A new hybrid approach for selecting a project management methodology

The dynamic field of project management is changing fast. It is important for companies to stay aware of the various trends and project implementation methodologies to deliver results efficiently in the current scenario.

If you start working on a new project, but don’t have any set method in place, chances are high that your project will not see the light of the day.

So, what’s the solution?

Well, since 93% of organizations report using standardized project management practices, it is important to invest in the latest project management tools to help you remain productive. An example of these tools is the Kanban Board Excel Template, which lets you track your whole procedure by organizing a scrum board. One of the first steps that can help you in structured project management is to choose the best methodology that works for your organization. Once you choose your project management technique, you can make sure that it is compatible with your existing systems such as integrated CRM solutions and payroll systems.

What Is Hybrid Project Management Methodology All About?

In the last few years, companies have move towards using a blended or hybrid project management methodology approach instead of traditional practices. You may have frequently heard the term, but may not be sure about its exact meaning.

So, let’s delve deeper and understand the concept.

Well, for starters, we need to get to know more about the agile and waterfall project technologies first, as the hybrid project management methodology is a combination of both these techniques.

Agile Project Management Methodology:

Agile project management is a highly traditional approach, and it focuses on the prioritization of rapid delivery of components in complete functional components. It can be defined as an iterative concept to planning and steering project practices by completing tasks in small sections.

Pure agile project management methods aim at organizing activities and job tasks in boxed phases that are known as sprints. Each sprint has a time duration and a set of deliverables that is decided in advance. In case the job tasks are not completed in time, there is reprioritization and the information is used to enhance further sprint planning.

Agile project methodology is popular in all kinds of work environments. It is preferred due to the following advantages:

  • It is a transparent system that enables managers to keep track of the deliverables. This leads to clear accountability, and there is no delay in achieving significant project milestones.
  • The best part about agile project management methodology is that it is not rigid. This means that project managers can keep making changes during the lifetime of the project – this is sure to increase the chances of a successful outcome!
  • It utilizes user-focused development processes, increased control and visibility at each step of the project lifecycle.
  • Agile project management techniques reduce risk, as managers can keep adapting to client needs and preferences throughout the project lifecycle. This leads to higher returns on investment and better customer satisfaction in the long run.

Waterfall Project Management Methodology:

On the other hand, there is a waterfall project management methodology that emphasizes stringent planning and breakdown on all important work structures. In this approach, the project is completed in distinct phases, and is moved step-by-step forward for ultimate delivery to the client.

Teams rely on a strict sequence of steps, and never move forward till the previous step has been completed. The waterfall project management methodology is ideal for smaller scale projects where the deliverables can be defined right at the beginning of the journey. Here are some advantages of the waterfall project management techniques:

  • The waterfall project management methodology uses clear structure with defined steps such as design, testing, implementation and deployment/delivery. This ensures good planning, and members do not have to go through a steep learning curve to deliver results.
  • One of the biggest advantages about the waterfall project methodology is that it requires a commitment to end goals or results right at the beginning of the project. This prevents members from deviating from the final goal, and helps them focus on their individual and group targets.
  • Since the waterfall project management technique utilizes a clear structure, it leads to a clean transfer of vital project-related information at each step.
  • There is no overlapping between different phases in the project lifecycle. This means that managers cannot move on to design until the analysis is completed, and similarly coding cannot happen till the design phase is over. This leads to fewer errors, and makes it easy for managers to follow the various distinct phases.

Both agile and waterfall project management methodologies have their advantages and disadvantages. It is not possible to always choose one and overlook the other; hence this is the prime reason that many companies are opting for a combined approach of the two- hybrid project management methodology.

Hybrid Project Management Methodology – The Blended Approach:

The hybrid project management methodology combines the best practices of agile and waterfall techniques. It employs the concept of Work Breakdown Structure, along with the speed and lean approaches of Agile project management for quick delivery of results.

The three basic principles that should be kept in mind for successful implementation of hybrid project management methodology are:

  1. The blending of techniques happens right at the starting of the project – you cannot decide to change course midway.
  2. It can be used in any industrial sector and for project teams of any size.
  3. The responsibility for project tasks needs to be clearly defined right at the beginning.

Now, you may question the need to use the hybrid project management methodology over traditional techniques. Well, the main objective of the hybrid method is to define the planning and budget requirements upfront (as with the waterfall approach), and then transition to agile techniques for the design, testing, and deployment phase.

Nowadays, the hybrid project management approach is highly popular amongst teams as it tends to overcome the negative aspects of both agile and waterfall techniques. Not only that, it is easy to implement a hybrid approach with the influx of automated project management platforms in the market such as payroll software, accounting solutions, and time tracking tools.

There is no doubt that going ahead with the hybrid project management technology is a smart decision that can save project teams tons of precious time, effort, and finances. Here are some of the major advantages of the hybrid approach:

  1. Mutual Agreement on Deliverables: One of the prime reasons that leads to projects getting delayed is when there is a mismatch in expectations between the client and the team. The hybrid approach works extremely well because one of its major criteria is that both the project developers and the final consumers work early on the deliverables – this happens at the beginning of the lifecycle to avoid any kind of confusion or conflict.
  1. Easy To Monitor Progress: Tracking the progress of team members is a key activity that leads to ultimate success. With the hybrid approach, it is easy for managers to monitor task progress, as the entire work scope of the project is known in advance. This helps in planning all the critical activities so that they can proceed in time, and there is no delay in the delivery of final outcomes.
  1. Simultaneous Performance Of More Than One Phase: One of the biggest advantages of the hybrid project management methodology is that it is possible for leaders to work on two separate phases of the project at the same time. This means that while the project testers can work on the testing, while at the same time coders can work on the coding – this saves time, and allows for better collaboration between team members.
  1. Higher Efficiency: Since the hybrid approach is able to identify candidates for short-term tasks, it leads to higher efficiency and output. It allows team members to compartmentalize different aspects of the project, and work in an organized manner for higher chances of success. Since the business analysts are more likely to check and document all the initial requirements of the project, all steps move without any delay or disruption.

Is Hybrid Project Management Methodology Your Best Bet?

Organizations need to work on their project management techniques to ensure that they remain a step ahead of the competition, and satisfy their clients beyond expectations. One of the biggest challenges facing them is to choose the best project methodology – after all, they can opt for agile, waterfall or a blended hybrid approach.

Adopting the practices of hybrid project management methodology is the best idea as it is a combination of the best processes in the field. Introduce the hybrid approach step-by-step to your project team, and give them time to get accustomed to the techniques. Let the project manager take the initiative, and set the pace for the entire team.

Remember, each project is different and hence, there may be certain cases where the hybrid project management methodology is not a perfect fit. Specific work environments or project requirements may require tailor-made approaches that are neither agile nor hybrid in nature. It is important to go with the flow in such situations, and not remain rigid on the hybrid methodology if it may not work out for certain projects.

The hybrid project management approach has gained heavy momentum in the last few years, and is now extremely popular. It is definitely one of the best project management methodologies as it assures quality of work, quick deployment and delivery of results!

Christophe Rude
Christophe Rude
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