O'Reilly logo
live online training icon Live Online training

Adaptive project management

Traditional, Agile, and hybrid project approaches

Rick Freedman

There’s a big difference between understanding project concepts and engaging in a real, complex, and unpredictable program full of risks, obstacles, and personalities. The business environment is faster paced, more volatile, and more uncertain than before, so our techniques for managing projects must be designed to quickly respond. Modern approaches to delivering new products must be fast and adaptable and must include the customer in the process.

Picking up where his Introduction to project management course leaves off, Rick Freedman walks you through the current state of project management, going beyond basic concepts to uncover the real challenges of managing projects in today’s turbulent and uncertain business environment. In this hands-on three-hour training course, you'll dig deeper into the ideas behind different project approaches and learn why (and in which cases) you should use one technique over another. Along the way, Rick reviews case studies of firms that have adapted their own versions of Agile or hybrid lifecycles, giving you a firsthand look at what works in the real world. You'll leave with the know-how to adopt the right project techniques for the project at hand and combine the best attributes of different approaches to develop your unique project method.

What you'll learn-and how you can apply it

By the end of this live online course, you’ll understand:

  • Techniques for traditional, Agile, and hybrid project management approaches
  • How to determine the right method based on the project's characteristics
  • How to adapt elements of different project approaches to create a customized project approach
  • How some firms have created unique project standards using elements from all project frameworks

And you’ll be able to:

  • Articulate the differences between project approaches
  • Apply project methods that fit the project at hand
  • Partner with PMs, Scrum Masters, and teams to drive successful programs

This training course is for you because...

  • You're a traditional project manager, and your firm is transitioning to Agile.
  • You're a project manager leading teams, and you need to coordinate different project methods.
  • You're an aspiring or rookie project manager, and you need a broad, practical view of running projects for real.
  • You're a project management office (PMO) officer or an IT executive, and you need to counsel the organization on project management methods, metrics, governance, and standards.


  • No prior knowledge or experience with project management needed; this course will introduce everything you need to know.

Recommended preparation:

Recommended follow-up:

About your instructor

  • Rick Freedman, author of "The Agile Consultant", has experienced the agile transition from the inside. He has been working as an agile coach and trainer since the beginning of the agile movement. Rick has 30 years of experience as a strategic consultant, both as an employee of large corporate organizations like Citicorp and Dun & Bradstreet, and as a Principal Consultant for Cap Gemini, NEC, and Intel. As Worldwide Project Management Leader for Intel from 2001-2005, Rick evangelized, trained, and coached Intel project managers in the US, UK, China, India, Germany, and Australia. Since leaving Intel, Rick has consulted with clients such as Microsoft, HP, Motorola, NASA, BP, Marriott, Verizon, H&R Block, Blue Cross Blue Shield, The US Dept of the Treasury, The US Army, SEGA, Bank of NY, and The People's Republic of China. Rick is also the author of 'The IT Consultant', 'Building the IT Consulting Practice', and 'The eConsultant'. He lives in Lenexa, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City, with his wife of 35 years and two spoiled golden retrievers.


The timeframes are only estimates and may vary according to how the class is progressing

The evolution of project management ideas (20 minutes)

  • Lecture: The traditional approach; the Agile approach; hybrid approaches
  • Hands-on exercise: Describe project management at your organization

The modern project environment (20 minutes)

  • Lecture: How business has been disrupted; how the management model has evolved from control to agility; why the business environment is uncertain and volatile; why project approaches have to evolve as well
  • Hands-on exercise: Discuss disruption in your industry

Applying the right methods (10 minutes)

  • Lecture: Few firms use strictly traditional approaches; few firms are completely Agile; most firms use a mix of techniques, methods, standards, and legacy tools
  • Break (10 minutes)

When to apply traditional? Agile? Hybrid? (25 minutes)

  • Lecture: The best method is the one suited to the project, environment, market, and customer; the Intel story—traditional PM for its manufacturing facilities ("fabs"), Agile for its silicon R&D
  • Hands-on exercise: Discuss how your company has adapted its PM (or not)

Hybrid approaches (15 minutes) Lecture: Determining which elements of this project are known and unlikely to change and which elements are experimental, unknown, and likely to emerge and evolve as you go

Adaptive project management (20 minutes)

  • Lecture: The PM’s role in selecting and applying these project techniques; how the PM role is evolving—manager or servant-leader?
  • Break (10 minutes)

Metrics: The transition from methodology metrics to customer value metrics (15 minutes) Lecture: Metrics for productivity, not activity; measuring teams, not individual contributors; Gantt chart or Burndown—selecting the right metrics for your project

Customer engagement: The key to modern project success (20 minutes)

  • Lecture: Customer collaboration—the product owner role; collaborative planning—release and iteration
  • Hands-on exercise: Discuss how your team collaborates with your stakeholders

Wrap-up and Q&A (15 minutes)

  • Lecture: Unique enterprise, unique business model and market, unique product vision—unique project approach; adapting the project lifecycle for the project's needs; ensuring that project discipline is maintained; getting to done—applying the right mix of motivation, collaboration, teamwork, and innovation to deliver real value