Q&A Session with David Robins: Hybrid Project Management

There has been a lot of talk about Hybrid Project Management recently.   There has been more talk in academic circles about how to hybrid project management and a couple of our longtime customers that you have been using the Binfire online project management software have been asking about it as well.  The question that most people have is whether this is a new methodology or just a rebranding.   We’ve listed some of the most common questions and provide some guidance about how to use it.

Question.  What is the hybrid project management?

Answer. Hybrid project management combines Agile and traditional (waterfall) fall project management methodologies to create a method for delivering product enhancements in a very short time and not lose the focus on the ultimate goal and product functionality.

Question.  Is hybrid a new methodology?

Answer.  No hybrid is not a new methodology, but a fusion of two old methodologies. It has been practiced by experienced project managers for many years under different names. Recently the name “Hybrid Project Management” has gained acceptance.

Question.  Is this a formal methodology?

Answer.  Yes.  Hybrid is a formal methodology and is gaining traction with both academia and professionals.

Question.  How is hybrid different from Structured Agile?

Answer.  It is the same methodologies with two different names. “Hybrid” project management is a better description of the underlying methodology.

Question.  Is this a new methodology or just another way of saying we use Agile and Waterfall based on the particular situation?

Answer.  It is a new way of doing things, having a short focus on product features and a long focus on the final result.

Question.  Is there a risk of not doing either Agile or Waterfall properly?

Answer.  No, in fact, it reinforces doing both better and more professionally.

Question.  Is Hybrid more relevant for any particular industry or type of project?

Answer.  All industries can use Hybrid.  For very short projects of less than 3 months, it is better to use Agile only.

Question.  Does Hybrid work in an organization of all sizes?

Answer.  Yes, it is not a function on the size of the team or organizations.  In fact, even long-term personal projects could use Hybrid.

Question.  Are there any particular challenges using Hybrid in remote teams?

Answer.  NO, the exact set of challenges like all other methodologies

Question.  Does Hybrid require special training?  (Most people are not trained on both Agile and Waterfall, so how do you bridge the two?)

Answer.  Yes, if people are trained in both Agile and Waterfall there is less to learn.  The challenge is to get into the mindset of having sprint for short-term delivery and organizing for long-term product success.

Question.  What are the advantages and disadvantages of Hybrid?

Answer.  Advantages are that makes product delivery faster, exposes issues much earlier and the final result is always better. There are no major disadvantages.

Question. Is there any particular project management software best suited to support Hybrid?

Answer.  Yes.  You need a project management software that integrates both Agile (Kanban, Scrum etc.) and Work Breakdown Structure (WBS).

Question. Can you talk about your experiences using Hybrid and how that differed from using other methodologies?

Answer.  In the past twenty years, I have used Hybrid on small and large projects with great success. This has enabled us to deliver product enhancements every month.  At the same time, we can focus the final goal without getting distracted.

Question Are there any specific metrics to measure Hybrid?

Answer.  Like all other methodologies, time to market, cost, and quality of output.

Do you have a question about Hybrid Project Management?  Answer it below and we will answer.

David Robins


David Robins is the founder and CEO of Binfire. David studied at both Cornell and MIT, and was the Director of Software Engineering at Polaroid for 11 years.

1 Comment
  1. Dear David,
    Interesting piece on the hybrid project management methodology. I am currently writing my master's thesis on this topic to show the benefit of implementing the hybrid project management methodology as opposed to Agile only or Waterfall only. I am required to present detailed case studies of how the methodology was implemented, success rates, problems and business impacts to illustrate its benefits and I have searched desperately to no avail until I came across your article.It almost seems like no organization is implementing it. Please can you be of help? I'd appreciate whatever help I can get.

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