Impressions from “Reinventing project management - Hybridisation from the field”

Lisa Gryzagoridis

Author: Lisa Gryzagoridis, PMP® DASM®



The concept of a Hybrid Project Management Approach first had successful application in the early 2000’s, yet it remains in its infancy in terms of adoption and formalisation within organisations. This was the overarching theme of the November 1st PMI Event, “Reinventing project management - Hybridisation from the field”, hosted at iSolutions, Zurich.

As a recognised expert in the Hybrid Approach, the Keynote Speaker, Stéphane Derouin, shared his extensive expertise with an audience of professionals who have varying degrees of exposure to, or experience applying, Agile or Hybrid methodologies. Having significant experience in both Traditional and Agile domains, Stéphane is presently a self-proclaimed ‘non-purist’ in the selection and application of project management methodologies. Moreover, he is an enthusiastic advocate for Hybrid Approaches, particularly those tailored specifically to optimise value-delivery within each unique Program context. “There is no single approach that can be applied to all projects at any time”.


Stéphane Derouin opening presentation


Owing to increasing complexity and resource constraints in project delivery, Value Management has become an imperative. Value Management, within the context of Project Management, is broadly concerned with the creation and maximisation of value, or benefit, to the customer and the organisation. Simplistically, its goal is to deliver the (1) highest possible value, with the (2) lowest possible effort, and (3) lowest possible technical debt. Value realisation necessitates a departure from traditional modes of thought and behaviour, as the focus needs to shift from ‘completing a deliverable’, to ‘achieving a desired outcome’. Successfully applied, it resolves some of the challenges typically experienced in project management, such as the difficulty in justifying budget and demonstrating benefits, and the difficulty in prioritising an increasingly large number of business requests. Moreover, Value Management also serves to bridge the commonly occurring gap between IT and Business functions with regards to a shared vision or shared understanding. As the focus shifts from ‘the what’ to ‘the why’, there is greater clarity for IT functions in designing and delivering against the Business Functions’ desired outcomes.

The question is then… What does ‘Value’ mean to you?

The list of value classifications is inexhaustible. One can choose to pursue value delivery in profit, cost reduction, risk reduction, time-to-market, social impact, or customer satisfaction, to name a selective few. One of the challenges in managing by value is identifying the various sources of value, and then defining and prioritising them in alignment with the organisation’s strategy, because value is perceived differently by various stakeholders. However, if successfully defined, organisations are primed to reap the benefits from selecting the greatest value-adding initiatives, optimising resource allocation, and strengthening shared focus on efficient, high-quality deliveries.


Stéphane continued his presentation by proposing the notion that the Project Management Office (PMO) and the Value Management Office (VMO) complement each other’s roles, as both are required to optimise project outcomes using a Value Management Approach. The role of PMO remains focussed on managing projects according to cost, quality, scope, and schedule, through the provision of frameworks and minimum standards, allocation of resources, and supporting the project in risk management and governance. The role of VMO focuses on identifying value streams within the organisation, as well as aligning initiatives to the value streams within the broader organisational strategy. The VMO supports improved flow of value delivery, as well as the formalising and monitoring of value generation. This is achieved through defining and tracking Objectives and Key Results (OKR), which form the criteria of success for each initiative.

Once the foundational concepts had been shared, Stéphane engaged the audience in an interactive discussion on how to select a Hybrid Approach, including tailoring considerations. For example, opportunities exist to selectively adopt Agile rituals or ceremonies into Traditional approaches, which may serve to optimise project outcomes.

A sample decision-grid tool was presented, to illustrate how project managers can systematically select approaches for each unique project context. The benefit of this type of tool is that it allows one to identify the most suitable approach more easily, based on that approach’s strengths matched to each individual project component. I found this tool reminiscent of the Disciplined Agile Toolkit, in that it is based on Decision-tree principles. This tool, however, was specifically designed to transcend specific institutional frameworks and Sectorism, so that it can be utilised across industries and contexts.

As boundless as the Hybridisation options are, so too were audience member sentiments and concerns relating to Hybridisation adoption. Scenario-based queries ranged from organisational and cultural resistance to process integration challenges and scalability concerns. Fortunately, one need not have attended this event to benefit from real-world example discussions.

In November 2023, the 1st Edition of the “Hybrid Best Practice Guide: PMI France - The Power of Hybridization: Sharing Field Experiences in Project Management” was published, and is available for purchase through Amazon, (English and French versions). It is a collection of real-world case studies that illustrate the practical application of the core principles of Hybridisation, and how tailoring can address shortcomings of standalone approaches. Should this topic interest you, you may want to add it to your reading list.