, Agile vs. Hybrid Approaches – Which Will Stay On Top, Eylean Blog, Eylean BlogLast week I introduced you to the hybrid WaterScrumFall model that merges the Waterfall and Scrum practices in order to create a happy medium of both worlds. While it is not the likeliest of merges, many companies out there find it to be a viable option for their situation and happily use it. However, there are also those that claim this model is ineffective and faulty therefore this week I want to dive into their side of the story.

According to a recent study by TechBeacon, Agile projects are more successful than hybrid ones. This is a bold statement to be made, especially when keeping in mind that most companies deal with different processes, situations and in general are very diverse. However, the study focused on development and IT professionals show substantial results in favor of Agile.

Amongst the interviewed companies, both Agile and hybrid approaches are widely used as project management practices. The difference between their numbers is not really significant Agile taking the first and Hybrid approaches the second place. Where a difference does come in though is the satisfaction level. Agile users are generally happy with the project outcomes all around, while the hybrid users seem to have issues with six important metrics – Quality and performance, Time to market, Speed of delivery, Scope, Security & Cost and use of resources.

All of these metrics show over 50% or 60% success rate with Agile practices and only around 30% success rate with hybrid methods. So while WaterScrumFall seems to be great on paper, does it fail in reality?

Where the hybrid fails

We can easily find the answer to this question, by actually looking at the metrics themselves.

  • Quality and performance talks about product that fits the client requirements and is produced effectively. Agile practices with their iterative approach and work organized around the product are built for this. The hybrid method on the other hand keeps the design first, build later attitude and can fail to reach that changing expectations of the client.
  • Time to market is also much shorter with Agile not only due to design on the go, but also because the practice focuses on the minimum viable product and can release it much sooner.
  • Speed of delivery is much simpler to achieve with Agile. While both methods hold review meetings with clients, hybrid teams’ product is not yet tested and not ready to be used contrary to Agile teams’.
  • Scope. By keeping with the waterfall planning approach, hybrid methods lose the ability to plan on the go and thus may miss some of the client requirements that may have been miscommunicated at the beginning or only arose during the course of the project.
  • While Security satisfaction rate reaches 45% with hybrid and just under 60% with Agile users, this is still a significant difference. Which could be explained by the more control Agile projects have during the course of the product creation compared to the hybrid approach.
  • Lastly, the Cost and use of resources is undoubtedly lower when everything is planned on the go, according to the projects needs instead of preplanning and blindly following the course.


Which to choose?

So while WaterScrumFall aims to merge the best of both worlds it still falls short in comparison to pure Agile methods. In the midst of two different approaches merging and mixing, it is hard to keep track of all the processes and ensure that the most effective path prevails. Nonetheless, for cases where pure Agile adoption is not a viable solution, it may be a better choice to choose a hybrid instead of not innovating at all.