Project Management

Are You Actually Using a Hybrid Approach?

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 [email protected]. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

Hybrid project delivery has been around for a while as a concept. There is a niche methodology that claims hybrid is a specific combination of waterfall planning and agile execution.

But for most people, "hybrid" simply means an approach to project management and delivery that combines elements of both traditional and agile disciplines in a way that makes sense for each project. The implication is that the mix will be different from one PM to the next—and from one project to the next—based on individual project manager and team preferences, as well as the project’s unique needs.

There are a lot of benefits to hybrid. By combining the two different philosophical approaches to project delivery, it maximizes the ability to choose the right approach for each situation—and when hybrid PMs and teams are familiar with a number of variations of both traditional and agile methodologies, it further supports the ability to optimize performance at every step of the way. However, it’s a solution that comes at a bit of a cost.

To take advantage of hybrid, project managers must not only understand both traditional and agile approaches, they must also know when to apply the different approaches—and they must have the confidence to operate without a formal project structure or methodology. They must also have a team that is equally …

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