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Trends in Project Management Series - Trend # 2 Hybrid Project Delivery

Before reading on…check out the first two blogs in our 2020 Trends in Project Management series; Trends in Project Management Introduction and Trend #1 -  Cultural and Emotional Intelligence, where we started exploring the top trends in project management in 2020.  Today, we are discussing the second trend: Hybrid Project Delivery.

The current environmental challenges can be made better by applying Cultural and Emotional Intelligence concepts (hyperlink), but they also affect the mechanics of how projects are executed. The rapid pace of change and the complexity that these challenges are imposing on companies are creating greater urgency for business leaders to deliver the results of their projects more quickly. This emphasis on speed of delivery drives the need to rely more heavily on Agile delivery methods. Managers must be flexible and effective at adapting the various project delivery methods to optimize project execution.

There are several recognized project delivery methodologies: Waterfall; Agile; Scrum; Prince2; and SAFe; to name a few. Anyone who continues to believe in the superiority of one methodology over the others is at risk of missing out. All these methodologies are sound and have their uses. But none will ever be the right solution for everything, any more than a screwdriver will always be the right tool for every household renovation project. All methodologies have their domain of application. Today’s environment requires project managers to be much more flexible and innovative in applying approaches, practices, and tools. The breakdown illustrated below, of emerging methodologies in use, demonstrates the extent to which the variety of project delivery approaches has grown.


Not all projects are made equal and not all aspects of each project are the same, thus teams should not necessarily be restricted to one specific methodology throughout their projects.  Project managers are applying approaches that are best for their environment and optimally deliver value to their business clients.

Perhaps that’s why the concept of hybrid project management has been gaining a lot of attention and the number of project managers and Scrum masters who are combining more than one methodology is increasing day by day. Hybrid project management refers to methods combining approaches from the traditional PM waterfall and the agile word. Mixing the traditional approach with the Agile methodology, team members with different tasks, deliverables, and working styles can work together in their own way making way for more efficiency, engagement, and effectiveness. Combining traditional waterfall methods to manage the simple and linear aspects of projects with Agile or Scrum methods for more complex tasks & less well-defined deliverables and outcomes, results in more efficient delivery of project outcomes.


The best approach is one that can be adapted to align with shifting requirements, teams, and goals.

There has recently been significant adoption of various Agile techniques in project delivery as illustrated below.


Though Agile approaches and techniques are becoming more prevalent day by day, penetration of Agile as a dominant delivery methodology is not as great as we might expect. The 14th annual State of Agile survey provides insights into the application of Agile across different areas of the enterprise and about Value Stream Management. Over 40,000 Agile executives, practitioners, and consultants have participated in the State of Agile survey since its inception. As we review the results (illustrated below), we see that the vast majority of respondents (84%) said their organizations were below a high level of competency with Agile practices. This result signals ongoing opportunities for improvement in adoption and capability through investment in training and coaching.


Source: 14th Annual state of Agile report https://stateofagile.com/#ufh-i-615706098-14th-annual-state-of-agile-report/7027494

A classic example of the emergence of the Hybrid Project Delivery Methodology is SAP Activate. Recently, the world’s largest and most recognized ERP software provider has developed and rolled out a Project Deliver Methodology tailored to the implementation of their most recent SAP S/4HANA platform and Fiori user interface (UI). SAP Activate is the latest implementation methodology recommended by SAP. With the advent of enhanced business functions, faster deployment, adaptable UI and an exceptional in-memory platform, SAP HANA, SAP Activate is the preferred implementation methodology. SAP Activate utilizes Agile methods combined with the traditional Waterfall method in place of the previous ASAP waterfall methodology for their ERP software solution implementation. Activate combines elements of previous waterfall methods with agile techniques to expedite the deployment of their solutions. Activate has been built as a program and project level methodology that can be relatively easily integrated into the program & portfolio frameworks in use by their customers. For more information on how SAP Activate lends itself to a Hybrid Project Delivery approach refer to these Blogs:

Activate Simple Introduction

Activate Phases Introduction

Using SAP Activate in Scaled Agile Environment (SAFe)

Join us tomorrow - we’ll walk you through the third and final trend: Application of Technology to Project Delivery.


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About the author:

Salman is a certified Project Manager with 15+ years of experience in the IT Industry, including business and technology Project/Program management and consulting experience with large scale enterprises in multiple industries. Salman has managed large, complex, and cross functional projects and programs for public sectors and leading global corporations/banks. He is well versed using Agile, Scrum and PMI methodologies and processes. Outside of work, Salman is deeply involved in community service and serves as chair of the World Partnership Walk (Canada’s largest Private Fundraiser) in Saskatchewan; and he is very passionate about playing Table Tennis and Cricket.

Brian Sulzer is a Senior Management Consultant with extensive and rich experience in a wide range of disciplines and technologies. He has successfully delivered many business modernization and technology solutions with his clients. Since 1995, he has focused on SAP project, program, and portfolio management. His expertise includes business strategy, project planning and execution for results, enterprise architecture, change management, business transformation, and modernization. Brian enjoys playing golf, long rides on his road bike and visits with his grandchildren on FaceTime. Brian is an avid community builder through his volunteer work on his neighborhood Liaison Committee.

To chat with Salman or Brian about this blog or our Project Management Services, please contact us.

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