Hybrid Approach

Agile, Waterfall, and HybridIt seems that organizations and departments have an endless number of terms to describe their project management methodologies. Ever heard of Water-Scrum-Fall? What about Agifall? Bimodal? Cross-Hybrid Antidisestablishmentarianism? (Just kidding).

Whether your organization uses Waterfall or Agile, or something in between, seeing a macro view of how these methodologies can work together will give you a better idea on how to move forward. Here are four things to consider as you think about implementing a hybrid approach:

Which is better? Bottom-Up or Top-Down?

1 – Is Your Consultant Tool Neutral or Tool Ignorant?

Many of our competitors usually exhibit a bias for one particular tool. This is fine–if you just so happen to be using that tool. But can you really be tool neutral if you don’t know how the most popular tools work?

Skilled craftspeople in any profession wield perfect precision and control over their tools. Thus, if you don’t have a deep familiarity of how to use the tools in your “shop,” it can put you at a real disadvantage. Rego and our expert consultants can help you achieve that expert control over your modern 21st century digital tools, regardless of your platform.

Which is better? Bottom-Up or Top-Down?

2 – Which is Better: Top-Down or Bottom-Up?

Using a pure top-down, command-and-control approach that dictates process and tools to Agile teams will likely not get buy-in and can discourage an entrepreneurial culture. Using a pure bottom-up approach encourages passion around an Agile team’s set of processes and tools that can result in everyone doing their own thing and having no baseline structure to scale across the organization.

Rego believes that a blend of both will result in the best long-term success for all Agile teams within an organization. This way, you can keep development teams happy, because get to do Agile. And you can also keep executives happy by giving them familiar data points and views. In many PPM tools and platforms, you can even start with a Waterfall template, but include agile phases such as sprints. It’s a win-win.

Be intentional in your approach

3 – Be Intentional in Your Approach

Every day, Rego experts help organizations across the hybrid methodology spectrum find what works best for their specific business situations. Based on that experience, we find that being intentional and deliberate about why and how can make all the difference. Here are a few things to think about:

  • Don’t just adopt a hybrid approach because you think your organization isn’t ready for Agile
    Some companies may feel compelled to implement a hybrid approach for the wrong reasons. For instance, if they have practices they’re really comfortable with, letting go can be hard–even if it’s absolutely the right thing to do from a business and process perspective.
  • Understand the root causes of success
    Several companies have far exceeded their competitors by adopting Agile approaches. Does that mean you should jump in and do exactly what they’re doing? Not necessarily. Look at their business, look at their processes, look at the competition. Why did their approach work? How was their situation similar to yours? What factors do you face that they didn’t? It’s fine to be inspired by the success of others, but it’s better to be understand why things worked.
  • Avoid being Agile-ish
    Sprinkling in activities that Agile teams practice into a largely waterfall approach will likely not increase productivity and in some cases, may tank it. Have a clearly defined and clearly communicated purpose in each Agile activity you incorporate to increase your chances of success.
Discover the power of "no"

3 – Discover the power of ‘no’

Success, whether it’s a landmark product breakthrough or being first to market, is often the result of saying ‘no’ rather than saying ‘yes.’ Steve Jobs once said “People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying ‘no’ to 1,000 things.”

Consider the traffic jam. How would you get things moving faster and more consistently in this situation? The obvious answer is to place on-ramp traffic lights to limit the number of cars that get introduced to the flow of traffic. For teams looking to introduce and adopt Agile practices into their project management flow, it’s wise to limit the amount of items that teams agree to tackle.

Let Rego Be Your Guide

It’s an exciting time to work in project and portfolio management. But it’s an incredibly complicated time as well. As you seek to be faster, nimbler, and more – dare we say it, Agile? – Rego’s experts are ready and willing to help you determine the best way to incorporate Agile practices in that way that makes the most sense for you.

Hybrid Approach Guide

About the Author: Rego Consulting

As the leading Strategic Portfolio Management (SPM), Project Portfolio Management (PPM), Technology Business Management (TBM), Agile and expert services provider, Rego Consulting has helped hundreds of organizations achieve a higher return on their software investment, including 60% of Fortune 100 and 70% of Fortune 20 companies.

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