When-Why-How to use the Hybrid model

May 14, 2014

Plan with Waterfall, execute with Agile, and speed up the whole process.

blog-140513-when-why-how-to-use-the-hybrid-model-336x336 When-Why-How to use the Hybrid model agile Hybrid model is mentioned as a marriage of Agile and Waterfall methods. At the first look it might seem that these two methods are fundamentally so different that they could not possibly used together within in the same project. Although there are fundamental differences between Agile and Waterfall, their marriage is far from impossible. In addition it can lead to benefits that cannot be achieved by using a single method.

In this blog I collected the usual scenarios When? Hybrid can be used. I also set an argument, – Why? in those cases Hybrid is a good approach and I also give a few tips How? to use Hybrid in those scenarios.


The Hybrid model can be used in two typical scenarios:

  1. The product is constituted by a Hardware and a Software part with the same dominance.
  2. The product is a Software, which has a back-end and a front-end technology.

There is a third subscenario for software development. In most if the cases software development happens for a customer request, and usually the client does not like the full Agile approach as the budget and timeframe due to the lack of detailed planning phase cannot be defined and fix well in advance. The solution can be the Hybrid model. The Waterfall approach can be used for application design, planning and requirements definition and the Agile eg. Scrum for development and test.

In general, Agile methods are ideal for new or fast changing technology – eg. Mobile applications, and under the Waterfall approach users are being led by standardized procedures.


“Plan with Waterfall, execute with Agile, and speed up the whole process.”

Waterfall is not a speedy methodology, the deliverable results can be shown at the end of the whole cycle. Agile shorten the delivery time, and collect feedback in early stages to fulfill better the requirements.

The main reasons why Hybrid model can be used:

  • Shorten design, analysis and planning, but define project frames- including budget and time of delivery.
  • Still keep compliance with standards
  • Results more collaboration
  • The waterfall team can not be changed too much culturally

Don’t forget!_ Hybrid model needs strong collaboration between the two types of teams, therefore special communication forms and channels have to be implemented. Usually those using the Hybrid model needs training for both types of team to understand the fundamentals.


Here are some tips how to use the Hybrid model:

  • Planning, design and requirements definition can be done with Waterfall, but development and test in short Sprints with Agile-Scrum,
  • Implement new types of communication channels, and a proper collaborative solution to support information exchange and traceability,
  • Involve Product Owners and Clients into the communication regularly,
  • Define standard compliance expectations and focus on them in the design-planning phase.

codeBeamer ALM is a tool that supports the Hybrid method. You can download our new version with Agile-Waterfall Hybrid smart template.

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Related E-Book

Agile-Waterfall Hybrid Template

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Reka Moksony

Written by

Reka is an economist with an MBA and 10+ years of experience in ICT with ERP, SCM, web, and mobile applications, as well as skills in international business development, consulting, and project management. You will find her blog posts on a variety of subjects from application lifecycle management and software quality standards to Agile methods.

Reka Moksony has written 42 posts for Intland Software.

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