Project management is a continuous process of transformation of various methodologies that project managers find to deliver the best value. The best practices of project management are developed through learning and experience, which allow project managers to deliver projects within the stipulated time and scope of the project without exceeding the budget. Through this cycle of continuous learning and improvement in PMP Certificationtechniques employed by project managers, hybrid project management has emerged as a versatile approach to effective project planning and management.
Hybrid project management is a novelty approach that seeks integration of the best of both worlds of traditional and agile methodologies for project management. It is not a fixed or rigid project management approach combining certain elements of the two methodologies; rather it integrates the best practices of both the approaches in a way that serves the purpose of an individual project. Thus, project managers may benefit from concocting a hybrid approach using PRINCE2® and KANBAN with PMI® and Scrum principles or by incorporating certain individual elements from both these approaches.
Project managers can use two of any such project management approaches and adapt them to the requirements of their own projects. Project managers can upskill their careers by enrolling in the PMP® certification course, which is a self-paced online learning course. They can learn readily applicable skills within any industry and ride on this bandwagon to enjoy the great perks of being a project manager.
The Need For Hybrid Approaches
It can be a tough call for some to choose between and implement traditional or agile methodologies for project management. While some agile projects may benefit from incorporating certain aspects of traditional methodologies, some other projects may benefit from using management systems from other approaches. Although it is possible to integrate a different methodology within an existing project management system, it is best to do so by using methods that bridge the gap between the two approaches from one spectrum to another. Thus, you cannot only ensure the integration of a hybrid approach in your project but also ensure a smooth transition from a single one to a hybrid one.
The most important reason to implement a hybrid approach to project management is to integrate the best of both worlds to meet the respective requirements or goals of an organization or a project. Each project is defined by three dimensions that every project manager should abide by, which are– deadline, scope, and budget. In traditional project management methodologies, the project’s scope is fixed beforehand, while the other two dimensions remain variable. On the other hand, agile projects tend to have an inverse relationship, i.e., the time and budget are often fixed. Through a hybrid project management approach, the three dimensions are adjusted and applied with the greatest possible flexibility.
Traditional and agile project management methodologies both have their strengths and weaknesses individually. Agile methodologies offer a conducive growth environment for all members involved and develop their individual capabilities. On the flip side, project managers usually focus on fulfilling the requirements of the management and adhering to clearly defined goals through traditional project management. A hybrid project management approach attempts to incorporate the pros of both these methodologies while minimizing the shortcomings as much as possible.
Key Principles of Agile Project Management
The principles of agile project management methodologies are the statements that define the agile methodology along with the best practices that agile team members should follow. The agile manifesto contains the core values and principles of agile that elaborate on the workflow of an agile project.
The Agile Manifesto documents 12 agile principles that project managers should take into account for their Agile projects.
- Customer Satisfaction is Key
Software development is an extensive process where the time and money of stakeholders and customers are also involved. By reducing the amount of time between process documentation and obtaining feedback by reporting to the customers through beta testing, project managers can focus on the ultimate aim of a project, which is to deliver what the customer wants.
- Open to Adjustment
Project managers should also be open to embracing change during any part of a project. Businesses and people adapt to changes and evolve as and when needed. Project managers should not try to resist change or slow down the process but rather leverage it to improve their projects.
- Frequently Delivering Working Software
This principle has offered radical changes over the years and complemented the principle of embracing change, whereby the process of project management is shortened. One way that an agile project enables this change is by removing a lot of the documentation requirements.
- Continuous Collaboration
This holds true for any project of any scale or organization of any size where stakeholders should have a clear communication route with each other and also within the organization. This is especially important to prevent misunderstanding. Regular feedback from stakeholders and their expectations can help achieve successful delivery faster.
- Build & Support Projects
Agile team members should foster a relationship of trust and support among each other and with the stakeholders. If there is a lack of trust or support, team members may suffer from a lack of motivation, which may lead to the failure of a project.
- Promote Face-to-Face Summit
When it comes to how organizations work internally, a lot has changed over the years. Technology has served as a bridge between parties of the same interest. While this offers seamless communication and may not be replaced by any other mode of communication, agile methodologies encourage face-to-face communication between members, and it is considered to be quite effective.
- Progress Assessment
A visually appealing software interface may not make the cut if it doesn’t work as intended. The success of the software is subjective. Working with software that creates value and achieves the project’s goal is important.
One important reason to explore activities within the project lifecycle for short durations of time is not only to allow adaptation to change more readily but also to keep the team members motivated. Working for extended periods at a stretch can lead to burnout and productive blockage. This is only going to impede the successful implementation of a project. Thus, team leaders should ensure regular breaks and short periods of work activity to prevent jeopardizing the project.
- Continual Attention
Agile team members should focus on an excellent technical design but still be ready to adapt a product in response to an evolving market. Without the capability to adapt, the project will lose agility, which is something that no development team wishes during any project lifecycle.
- Keeping Things Simple
If you wish to move things swiftly and quickly through a project, you would want to move unnecessary clutter out of the project lifecycle to streamline every process. Agile methodologies provide many ways to achieve this by cutting out unnecessary complexities and obtaining more control over every aspect of the project.
- Self-Organizing Teams
When aiming to build a self-sustaining team capable of adapting to change quickly, project managers should provide the necessary autonomy to each member so that each unit can adapt to changes swiftly. This paves the way for forming teams that produce the best architects who are right for the job and may address issues and resolve them even before they become problems.
- Enhancing Productivity
Another perk of having a self-sustaining team is they will adopt the best way to approach something they do. In this way, the best outcome can be obtained.
Core Tenets of Traditional Project Management
The traditional project management method, also known as the Waterfall method, indicates the linear and sequential approach taken during such a project management method. The traditional project management method has a strict methodology that project managers need to complete before moving on to the next steps. The traditional project management method is best suited for projects that have a well-defined goal with a predictable outcome.
The traditional project management method emphasizes planning and designing. This involves working on a detailed project plan that outlines the project’s scope and identifies the resources required to complete the project. The project plan serves as a roadmap for project managers to follow.
Traditional project management methodologies also focus on deliverables and completion, which implies that project managers are focused on ensuring the project is completed on time and within budget. This is automatically a result of the strict project plan.
Benefits of Hybrid Project Management
The single most important benefit rendered by hybrid project management is to bring together the best of two approaches and adapt them according to the individual requirements of each project. This provides ample flexibility in steering a project toward success without compromising any of the three essential constraints of project management (time, cost, and scope). The perks of implementing hybrid project management methodologies can be summarized below.
- Combining best practices of both traditional and agile project management
- Obtaining flexibility in all project types, regardless of size, scope, industry, or complexity of the project
- Providing customized solutions for each project
- Achieving results that can be validated quickly
- Focuses on customer requirements and satisfaction
Implementing a Hybrid Approach
Now, it begs the question of how to implement a hybrid approach that combines the two approaches. Based on which methodology a business inherently follows, some parts of a project can be implemented in a traditional way or through agile. This can be achieved through high-level planning that seeks integration of both traditional and agile methodologies.
However, project managers should refrain from switching too often between two approaches within a project or from one project to another. This may lead to instability in the process. Plan in advance what goals are to be achieved, which approach is useful, and at which stage.
Challenges and Considerations
Every good approach is not without its limitations. If you want to take a hybrid approach to your project, you must also be aware of the challenges that arise and address them in advance to avoid turning them into a setback for your project lifecycle.
Here are some of the disadvantages of hybrid project management that every project manager should be aware of.
- Hybrid project management emphasizes the skills of the project manager
- Requires greater number of members and roles within the project
- Hybrid project management necessitates efforts to analyze various methods to be employed for an individual project
- Team members also need to have a high level of communication skills and other interpersonal skills
Tools and Technologies for Hybrid Project Management
- Project Management Software
Project managers should focus on finding project management software that supports one of these methodologies. They should look for software that provides the best value and meets the Agile, Waterfall, and hybrid project management approach.
Here are some software that may meet specific project management needs.
- Kanban boards for daily execution of tasks
- Task groups or multiple backlogs
- Gantt charts for high-level project phases
- Sprints or Iterations for velocity metrics and capacity planning
- Burndown charts
- Agile metrics
- Collaboration Platforms
In a hybrid project management environment, project managers may need real-time collaboration for designing projects. Some effective collaboration platforms for hybrid project management include:
- Communication Tools
Hybrid project management methods may necessitate face-to-face communication between team members to understand project progress and requirements better. Some tools for communication within a hybrid project management approach include:
- Microsoft Teams
Training & Skill Development
When transitioning into a hybrid project management model, training and development become highly necessary for ensuring successful implementation. As project management teams increasingly adopt this approach, it becomes necessary to equip team members with the necessary skills and training to work within such an environment. Mentoring and online training can also help team members enhance their abilities and adapt to the changing landscape within the organization.
Future Trends in Hybrid Project Management
With each passing year, newer technologies and innovations are making way for businesses to benefit from hybrid project management. Here are some of the most critical trends that hybrid project management holds for project managers.
- Artificial Intelligence: Artificial intelligence, or AI, is making unprecedented advances for every business operation. It has made working easier and more efficient in many areas of business. Hybrid project management methodologies can leverage the power of AI to enhance customer experience, employee efficiency, and project outcomes.
- Data and Analytics: Much like AI, data analytics can assist the process of project management by providing insight into the key areas of a business, such as customer behavior and financial performance.
- Emotional Intelligence: Implementing emotional intelligence in the workplace is essential to ensure happier workers and navigate complex human emotions and interactions. This is important for effective leadership and promoting a positive, dynamic work environment.
Hybrid project management has proven to be a capable amalgamation of two project management approaches that have their own merits to be amplified through a project. They offer flexibility and successful implementation during a project lifecycle. Nevertheless, there may come times when traditional or agile methodologies alone may be required. However, whenever implementing the hybrid method of project management, it is essential to ensure that team members are well-skilled to take up the process of project management and deliver it to success. KnowledgeHut offers PMP certification for beginners and existing project managers to upskill and obtain certification to prove the credibility of experience in hybrid project management and get hired by leading players in the industry.
- How do you combine Agile and traditional project management?
Project managers may want to combine agile and traditional project management methodologies to obtain optimal results. A project may already be running using agile or traditional methods. Project managers may then implement a different methodology in some parts of the project. Otherwise, if they want to combine both methodologies from the beginning, they should have a detailed plan to implement both methodologies at set periods.
- Which approach would be a hybrid of Agile and traditional methods?
A hybrid Agile-Waterfall approach combined both these methodologies, offering the flexibility of agile while maintaining rigidity in defining phases and documenting progress through the Waterfall method.
- What is a hybrid life cycle in project management?
A hybrid life cycle in project management usually incorporates best practices of two approaches or methodologies to create one that suits the specific project requirements. The Agile-Waterfall approach is one such example.