles though. This article gives guidance to overcoming these challenges and provides examples of practical methods for approach selection, status reporting, and risk and assumption management.

The Agile Practice Guide (PMI, 2017b) defines hybrid projects (referred to as hybrid life cycles) as a combination of elements from different project approaches. This way, agile elements and traditional project management can be used side by side in the same project. Both approaches can be balanced following the needs of a project and the maturity of an organization.

According to PMI’s latest Pulse of the Profession® 2020 in-depth report, “Research Highlights by Region and Industry” (PMI, 2020b), agile has become an established approach to projects in various industries—including financial services (FS), healthcare, IT, manufacturing, and telecom as agile frontrunners—…

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