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Topics: Agile
Why debate? Take a hybrid approach based on situational needs
I recently write a blog entry for Project Times "Why Debate? Let Formality and Agility Coexist" check it out at

The gist of it is to avoid a fundamentalist attitude and either-or thinking. Agile and waterfall will coexist and merge to enable the just right solution for the situation at hand.
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I've not read the blog, as I didn't want to sign up just yet. However I couldn't agree more with you. In my experience it always pays off to examine the PM requirements for any project and come up with the best fitting approach. This doesn't always mean going with one methodology completely, one way or the other.

I've succesfully applied agile principles within a waterfall project setting many times and we've actually begun using it as a best practice throughout our firm. Our clients generally wouldn't take well to an approach where we cannot offer them a fixed or approximated budget up front. We do scope and then break down deliverables into deliverable groups. These deliverable groups are set in a timebox and provide workable functionality for the customer. We roll out deliverable groups as iterations to the business, after which the iteration cycle begins. Key factor is that we involve the business in the agile team setting and we focus on what we *can* deliver, not what we can't. We have a scope and a deliverable group that has to be realized within the timebox. If we cannot realize everything within the timebox, we deliver what we can and redesign the deliverable groups. Using this technique we do 1 or 2 four to six week iterations prior to having a good idea about the actual fixed end date. Clients are still wary of embracing the fact that the methodology also largely excludes a fixed design up front. We were only recently able to use the technique of designing, more or less, by starting with test scripts for one of our clients.

Several of my colleagues frequently apply this approach as well. In my opinion this 'mix-and-match' approach is also the best way for agile to evolve and become more mainstream.

Ofcourse having standardized methodologies has the distinct advantage, amongst others, that resources become interchangable and can rather seamlessly flow into other projects, but in the end I believe viewing set standards as best practice and adapting methods and techniques to circumstances, or cherry picking if you will, is the best methodology you can adhere to.
Great topic and brilhant posts (both of them), which shows great maturity in project management (as per my personal oppinion)

ThereĀ“s no cake recipe for project success, since it all comes to the organizational project maturity. Both waterfalls and agile have good points and pitfalls that need to be assessed by the PM taking into consideration the constraints and assumptions for each one.

I have myself also managed projects with a hybrid approach. ERP implementation is a typical project where a part of the project could be managed under a waterfall approach and the customization part of the project could use an agile approach if scope is not well detailed up-front. I have also seen some white papers on using EVM along with SCRUM (and EVM is something that requires waterfall approaches).

An experienced project manager should be able to define the best approach for each project context and not be afraid to go for a hybrid approach.

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