In my current company, they are using Waterfall methodology in defining the gateways for new project approval and developing detailed timeline with completion date (gantt chart).

For the development execution, we are using a hybrid software development process - DSDM / Scrum / Kanban - not defined exactly but using agile practices of each methodology.

How effective this model will work - one for Project Management and one for Software Development?

  • You seem to be asking two questions. It might be worth considering splitting them up? Right now this is difficult to answer as the scope is so broad. Mar 10, 2019 at 17:10
  • @BarnabyGolden - Thanks. I shall split them into two separate questions. Mar 11, 2019 at 5:03
  • How does project management come up with their timelines?
    – nvoigt
    Mar 11, 2019 at 6:14
  • @nvoigt Based on the "some designs up front" in the DSDM foundation phase Mar 11, 2019 at 7:29
  • You said the PMs are doing waterfall and DSDM is the execution? Wouldn't the PMs need to come up with deadlines before the execution?
    – nvoigt
    Mar 11, 2019 at 7:32

3 Answers 3


Combining an agile development approach with traditional waterfall can be highly problematic.

Effectively you have two approaches that are pulling in opposite directions. Waterfall is about planning and following plans whereas agile is about responding to change.

I have worked in organisations that attempt to combine the two approaches and some of the issues I witnessed included:

  • During development the teams were demonstrating progress and getting valuable feedback. However, it was difficult for them to incorporate this feedback as it would impact on plans, milestones and the coordination with non-agile teams.
  • There was a lot of frustration from the agile teams as they had to do traditional reporting on top of the usual agile approach of demonstrating working software.
  • The agile teams also found it hard to maintain high quality standards as they were under pressure to deliver against a plan that was quickly out of date.

It seems that what you have been talking about two years ago, is something many companies are trying to achieve today. Using Waterfall for planning and Agile for execution is now known as a Hybrid project management approach.

In such cases, Waterfall practices are used for high-level project management, planning, and setting the course. While Agile comes to help with executing those plans on the team level and in the most effective manner.

Combining two opposing practices is no easy task. You have to merge, adjust, and compromise to find the best and the most effective way of moving forward. As well as knowing when to use each of the approaches.

It is best to review your company and truly evaluate readiness before moving into such an approach. Consider if:

  1. It is possible to define high-level project phases.
  2. You can freely choose the practice to be used.
  3. You have enough Agile experience.
  4. Your customers will be fine with not having detailed plans for project execution.

Fundamental purpose of Project Management is to deliver what your clients want at a specific time. Effectiveness you have mentioned depends on the requirement and tolerance of clients.

All clients want developing team finished within one month and everything. But they seldom do not know what feature is the most important. From my experience, we use Scrum to address which features must be presented and usable first. Mentioning first, then , final phase to clients is the way to make them know we propose agile development methodology and urge them prioritise the deliverables.

Before providing the value judgement or proposed methods to combine the methodologies from the management point of view, we have to figure out the budget, time constraint and possible market competition. OP has to mention more about.

As for quality of work and communication issues, it is difficult for us to judge because of the discrepancies among working cultures of team members.

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