Oct 2019 Edition - SMEs Feedbacks

What is the best methodology (Waterfall | Agile | Hybrid) to manage a project nowadays? and why?

Asad Naveed
October 2019 Edition
Asad Naveed

Asad Naveed

Senior Engineer

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Although PMI is against such generalizations (as each project being unique, has different preferred methodologies) but considering the emerging trends, Agile and Hybrid are most favored approached. It doesn't mean that Waterfall is outdated or no more to be considered. Certainly, in large construction projects, Waterfall is still the best one. But considering the vast number of IT and Telecom projects, Agile approach is helps in reducing the risk factor as stakeholder management is handled better. Also, Agile can better handle the changes in the projects, which are the only permanent factor in the projects. Hybrid approach is even more preferred as it includes the good among both worlds and legacy concepts may be adapted to some extent. But finally, PMI stance is right that each project is unique so it is hard to generalize straight-away that one approach is "always" better than the other ones.

Paul O'Neill
October 2019 Edition
Paul O'Neill

Paul O'Neill

Senior Project Manager

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What is the better methodology between Agile, Hybrid & Waterfall to manage a project nowadays, well the answer depends on the project? Agile, Hybrid and Waterfall all have their place in today’s modern projects but all too many people want to use Agile for every project even when the methodology does not fit. You only need to read the Agile Manifesto to understand that Agile works best on certain projects, this does not include infrastructure projects where the benefits and deliverable s are often not realized until sometime into the future. A Hybrid methodology is more commonly suitable these days as there are often short-term benefits that can be gained in many projects. In today’s IT infrastructure and construction projects you would not start the build until the detail design has been completed and lengthy lead times mean quick delivery is rarely achievable. The methodology needs to suit the project type and complexity a one size fits all is no longer sustainable, each methodology has its place to deliver the right outcome.

Ross Holmes
October 2019 Edition
Ross Holmes

Ross Holmes

Executive Project Consultant PMP | PMI-ACP

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The answer to this question lies in the cultural make up of the receiving organisation and the nature of the project(s) being delivered. There is no 'one size fits all' approach. Where unique cultural and project characteristics are ignored, the application of one methodology over another by project ‘purists’ can cause real issues with delivery, particularly where a methodology is forced upon unaccustomed participants with insufficient time and coaching to adjust (think square peg / round hole). Consider where a software development team operates as ‘Agile’ within an organisation, but the Marketing group who support them or the Finance group who fund them, does not. Or think about how a software development project benefits from Agile because of the fluid nature of the requirements set but how, comparatively, COTS application implementations can benefit from the more rigid structure of a Waterfall delivery due to early fixed requirements and the advantages that come from longer term detailed planning. Which methodology best suits these scenarios? The answer is that common sense should prevail. Instead of applying a 'one size fits all' methodology, effective Project Leads will tailor a delivery strategy that aligns cultural parameters with the specific needs of each project.

Andres Morales
October 2019 Edition
Andres Morales

Andres Morales

Project Manager

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Which methodology is better between Waterfall, Agile or Hybrid, my opinion is that there is no “one size fits all” approach to manage a project. In my experience, there are variables at play per project such as the industry, company or product objective that requires the Project Manager to find a suitable methodology for each case. I started my career in project management, in IT, executing Waterfall while learning Agile project management in University. This resulted in my understanding of differences between the two approaches from a practical and theoretical standpoint early on, allowing me to test both and find out which one yield better results to my needs. I have observed some top level indicators that assist a Project Manager to action a suitable methodology. Waterfall is a great approach for an industry where the majority of the variables are known and highly predictable from the start. In other Industries where the project requires constant change or improvements, and iterations based on user feedback to better accommodate this process, Agile may be better suited. Ultimately, I am noticing Hybrid in many cases is a popular and effective form of project management adopted out of necessity or inadvertently implemented for many organizations.

Aditya Lal
October 2019 Edition
Aditya Lal

Aditya Lal

Global Head of PMO

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In this era of technological advancement where the client wants to see the results instantaneously, requirements are changing with the blink of an eye, budget is one of the biggest constraints, team culture is “global” and the power politics is at its peak, one can safely say that the agile approach would be the best option to produce instant, tangible results with lower cost. For a major bank, we used the hybrid approach to complete the 50M+ USD Dodd-Frank implementation project. It was right at the verge of catastrophe and then we changed our approach to agile. Obviously, for such a large and global project, waterfall is not the right methodology. Furthermore, due to the externally imposed timeline and the tight schedule, the business stakeholders were asking for continuous deliverables. Though we have to implement the necessary checks and balances to overcome the compromised quality of deliverables but the project was completed successfully despite all the setbacks and pitfalls. In fact, being both PMP® and CSM certified and with my experience outlined above as well as with other large and complex projects/programs, I will certainly recommend the agile approach. The only exception to it is when the project is of smaller size and local in nature (empirically not spanning across more than one country or a state within the country) when I would recommend for the waterfall approach. Lastly, with my experience on Wagile – a hybrid approach - I wouldn’t recommend it at all.

Jocelyne EL Khoury
October 2019 Edition
Jocelyne EL Khoury

Jocelyne EL Khoury

Head of IT PMO - BLF Bank

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It is evident that not all projects are the same, and thus not one methodology can replace the others. However, in this new digital era, where customer expectations are evolving fast, and companies looking to new ways to deliver value through better customer experience and improved products features. In this new digital world, where the customer is at the center of any new initiative, companies are adopting agile methodologies where they can easily experiment with new ideas, build prototypes, and pivot when needed. Agile became vital for any company that is willing to survive the competition or benefit from the digital capabilities to lead the market.

Paula Suda
October 2019 Edition
Paula Suda

Paula Suda

Senior Project Manager

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The best methodology will strongly depend on the combination of Project goals + Workplace Culture + team knowledge + organizational maturity level. The most important point when choosing a methodology is a way to achieve goals, not the goal itself. Forget about the old battle Waterfall x Agile x Hybrid – focus on change management, communication, simplicity and smart goals.

Héctor Vega
October 2019 Edition
Héctor Vega

Héctor Vega

Director de PMO Global

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The best methodology to manage a project is the one that best suits the project. And what I say is "obvious", but unfortunately today it is not usual. Either due to ignorance of Agile, or because we want to apply Agile at all costs, we find projects that are not managed properly, which causes one way or another the failure of it. The answer is to "apply common sense" in the decisions we make and talking about the matter, in the choice of the methodologies that will be used to manage a given project. The Hybrid approach gives us freedom, and forces us to apply common sense, having to analyze the different stages of the project to apply in each one the methodology that best fits. I bet on "common sense", and if Hybrid let you apply it, go for it.

Rita El Chammas
October 2019 Edition
Rita El Chammas

Rita El Chammas

Project Manager

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Attitude of the project team is what matters the most in a project! It should be always agile! Promoting flexibility, self-organizing, transparency. To be able to adapt to changes and environment, to motivate and be motivated, to seek for success. Communication, connection and retrospectives are very encouraging in a project! We should all be aligned on the project objectives, scope, and risks. We all share same vision and we should all be involved in the planning and analysis! As a team, we should learn from our and other mistakes without blaming putting ourselves in other shoes to understand their pains or problems and willing to help. Agile focuses on deliverables and profits for sure but at the same time promotes team spirit, human values, success and achievements! “Agile” is essential to conduct a healthy and dynamic project. Planning and deadlines are also important; a project not organized without reporting tool is a mess! Project managers should adopt a project methodology tailored according to the industry, environment and the stakeholders involved in the project always in agile spirit respecting phases and deadlines. If Hybrid is the way, we plan tailored and organized project using agile principles! Let us go Hybrid!

Simon Robvertson
October 2019 Edition
Simon Robvertson

Simon Robvertson

Programme Manager and Agile Coach

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That depends on the purpose of the project. If we are talking new concepts/proof of concepts/software related delivery/websites etc /process development/software integration I find Agile a shoe-in. However, if you are looking for a methodology to deliver hard products - i.e construction, networks and infrastructure then Waterfall does it fine. That said I have successfully brought some agile thinking into Waterfall projects - stand-ups, Kanban, collaborative decision making, co-located teams and servant-leadership thinking. If you are looking at Enterprise scale Agile - Portfolio/Programme/project - where there is requirements for traceability and audit trails, as well as more rigorous documentation then a Hybrid approach really works - taking the best of Agile and bringing the governance of waterfall into play. There are two best known models for Enterprise level Hybrid approaches - developed by Dean Leffingwell - SAFe, and, Scott Ambler - Disciplined Agile.

Cesar Martins
October 2019 Edition
Cesar Martins

Cesar Martins

Project Manager

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Agile and Waterfall oppose each other. Therefore, the worst is to mix them into one project. Unless you have created your own hybrid methodology after sufficient testing and validation in your living organization, do not consider using it. Agile fits better into contracts that allow incremental deliveries and once good communication between business and engineering staff can be implemented. This is often found in innovation efforts, software development, and startups. Waterfall works well for building products that can be described in detail earlier, at the design stage, and as long as you don't anticipate major changes to the products over the duration of your project. In Waterfall, project success is more about getting lower costs, higher quality and meeting tight deadlines. In Agile, success is measured by the value you really deliver and, most importantly, by how much you learned during the project, in order to make improvements to your product that actually contributed to raise your customer response rates. PMs must understand both methodologies so that they can make a decision on which one to apply depending on each scenario.

Hussam Mandil
October 2019 Edition
Hussam Mandil

Hussam Mandil

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There is no such thing as “the best methodology”. The ideal method is the one that simply works and serves in delivering the project successfully. I have read several books on project management and each book supports a different methodology that actually worked best with the author . From my experience, I always go traditional (waterfall) when it comes to infrastructure projects. Projects that actually requires more than 4 weeks to get a single millstone done, for example, delivering a server rack or connecting a fiber optic cable between two sites. On the other hand, if it’s a software project with a lot of ambiguities, I go agile. Agile will work well if the scope is not clear at the beginning of the project, for example, what menu items you really need in the home page or what color is more comfortable to the end-user and so on. So change requests will be easy to implement as in agile we use adaptive or iterative planning method by involving the end-user more frequently.

Jonathan Ray
October 2019 Edition
Jonathan Ray

Jonathan Ray

Agile Enthusiast | Certified Scrum Master | Agile Coach

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Some common factors to consider when electing a strategy for the upcoming project. • Size of the project • Duration • Complexity • Clients or stakeholders, external and internal Projects suited for a Waterfall methodology • Projects that need direct designing and in-depth documentation • Projects with a fixed scope, time and budget • Best for straightforward, unchanging projects (legacy) • Sequential/linear stages • Projects with an absent client Projects suited for an Agile methodology • Projects where your organization is responsible for the whole process • Continuous cycles • Projects with flexible evolution • Larger, undefined, complex projects • Projects with client involvement (customer focus) When determining the methodology to use, an organization should initially address the points above in order to know the proper approach that may match the legacy system(s), and upcoming projects. From my personal experience, I even have seen that the toughest challenges in transitioning from Waterfall to an Agile methodology is that the Product Owner will have a tough time changing his/her mindset of “owning” a specific deliverable till it's handed off, as opposed to working on each deliverable conjointly. As a Scrum Master, I am always going to say that the true strength lies in people working together towards a common goal regardless of the chosen methodology.

Khaled  Irar
October 2019 Edition
Khaled  Irar

Khaled Irar

Managing Director

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I would say the best methodology is the Hybrid one. Project management is a not a rigid science, it is flexible enough to cope with the ever changing environment around the project. Fast changes require faster response and project managers should not restrict themselves to one way of managing these endeavors. Clients, sponsors and other stakeholders care only about what the project has to produce within the defined time frame and allocated budget. If the adopted methodology is not effective in achieving those requirements, the project manager should be able to swing between whatever methodologies to reach the final result that pleases key stakeholders if not all. I am not a big fan of “The end justifies the means” in project management; however, it is totally applicable and permissible. In the end, stakeholders look at what you have achieved and not how you achieved it.

Ruchita Malik
October 2019 Edition
Ruchita Malik

Ruchita Malik

Program Manager

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Though the Buzzword is "Agile" but when we are working on legacy projects we end up using Hybrid methodology. In my view, it is driven by the organisation, Project Type and Client Expectations. Hybrid, of course, picks up the best from both sides and follows easy learning curve which makes it convenient for everyone to get involved. But sooner rather than later moving to Agile is the way forward.