PMP Exam Prep Hybrid Projects
While agile methods have many benefits, such as more customer interactions, it can be very difficult to implement on a project with a large team and many moving parts such as constructing a large bridge for a major city.
Also, many companies that come from traditional project management methodology find it difficult to implement pure agile. In these scenarios, companies implement what is known as hybrid project management.
Hybrid includes both traditional methods and agile methods. Combinations of these methods can be done in a few different ways.
One way is to have parts of the project done using agile, and other parts done using a traditional method. As an example, you might decide to code the software elements of a project using agile and use traditional predictive methods for the deployment.
When using this method, portions of the project with a lot of uncertainty, complexity, and risks will be developed using agile, and parts of it that are more defined and repeatable will follow a traditional predictive approach.
For example, when a software development project starts, gathering requirements and building the software will have a lot of uncertainty and will follow an agile approach, while the roll-out at the end of the releases will generally follow a more predictive traditional approach since the organization has done this many times.
Another way hybrid could be done would be when companies incorporate both methods at the same time. While this may be more complex, it would allow traditional projects to have more customer interactions and welcome changes. They would also be using agile practices such as incorporating daily stand-up meetings, short iterations, and retrospectives.
Organizations may typically do this when they are transitioning from a traditional project style to be more agile. Work would still be done using more upfront estimation and planning while they would use shorter iterations.
A few other ways hybrid can be done is when a project is using a predictive approach with a very small section using agile or an agile project using a predictive method for a very small part.
Keep in mind that there is no right or wrong way to conduct hybrid project management. The hybrid method a company develops will generally be based on the specific project they are working on, and the needs of the stakeholders on that project.
A project that requires a high velocity of changes and refinements may have many of its phases done using agile and only a few of them using traditional methods.
A project that is more predictive and has been done many times, and has only a few phases with uncertainty would only use a little bit of agile throughout the entire project life cycle. This will vary greatly from company to company, and from project to project within those companies.
As a PMP, you would just need to understand the overall framework for agile projects and traditional predictive projects.
In 2019 PMI conducted a study in PMI’s pulse for the profession global project management survey that found 60% of companies in the survey that are highly proficient in agile project management use hybrid project management all of the time or most of the time.
Project management is all about delivering value, and if using a combination of the different agile methods along with traditional predictive methods is what it takes to deliver value to your stakeholders, then that is the best method for the organization.
As a PMP you should not be resistant to trying different methods and mixing them. Sometimes the best method is not an extreme of one method, but a mixture of many.
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