Agile or traditional collaborative tool. Why choose? Switch to a hybrid project management solution.
The range of project management tools
- Collaborative tools
- Agile tools
- Project management tools
Collaborative tools are very 'user friendly', they are very easy to use and allow to share tasks or todolists between the different actors of a project.
There are many offers on the market. It can therefore be difficult to make a choice.
In addition, each of the solutions benefits from attractive and well thought-out product marketing. But what do these tools really allow you? Certainly very effective on a daily basis to distribute tasks (everyone knows what to do), many tools turn out to be real disasters when it comes to building a longer-term vision. Will I meet my delivery deadlines ? What will the budget landing be for my project ? What risks do my project entail ?
All these questions and daily tasks become even more complicated when you are responsible and have to manage a portfolio of 50 projects and that you have to be accountable. Some project managers must then quickly get Excel back on track to build a consolidation. As you can see, many collaborative solutions on the market are therefore intended for an isolated team that wants to get organized in the short term.
Agile tools are perfect for developing solutions in iterative mode involving the end customer. They prove to be very efficient and avoid this long process of having to specify everything before launching the developments. In the event of an error, it is quickly identified and we can correct the situation to provide a solution that is adapted to the end customer. Some tools summarize agility in a 3-column table
- To do
- In progress
When we talk about agility we talk about Scrum and Kanban and sometimes a mix of the two. We will also talk about 'story' and 'epic'.
Agility does not mean " not knowing where you are going " but discovering it as you go. It is imperative to know its objectives and its trajectory to arrive safely. The business must define and act on these elements before starting. There is no question of operating in a vacuum and doing and undoing until the right solution is found. We will then subdivide (define) the work to be done and design a roadmap to follow in order to deliver a successful solution in a reasonable time. Unfortunately, the notion of subdivision and roadmap is not common in agile tools. It is however essential to follow the objectives defined at the start of the project.
Agility implies a founding principle : having resources dedicated to the project. In organizations, this is rarely the case, we always have experts who are cross-functional and shared on several projects. A load plan may then be necessary when managing a resource portfolio. The agile tool, even if it is more complete than the collaborative tool, will have the same qualities as the latter. It will not make it possible to manage budgets or even risks. However, an agile project will call on service providers, will need to pay bills. Here again, the Agile project budget will be managed in Excel without the possibility of consolidating them into a multi-project portfolio. The 'scrum of scrum' or 'scrum at scale' has seen the dependencies between agile projects appear, sometimes making agile solutions unable to respond to this problem. The most efficient solutions will then integrate a planning engine with a planning or gantt view to respond to this issue of dependence, predecessor and anticipation.
Project management tools
Traditional project management tools have been around for a long time. Thanks to their development, they now allow a clear and complete expertise of information. Planning, multi-year budgets, resource allocation and risk management are the basis of these tools. What's more, they are able to consolidate projects into a portfolio and offer tailored reports.
Unfortunately, the on-board functions have made their interfaces more complex. The job of a project manager requires solid training. The difficulty with these solutions is not the features offered but the lack of federation around these solutions in the same company. Experts in project management ready to maintain them are not legion. And these tools are no longer used for operational management, they are often used to make a consolidated report to management. Project managers find it difficult to understand that it takes such complex tools to consolidate data. Apart from the monthly report, projects are operated operationally in PowerPoint, Excel and a Todolist. The arrival of agility and collaborative tools, with their simple interfaces, did not help to give them a positive image. We no longer ask the tools to be able to manage a complex schedule or to know what budget the project will land at at the end of the year. It is no longer in their specifications. They are now being asked to be sexy and to be 'user friendly'. As can be the applications present on our smartphones. This trend towards “beautiful paintings” has led to poor control over the complex projects that these powerful tools could offer. Technical but effective project management tools had to give way to solutions that have taken the turn of agility and collaboration.
Agile, collaborative, project management. Each of these tools is based on a need while neglecting the others. But are there comprehensive and reliable offers? The answer is yes, with the hybrid model.
A fourth unifying alternative is born : Hybrid tools
Unfortunately, the world is not Manichean. White and black are not the only colors to represent project management solutions. There is a palette of gray that allows you to adapt to the complexity of organizations. In fact, an organization is able to :
- Managed simple and complex projects
- Managed agile projects or waterfall projects
- Have dedicated teams per project or shared resources
As we have seen, it is dangerous to think that we will be able to manage all these projects in agile mode. Some project managers have paid the price with many projects having fallen behind or having had to be canceled (sometimes both). A company's portfolio is a mix of simple collaborative projects, agile projects and traditional (waterfall) projects. The common point of these projects is:
- their budgets
- their resources
- their risks
- their roadmaps
All this information must continue to consolidate into a portfolio of projects providing a global vision to the organization. This allows monitoring and management in line with the company's objectives.
Tools offering this type of functionality are called “hybrids”.
The hybrid does not apply only to the car to meet ecological needs. It is the new generation of tool with a simple interface, responding as well to the operational management of projects in waterfall as agile projects in collaborative mode. The hybrid integrates all the functionalities that the general management of companies needs to meet its challenges of flexibility, digitization and visibility in the face of the complex objectives that await them in a world where teleworking is developing more and more. Managing organizations in hybrid mode is no longer an option, it is a 'must have'. .
FoxPlan goes Hybrid
FoxPlan is committed to becoming a leader in hybrid piloting. Editor of project management solutions, FoxPlan has invested many hours with its clients to understand and develop a solution that meets their needs.
Thanks to active R&D, FoxPlan has developed a solution with a simple and ergonomic interface allowing project managers and scrum masters of various profiles to manage in the same portfolio traditional projects in waterfall, in agile mode, simple collaborative tasks or a mixes. The solution is backed by a complete engine allows organizations to keep complete visibility of their roadmaps, budgets, risks or even the load plan of their resources. Managing a portfolio of projects has never been so complete and easy as with the Hybrid mode of the FoxPlan solution
FoxPlan will present its new Hybrid version to you in December 2020. Stay tuned ! .
FoxPlan, a project management solution publisher, listens to your needs. The FoxPlan solution is a solution built with passion and expertise, a simple and readable interface for the organization. Fox Plan: The solution for the success of your projects. While waiting for the new version, try FoxPlan now, by registering for free !