The use of agile project management is increasing – and not only for software development projects. During these projects opportunities for improvement often crop up and objectives may change. In order to take this into account but still have a reliable and secure process, Inacta uses a hybrid project management approach. Here we explain why.
Agile project management
In contrast to the classical project management approach where the goal is considered fixed but deadlines and costs are considered flexible, it’s the other way round with the agile approach: goals are considered flexible and can change, whereas deadlines and costs are fixed aspects.
Because of these very different features, this agile approach is particularly well suited to new solutions where the requirements only become evident during implementation. Some of the other characteristics of an agile method are a short time-to-market span, ever changing achievable goals and an evolving project environment.
Hybrid project management
What happens if a project is not suited to the agile method, or is only partly suited to it? If that is the case, a hybrid approach is recommended. That means, the individual characteristics of the classic and agile approach are combined to suit the situation. There is no single hybrid process model; each case dictates the combination of features that should be used to implement a project in the best way. This combination of approaches creates a constructive interplay – on the one hand it promotes stability and security for the goal (“doing the right thing”) whilst on the other hand it should encourage a positive attitude towards improvement and change.
A project that is mainly managed in an agile manner aims to tap into the classic method’s reliability regarding planning and reporting to the project sponsor. In addition it should mean the project’s progress is transparent. To achieve this, phases or milestones can be planned and superimposed over the actual sprints and each milestone’s status can be updated after each sprint.
Open dialogue about the method used
In our digitalisation projects, we are constantly being reminded that it is essential to openly discuss the methods used. If all parties are aware of the chosen method, they can also understand behaviour during the process and the motive behind each decision. Open dialogue helps everyone to understand how outdated behaviour patterns in an organisation can be modified and efficient process models established, if the most appropriate method has been chosen. Both are prerequisites for achieving goals in the best way possible using available resources.