Hybrid project management – there’s no alternative for me!

I was able to experience it over and over again with our clients: the question of whether projects should be handled according to agile methods or the traditional approach. This cannot be decided uniformly at company level – the expectations of those involved in the project diverge too much. While on the one hand project managers usually appreciate the well-structured and plannable nature of classic project management methods, on the other hand it is the effective and dynamic teams that only reach top performance in apparent chaos. This is especially true for project teams in software development, where agile project management has already become the norm.
And therefore, in my opinion, it can hardly lead to the desired success if one tries to rigidly commit to either classical or agile project management. The best of both worlds is a hybrid system – for me, that is the best project management method on the long run. And of course, we use it ourselves in our company
Two people watching a screen showing the Can Do programme. [1]

Jira and Can Do – the perfect couple

We at Can Do are in a special situation: we develop a software that is in turn (also) used by software developers as a project planning tool – and which we ourselves, of course, also use in our own projects. It doesn't get much closer to practice than this! We use Can Do in project management as a planning tool with traditional structures and as well to manage project and resource planning, including skills management of all project participants.
At the same time, the members of our individual teams work with a tool that is also popular with other development teams: Jira from Atlassian. In operational project management, the employees record all tasks, epics and stories as well as the status of the stories in Jira. In addition, the complexity of the stories is estimated with story points; this value is then used in Can Do to calculate the necessary capacity. In our company, the development teams work with the Scrum method and within an extremely flat hierarchy, as it is usually the case in software development.
The special feature of hybrid project management with Can Do is that it imports all data from Jira via its own interface – synchronisation takes place in real time and without further intervention by the user. Project progress and stories can therefore be viewed immediately in the classic planning environment. This allows the project manager to pass on current data and results to the stakeholders of the individual projects at any time – for example in the form of Gantt charts. An outstanding feature is the capacity planning in Can Do, which is carried out automatically on the basis of Jira's stories. This allows us to identify possible overloads in sprints at an early stage and react quickly. Strategic planning at portfolio level also works seamlessly here.
The developers of our project teams only have to deal with Jira, which is completely attuned to their agile way of working – and our project management works exclusively with Can Do, which keeps project and resource planning on track in a targeted and AI-supported manner. Meanwhile, in the background, the interface between both ensures a smooth exchange.
Can Do can also be linked to other software (e.g. SAP) via various interfaces; however, the interaction with Jira is one of my favourite features and is also a great example of hybrid project management that simply works.

Hybrid project management – for a balanced project

Hybrid project management has proven itself for us and our clients: it enables agile approaches where they are needed, as well as classical operational and strategic planning, order and transparency where they are required. The individual team members, just like the project management, are provided with familiar tools. And the clients are always informed about the current progress of the project.
Agility without disorder and stringency without dogma: this combination in hybrid project management creates dynamic projects that are in balance from task definition to close-out.
Author: As a graduate in data processing, Thomas Schlereth is the founder and CEO of Can Do GmbH, based in Munich. By applying AI to project and resource management, Thomas aims to set a new standard in the world of resource management. As a member of the management board, he is responsible for the operational management of Can Do's development department, where he is responsible for the conception, design and ongoing development of the software. Thomas is a project manager as well as a consultant and manager; in addition to his role as a consultant, he is also responsible for the customer roll-out.

Key words: Hybrid project management, PM software, project structure

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