The Rise & Rise of Hybrid Project Management

In my previous post, I briefly talked about the origins of project management. However, I believe that an appropriate preface to this discussion topic is to study the history and evolution of project management in depth, which will lay the groundwork for discussing the latest trends in the field of project management sounds absurd.

The project management shares its existence and evolutionary timeline with humans, but was not named at the time, and was named later that day. However, the history of project management is relatively new.

Before defining and naming project management, there are projects. The pharaohs built the pyramids of Egypt around 2500 BC. C. To this day, there is still no answer to the question of how they can achieve such an engineering miracle without the help of any modern tools that we know. However, there are records showing that even at that time, there were managers responsible for the four faces of the Great Pyramid. Another example of a great project management feat is the Great Wall of China built around 208 BC. C.

This shows that building this world miracle requires a lot of planning. Historical data shows that the labor force of this large-scale project is organized into groups. There are three kinds of things we know: soldiers, civilians, and criminals. Millions of people were asked to complete this project.

Fast forward thousands of years and the need for more significant structures in construction, manufacturing, and transportation in the 19th century led to the birth of modern project management as we recognize it today. Although there may not have been any considerations about task management, scope, or workload at the time, there must be leaders at work, and there must be some budget, even if it is open, there is some sort of schedule. But with practice comes process and improvement, as we will see.

It wasn't until the 1900s that project management as we know it began to take shape. With the industrialization of projects, their management process has undergone a revolution.

Henry Gantt (Henry Gantt) correctly received the title of the father of modern project management, he created a programming chart (later called a Gantt chart) in 1917, using a visual timeline to draw tasks with a continuous point at a time and link them in the following situations are dependent. This was used in the construction of the Hoover Dam in 1931 and remains the cornerstone of modern engineering and project management.

Dupont developed the critical path method in 1957, the program evaluation and review technique in 1958, and the work breakdown structure in 1962. Both were developed by the US Department of Defense. was formulated in 1984. The Scrum model was defined in 1984. The creation of the Agile Manifesto in 2001 was a significant milestone in the history of project management. At the same time, the formation of organizations/institutions such as the American Society of Cost Engineers (1956), the International Project Management Association (1965), the Project Management Association (1969), and the Controlled Environment Project (1996) was created by the government Brit provided Cultivate and developed the urgently needed project management theory.

With globalization and the need to accelerate the commercialization of products and services, projects have become more prominent, more complex, and increasingly challenging to manage. The team has become more diversified, spread around the world, cutting costs instead of corners, improving product and service functions, and making corrections while "the machine is still running" is an eternal necessity.

There is no doubt that better technologies exist that combine enhanced artificial intelligence (what machines learn from humans) and machine learning (what humans/machines learn from machines). These are powerful weapons for modern project managers. However, in addition to these tools and techniques, project management methods need to be more adaptable, flexible, agile, and visual. Does hybrid project management provide all these and more features? Let's keep reading.

The best project management method used on a project depends on the size of the team, the experience of the team, and the complexity of the project. Hybrid project management combines the advantages of agility in terms of speed of execution with the detailed planning and clarity of objectives that traditional project management provides. Hybrid project management methods are best suited for most projects where agile or cascading methods cannot meet project needs.

Hybrid approaches include the best principles implemented in the management of agile projects and traditional methods. In hybrid methodology, projects are classified as manageable components called subprojects by discipline (hardware, software, machinery, etc.) or functions (such as navigation subsystems, and computer modules). This simplification can be achieved using a work breakdown structure or WBS.

If the project is divided from the perspective of functions, the waterfall is used to assign the requirements and specifications path to the developments, tests, and final versions of our customers. Each component is specified in more detail and developed using the Agile Project Management method as Scrum.

The hybrid project management approach, all high-level tasks, interactions (dependencies), and the final delivery of the product are defined by the conventional method (work breakdown structure). Then Agile is used to accelerate the development of each component in the plan and its subcomponents. This defines a clear interface between the different sides. The hybrid approach is easy. It allows a good quality product that has less development period, faster response and adjusts to changes in the market.

The agile method is played after each component of the project is divided into tasks that can take months to several months. These components are further broken down into 4-6 weeks of the release of the Sprint product. Here, all the principles used for the agile project management method are applied. The results of each Sprint are tested and sent to the markets (if applicable) or are used as a basis for the next Sprint. These repetitions continue to prepare themselves to be ready to be sent to the market.

In the traditional method, the entire project plan is defined and planned before the project starts. In Agile, only the first sprint is planned. Hybrid project management recommends a complete project plan but does not define the details of each sprint until the first sprint is completed. The project manager is fully responsible for planning, and each Sprint is managed by the Scrum Master.

Hybrid project management methods are recommended to follow agile methods. In each iteration, customer feedback is sought, tests are performed, and corrections are made to achieve continuous improvement. Formal methods are used to define the results of each iteration.

In Hybrid, the project manager is assigned overall ownership of the project, and the individual Scrum Master is responsible for running the Sprint. Reporting is a shared responsibility that requires continuous collaboration and communication.

Final thoughts:

In conclusion, Hybrid project management, despite all its novelties, is still in its infancy, this method has not yet been officially recognized by global project management agencies. However, this methodology seems to be recognized by professionals, and it is only a matter of time before it outperforms many existing methods. When we see the rise and rise of the hybrid model, the pioneers of this school of thought are driving a paradigm shift in the field of project management. Pay attention to this space for more information.

Najmul Hussain

MBA, PgMP®, PMP®, PBA, ACP®, RMP® (Retd)
Founder and Former Vice President - PMI UAE Chapter

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