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Transitioning to something new can be difficult, which is why many businesses are finding that rather than shifting to an entirely new project management methodology, the path of least resistance lies in a hybrid stage between different methodologies. The common mix that forms a hybrid methodology project management approach is between Agile methodologies, such as Scrum and Kanban, and more traditional methodologies like Waterfall and TOC (the Theory of Constraints).

As we’ve looked at before, changing processes or how your team plans its workflows doesn’t (and shouldn’t) have to mean throwing out what works and taking a risk on something new. By taking a more measured approach to introducing Agile practices, teams can keep the structure that has worked for years for strategic planning but bring in Agile functions for more short-term operations.

If you’re looking to build a hybrid project management methodology that works for your team and its specific circumstances, here’s how to go about it.

Assess a framework that fits

Though adopting hybrid methodology project management may just sound like a haphazard way of letting a team do whatever they want at the time, in reality it requires a much more organized and planned approach. Some projects and tasks will be more amenable to a hybrid approach than others, so it is always wise to assess how not only a current project, but also future ones will benefit from a hybrid approach, and then creating a framework that effectively blends methodologies to suit your needs.

Maintain clearly defined roles

One of the greatest dangers of adopting a hybrid approach is people not fully understanding the roles they are meant to be taking on. This can cause confusion as to responsibility and delays in sign-off for tasks, creating major problems for your project.

Take, for example, the roles of a project manager in Waterfall and a Scrum Master in Scrum, which are reasonably analogous. It cannot be assumed that under a hybrid methodology, each PM understands they will have to slot in as a Scrum Master where required and vice versa.

To ensure seamless implementation of a hybrid approach, take the time to walk the team through how responsibilities, delegation and roles will be affected.

Allow time for changes to bed in

Any time someone learns something new, they’re not going to be as good or quick at it as they would be with something they’ve been doing for years. Changing project management methodologies means accepting that there will be short-term delays or issues, but that the change will eventually lead to a bigger long-term pay-off.

Using a hybrid methodology allows you to stagger those delays by incrementally adopting new work practices and making the transition smoother, even if at the cost of taking longer.

Ensure clients and stakeholders are on board

With changes to processes and how deliverables will be planned and delivered, it’s vital to make sure that clients and stakeholders know what’s coming. Even changes in terminology can cause confusion and misunderstandings, such as talking in sprints and product backlogs when a client is used to simply hearing about deliverables, due dates and project progress.

As a hybrid project management methodology is built around being flexible and accommodating various approaches, it’s also important to remember that this applies to those outside the team as well.

Increase your business agility with Clarizen’s project management software

Implementing a hybrid methodology project management program can be an effective and innovative way to gradually introduce new, more efficient work practices or to choose what might work best for your team. One of the best ways to ensure it succeeds is by using project management software that has the flexibility to adapt to the way you work. This is exactly what the Clarizen suite of products is all about, giving your team the freedom to work exactly how they want. To find out more, get in touch with our team today for a live demo.

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