Regardless of which method is applied in a software implementation, project success results from the skillful balance of the magic triangle of time, budget, and quality. At the same time, the functional requirements of the business users must be captured and fulfilled on an ad-hoc basis. Here we describe how this balance can be achieved.
Initial Situation and Challenge
Larger companies are used to the benefits of a standardized approach in the realization and documentation of their projects. This ensures time and budget requirements as well as the functional and technical specifications previously defined in the contract.
On our customer site, mostly we see IT projects with a sequential phase progression such as the traditional waterfall model. But these approaches face some special challenges such as late end user testing, change request management, top management reporting requirements, etc.
An alternative is offered by agile project management methods, such as SCRUM, which have gained popularity in recent years. These methods are well suited, especially if requirements can be implemented without major dependencies on other projects, departments, or software architectures.
Procedure for Hybrid Project Management
A decision for or against the traditional or agile method is not necessary. A hybrid approach uses the advantages of both methods in the best possible way.
Hybrid project management maintains the classic project framework structures such as organizational structure and process organization while incorporating various agile elements. As a simple example, we recommend the introduction of the “Daily Scrum”, a daily 15-minute review of current and upcoming tasks and eventual problems. This can be integrated into any team with little effort and high benefit.
Another example can be the Water Scrum Case Method. Here, entire Scrum cycles are used within a traditional project management frame. Already in the planning phase of traditional project management, subsections are defined for later agile implementation. This means that the deliverables realized in several successive sprints are bundled into one package and delivered in major releases or milestones.
The split into partly agile and partly traditional project execution can also be done within the organization. For example, we recommend enabling stakeholders to participate in sprint reviews as well as inviting the Scrum Master to regular meetings of the project management organization. Open communication facilitates the understanding between different business units and increases the acceptance of the joint or mutual approach.
Our Recommendation for Choosing the Hybrid Project Management
If you want to bring agility and flexibility into everyday project work without leaving the traditional project management frame, we recommend a hybrid approach that makes use of individual elements or methodologies of agile project management, or that bundles individual project phases into agile work packages. In this way, it is possible to remain true to the traditional project structures and still become agile.
Goals of the Hybrid Project Management
- Optimize project success (budget, time, quality)
- Show early results
- Satisfaction of the client
- Meeting traditional business conditions and project requirements
- Maximize motivation of the project team and stakeholders
- Analysis of the given project requirements and their pain points
- Differentiation between project phases with clear plannability and complex architecture and sections that require agility and flexibility
- Creation of corresponding work packages for traditional and agile project management methods
- Identification of the right project management methodology for the project and/or the business unit
- Competent application of hybrid project management methods
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