Waterfall vs Agile vs Hybrid? Which one should you choose?

Waterfall, Agile, or Hybrid? This is the first question that every sponsor should answer before running projects in full steam. Oftentimes, organizations would stick to the default mode of running their initiatives.

An enterprise would typically stick to a predictive or waterfall approach, or a startup would often choose an agile or an adaptive approach. Both methodologies have their own pros and cons, so the question now is, is there a way to bring them together to leverage the best of both worlds?

What is Hybrid Project Management?

Hybrid project management is a methodology that combines the structure of a waterfall and the adaptability of agile implementation. Typically, organizations would choose a hybrid approach when they run complex projects that have a lot of unknowns such as innovations, process re-engineering, and business transformations; while at the same time, maintaining the high governance and compliance requirements that are mandatory within their organization.

Waterfall vs Agile vs Hybrid

So, how would you know which methodology to take? We prepared this simple table to guide you.

Project Tailoring

Use the table above as a quick reference to decide which project management methodology would fit your requirements. Note that this is not an exhaustive list, and there are other factors to consider before deciding which approach to take. In fact, the most recent version of the Project Management Institute (PMI) body of knowledge, recommends a process called Tailoring. In this activity, the right approach is determined based on project objectives, needs, and constraints.

Jumpstarting your Hybrid Project Management journey

If you are looking to jumpstart your hybrid project management journey, it is best to leverage existing industry standards and best practices to reduce the risk of error and loss, such as hybrid project management turn-key systems and templates, such as this Hybrid Project management system in Notion.

Beyond the technicalities, having the right stakeholder mindset and most importantly, support is absolutely necessary to ensure a successful implementation.

Change is inherent in complex and innovative projects, and nobody should expect that everything will stay the same during the course of execution. The focus on business value delivered agile governance and having stakeholders with an adaptive mindset are key to a successful hybrid project management execution.

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