How to Combine Agile and Traditional Project Management Methodologies for Improved Efficiency

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In today’s fast-paced business world, organizations must be able to adapt quickly and pivot whenever necessary. This means that processes must be streamlined to be as efficient as possible while remaining effective. Many businesses implement different project management methodologies to streamline their workflow. However, what happens when these two methods are implemented simultaneously? 

Traditional project management (TPPM) and agile project management (APM) are two different methods of project management that can often work at cross purposes. While APM is great for short projects with fixed scope and resources, TPPM is more appropriate for longer projects with changing scope and resource needs. Fortunately, there are ways to combine the best elements from each methodology without sacrificing efficiency or effectiveness in either case.


What is Traditional Project Management?

Traditional project management (TPPM) is an approach to project management that emphasizes detailed scoping and planning. While some elements of the methodology are adaptable, TPPM does not easily lend itself to change. Key characteristics of this methodology include clearly defined scoping, long-term planning, and a focus on controlling costs and risk management. 

In a traditional project, the customer and stakeholders will be involved in the scoping process, and they will be responsible for setting clear expectations regarding project timelines and costs. If a project is deemed too complicated or feature-heavy, significant time and resources will be required to complete it. TPM is best suited for projects of significant size and complexity, such as new product or service development or large-scale infrastructure projects.


Agile Project Management

Agile project management (APM) is a project management methodology designed to be responsive to change, which is a fair description of the modern business environment. APM is often used in conjunction with Scrum, an agile project management framework. Projects conducted using APM have a fixed scope, and they can be completed in a fixed amount of time. APM is best used for projects requiring a fixed scope, budget, and timeline. 

While not appropriate for all companies or situations, APM is adaptable and ideal in dynamic environments. APM’s flexibility can be attributed to its lightweight nature. Its core components are focused on the outcome of each project, not the process used to produce it. Project stakeholders are involved during the initial planning stages, but their involvement ends once the project begins. APM is agile because the project is allowed to adjust to changing needs, customer desires, and other factors throughout its life. APM is often called adaptive, adaptive planning, concurrent, or evolutionary planning.


How to Combine APM and TPPM

While each methodology is useful in its own right, using them together yields even greater benefits. One way to do so is to conduct a project kickoff meeting with stakeholders, customers, and team members. The team should negotiate to scope, clarify expectations, and set a project timeline and budget at this meeting. Once these factors are agreed upon, the team should use an agile board to manage the project. Using an agile board will allow the project managers to track progress and make adjustments as necessary. 

This will ensure that the project stays on track while still considering external factors such as team members’ availability and customer feedback. The PMs should also assign a product owner who will collect feedback and product requirements from stakeholders. The product owner should write this feedback down on the product backlog. This should be done regardless of whether the product is fixed or evolving. The team can prioritize tasks and manage resources effectively by considering the product backlog.


Using Agile and TP together to increase efficiency

The team can use an agile board if a project is divided into phases, like product development. This will allow them to track the progress of each phase and make necessary adjustments. Additionally, the team can use the product backlog to collect feedback from stakeholders and customers. They can then prioritize the tasks on the project according to the feedback they receive. 

If a project is too large to break up into phases, the team should use a waterfall board. A waterfall board is a type of project board that is often used within fixed-scope, fixed-budget projects. Waterfall boards are best suited for projects that require a significant amount of upfront planning and scoping. Using a waterfall board will allow the team to outline all necessary steps and activities required to complete the project.


Using TPPM and Agile Together to Achieve Quality

If a project requires a significant amount of upfront scoping, the project managers can use a waterfall board. This will allow them to outline the necessary activities and complete ample upfront planning. Once the activities have been outlined, the team can implement an agile board. This allows them to track progress and make adjustments as needed. If a project can be broken up into phases, the team can use an agile board while conducting quality assurance (QA) activities at the end of each phase. 

The PMs should assign a QA manager to review each phase as it is completed. This will allow them to identify any potential issues and make necessary adjustments. Equally important, however, is the PMs’ ability to communicate effectively with stakeholders. Clear, concise communication with customers and stakeholders is essential. This can be achieved by following a few simple guidelines.



Project management is an important part of any business, but it cannot be easy to implement effectively. When using two different project management methodologies, it is important to understand how they differ and use them together effectively. Traditional project management is best for long-term projects with a fixed scope, budget, and timeline. Conversely, agile project management is designed for projects with a fixed scope and evolving budget and timeline. By combining two project management methodologies, businesses can achieve greater efficiency and effectiveness.