In today’s Project Management Office (PMO), the line between Waterfall and Agile projects is not always clear. Different projects require different approaches – regardless of what Project Managers (PMs) think or prefer. Having a hybrid, or WAgile, environment may actually benefit your Project Portfolio Management (PPM) organization as a whole. Blending the two methodologies can give a project the best of both worlds.
What Is WAgile?
The traditional approach to project management is called Waterfall. Waterfall projects logically flow from one distinct stage to another, from conception to deployment. No one moves to the next phase of the project until the previous one is complete, and no stage is ever revisited within the process.
Agile project management, on the other hand, employs shorter, more intense development cycles known as sprints. These sprints rely heavily on inter-team collaboration and customer involvement. Instead of moving from one unique phase to another, Agile projects deliver the final product in stages; team members make constant adjustments throughout the process.
WAgile is a hybrid of both methodologies. It typically occurs when an Agile project turns into a string of short Waterfalls. While many PMs view this approach as an inefficient mistake, a strong case can be made for the contrary. WAgile is simply a response to today’s development demands. It offers PMOs ultimate flexibility to meet the needs of both customers and resources.
When Do WAgile Projects Work?
The WAgile approach works when you have a project that doesn’t quite meet Agile or Waterfall characteristics. For example, it is often difficult to meet the resource requirements of a truly Agile approach; getting every team member you may need at the same time can interrupt the progress of other projects. Yet, Waterfall’s precise planning can be inefficient when it comes to resource utilization as well; personnel may sit idle as they wait for their phase to begin.
A WAgile project typically contains: