Hybrid Project Management

Traditional Method

The traditional project management supporters argue that large projects especially those which combine multiple disciplines require traditional methods like the waterfall. Project managers used Work Breakdown Structure, or WBS, to manage the complex projects. It was the only game in town and every project manager was trained to use this method. Microsoft Project make it easy to plan and share their projects with teams and executive managers.

The problem with WBS is that at the beginning of the projects, all facts are not known. Plus, the requirement changes, the market changes, and the customer has new requests.

The project manager is responsible for the planning and control. They are the primary decision maker and therefore also responsible for the success of the project – that is, to make sure the fixed requirements, calculated costs and stipulated appointments are realized. If the costs or duration of the project get out of hand, a lot of the time it is due to incomplete, changed or incorrectly understood requirements or a sneaky expansion of the scope. If the requirements are falsely estimated or if they change significantly, then it’s the project manager’s problem, and this problem can escalate to a problem with the customer.

Agile Method

Agile supporters argue that short duration sprints help teams to focus on important tasks and discover problems with design assumptions and development processes much faster. In addition, Agile can react faster to market changes and help to bring products to the market faster.

Everybody thought the Agile method with its lean approach would solve all the waterfall problems. After all, the majority of the projects would cost more and finish later than planned.

The good thing about Agile is that the customer sees the results in a very short time after the project has started and can change the delivery of the requirements change. Due to the Agile flexibility, the requirements changes don’t derail the project.

Soon it was realized by most managers that the Agile method is not a cure either. Not all projects are made equal, and not all teams can adjust to one method or the other. So what should a project manager starting a new project do?
For one thing, it is extremely hard to accurately estimate when the Agile project will be completed. Also, the constant changes to the requirements are bound to cause project delays and project cost overruns.

So if the waterfall is not the right method and Agile is not for all projects, then what should a project manager do?

Hybrid Method – Combination of both methods

The best method used is dependent on the size and the complexity of the project. Combining the two project management methods is called Hybrid Project Management. The good news is that a new project management method called hybrid project management is gaining popularity and acceptance. It combines the best of Agile and the work breakdown structure to create a new project management method that fits the majority of the projects.

The beauty of the hybrid project management method is that it lets the team plan before starting to work on the project, but also divides the development cycle into short-term deliveries called sprints.
Hybrid can handle requirement changes and, due to its iterative nature, can deliver products in stages. As soon as the product reaches the minimum viable product, or MVP, it can be shipped and the development team can continue on future enhancements.


In hybrid, the planning is done using the waterfall approach. The execution and delivery are handled by the Agile method. This hybrid approach makes the planning and project estimation a lot more accurate. At the same time, the team can react to market changes and deliver what the market demands in place of what the team planned.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *