"The global health pandemic has changed the world as we know it, forcing millions of businesses worldwide to rethink their approach towards work."
In normal times, the implemented project management methodology is a key factor for project success. During a pandemic, and while working remotely, the impact of the implemented methodology became more significant and even more vital to a project’s completion.
Most of the surveys, researches and findings confirm the prevalence of hybrid approaches to project management. Let’s takes a step toward understanding the relative impact of hybrid approaches to project management when combining different methodologies & practices to manage a single project.
What is a PROJECT MANAGEMENT APPROACH?
In the practitioner literature, the project management approach is the highest level of abstraction used when describing how a project will be designed and governed (with a set of general principles and guidelines).
A methodology is more prescriptive and granular than an approach; it provides project managers combination of practices (detailed operational guidance) of how to manage a project like holding daily standup meetings, using a Kanban board, developing a WBS, or using a risk register.
Today, there are several major approaches to managing projects. Traditional and agile approaches are well established in researches and operations (managing projects), while the hybrid approach is emerging.
What is WATERFALL? AGILE? And HYBRID? (in a minute)
The waterfall approach is a linear and predictable project planning practice(s) designed to achieve a well-understood, achievable set of objectives. While, agile is an adaptable approach that leads to dividing the work into distinct iterations throughout the project, along with the distribution of responsibility to team members and the inclusion of project stakeholders in (formal and informal) communications.
And now, the Hybrid approach... this one combines the previously mentioned approaches (traditional and agile) by blending their methodologies and practices. In other words, it is the best of both approaches.
Historically, project success was measured with a focus on meeting the triple constraints of time, budget, and scope. Currently, project success is recognized as a multidimensional construct including the industry, project complexity, team size, stakeholder involvement, and company & team competencies.
A hybrid approach to project management can provide potential improvements by combining practices to provide the same budget and time and scope and quality outcomes commensurate with traditional approaches, while at the same time attaining the same level of stakeholder success that agile approaches deliver.
The hybrid approach can provide potential improvements to the prediction of the budget, time, scope and quality outcomes commensurate with traditional approaches, while at the same time attaining the same level of stakeholder success that agile approaches deliver.
Thus, when selecting the hybrid approach, you can define project constraints using waterfall practices, plan & execute with Agile, and close with waterfall to speed up the whole process without compromising the project constraints and minimizing the risk. It is much like creating a picture designed from puzzle pieces by:
- Defining requirements upfront sets the stage for future sprints
- Collaborating with your stakeholders in proactively
- Testing throughout sprints, and full regression before closing the project.
Message for the traditional managers
Remember, the "Hybrid" is your future standard approach, and It can be a (practical) transitional approach for traditional organizations attempting to become wholly agile.
Message for the agilists
Do not consider the hybrid approach as a "malformation" approach... (we) believe those project managers using the hybrid approach are incorporating at least one of the fundamental agile principles, which is specifically that business and technical people work together throughout the project. So!... use the "Hybrid" approach as a solution when needed without compromising your "principles".
Quantitative and qualitative research and standards bodies are predicting that hybrid approaches are prevalent and a natural choice for project managers. The conditions that lead to the adoption of hybrid approaches are unlikely to disappear, and (we) expect them to be significant if not the dominant way projects will be conducted in the foreseeable future.
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Founder of Zmaestro ◼️ Consultant ◼️ Mentor | www.hanihmedeh.com
Hani's professional journey is a testament to his remarkable transformation from an IT specialist to a visionary project management practitioner. As he has evolved, so has his perspective on the art of project management, which he believes is about implementing project science in a custom and innovative way.
With over a decade of experience in managing teams in regional and international companies, Hani founded Zmaestro, a project management consultancy firm, in 2018, and Zfactory, an Online services provider specializing in digital transformation, in 2021. Throughout his career, he has supported individuals, groups, startups, and small and mid-level firms in Lebanon, the Gulf, France, and Canada to achieve their professional goals.
In addition, Hani is a leading figure in the global project management community, having launched several projects such as pmmagazine.net, an online project management magazine in 2018, and pmdictionary.com, an online project management dictionary in 2023.
Currently, Hani is committed to mentoring, consulting, and coaching project managers, program managers, and portfolio managers to overcome their challenges and achieve their career aspirations. His focus is on developing and delivering programs that foster engaged teams and drive successful outcomes. At the corporate level, Hani serves as a consultant and advisor to companies of different sizes and industries, helping them achieve their next level of Organizational Project Management (OPM) maturity for superior strategic planning outcomes.
Hani's extensive knowledge and expertise make him a sought-after professional in the industry. He is passionate about helping others achieve their full potential and driving success through effective project management.