lessons-learnt-project-management
Photo: ”Business Models Inc meeting” by Sebastiaan ter Burg / CC BY. Adapted from original.

Mixing Agile and Classic Project Management Methodologies. I have been recently looking for lessons learnt in projects that have been managed with a mix of agile and classic project management methodologies, as I have started to apply a mix in the projects I am currently managing in a product centric company.

The reasons why I have decided to apply a mix of methodologies are:

  • The company is becoming global and that means that the products have to be deployed globally in complex system integration projects
  • The company has managed always the projects in an agile mode

From my point of view, agile methodologies are very effective when applied to product development projects but they are weak when applied in system integration projects. And on the other hand, projects managed based on PMBOK standards are proven to be very effective for complex system integration projects, therefore, I have decided to take the strengths of both methodologies and apply a mix of them.

Some preliminar conclusions (Don´t take them as references until i can prove that this mix will make these kind of projects to succeed…):

  • Product development Work Packages to be managed with an agile methodology (scrum, kanban,..)
  • System integration Work Packages to be managed based on PMBOK standards
  • Try not to share resources between the agile WPs and the PMBOK WPs
  • Do not apply agile methodologies by the book. Adapt them to your needs
  • Make the people working on the agile WPs aware of the external dependencies
  • Make use of agile tools (like Jira for example) combined with classic tools like Gantt chart, risk log, etc..
  • Quick stand ups are useful, but keep appointing regular project status meeting for sharing the status of the project with the whole project team
  • And last but not least, keep in mind the triple constraint, and do not remove scope as it is usually done in agile, if this is not agreed with your stakeholders!

Once I will successfully deliver the first project with this mix, I will share the lessons learnt!

Ricardo is an Industrial Engineer with post-graduation education in Business Administration. 12 years of professional international experience in the Telecommunications and Information Technology sectors in EMEA, LATAM and North America leading million euros projects. He holds an MBA (Instituto de Empresa), and PMP, ETOM and ITIL certifications. You can find him at Linkedin, Twitter and his personal blog.