Effective Project Management: Traditional, Agile, Extreme, Hybrid Eighth Edition (EPM8e) represents a significant change from the 7th edition. All of the pedagogical and organizational strengths of EPM7e are retained and expanded in EPM8e. EPM8e offers not only the five different project management life cycle (PMLC) models (Linear, Incremental, Iterative, Adaptive, and Extreme) to managing a project but also adds a new one—the Hybrid Project Management (HPMgt) Framework. The choice of the best‐fit PMLC is based on the characteristics of the project and the business and organizational environment in which the project will be undertaken. These approaches recognize that major differences exist among projects and that those differences require different management approaches if the project is to be managed and successfully completed. Those differences become obvious through an analysis of the Requirements Breakdown Structure (RBS).
We commonly define a project as a unique experience that has never happened before and will never happen again under the same set of circumstances. So, then, why don't we define the management of such projects the same way? There are a number of factors affecting the choice of PMLC and the adaptation of those models as the project unfolds and conditions change. This is the approach I have taken for years and have been successful beyond the statistics on failure that we are all familiar with. I hope to convince you of the benefits of that view in this book. Fifty years of experience managing projects of all types has led me to this conclusion. I want to share my thinking with you and convince you to follow my lead. EPM8e introduces the HPMgt. HPMgt has existed in some form for some time now as suggested by recent surveys but it has stayed below the radar. Chapter 14, “Hybrid Project Management Framework,” is a first attempt to put some formality to a practice that has been largely informal.
The entire EPM series is based on the need for robust project management processes that reflect the uniqueness of projects and how they should be managed. It is unique in that regard.
Why I Wrote This Book
I am passionate about helping the entire project management community from their time as a student, to the novice practitioner, to the seasoned veteran. My goal is to prepare the student with the skills they will need to take a practical position when it comes to managing projects. Rather than following a pre‐specified project management model, I want the practitioner to think about the project, to consider its unique characteristics, to understand and adapt to the organizational culture and environment, and lastly to consider the market in which the deliverables will have to compete. To take all of this into consideration and to craft the best‐fit management approach is a unique challenge. We claim that projects are unique. They will never be repeated under the same set of circumstances and conditions. So, shouldn't we expect that their management approach would also be unique? You should because it is but you will need the tools, templates, processes, and skills and to be able to align them so you can effectively manage that uniqueness and deliver the expected business value. That is my calling. This book is my contribution to that effort.
I believe a number of professionals and practitioners are looking for some help. I am trying to fill their needs with this book. When scheduled training is not available or practical, my book can help. It is written to be studied. It is written to guide you as you learn about and practice effective project management. It is written to be a self‐paced resource. And most important of all, it is written to be applied out of the box to any project. Let it be your companion through the entire project life cycle.
On a more altruistic level, I have four reasons for writing this eighth edition:
- I've learned more about complex project management since the publication of EPM7e in 2013. Experience with my clients has made me rethink how we should explain the ever‐changing discipline of project management and how we should approach the education and training of project managers. EPM7e did a good job of that. However, there is much more to be said, and EPM8e fills that gap.
- To come to the rescue of the discipline of project management. I believe that it is seriously out of alignment with the needs of our businesses. Project managers are trapped and need some alternatives and a working knowledge of their use. The high failure rates of projects are evidence of that misalignment. The problem is that project management is the hammer, and all projects are seen as nails. This is a one‐size‐fits‐all approach to project management, and it simply doesn't work. The nature and characteristics of the project must dictate the type of management approach to be taken. Anything short of that will fail. As I have already shown, projects have fundamentally changed, but our approach to managing them has not changed much. We need a more robust approach to project management—one that recognizes the project environment and adapts accordingly.
- To further document the Adaptive Project Framework (APF). APF is really a hybrid that takes the best from TPM and xPM. It is an Agile approach that works for all types of projects rather than just for software development projects as do most other Agile approaches. It reaches across the gap between projects with a clearly defined goal and solution and projects where the goal and the solution are not clearly defined. The work that I report here is a work in progress. APF has been updated to the ECPM Framework and presented in Chapter 14, “Hybrid Project Management Framework,” and adopted as the de facto Agile model for several large and small companies. By putting it before my colleagues, I expect that others will contribute to its further maturation and application.
- My challenge to offer a practical how‐to guide for project managers in the management of all of their projects. My style is applications‐oriented. While the book is based on sound concepts and principles of project management, it is by no means a theoretical treatise. It is written from the perspective of the practicing project manager—me. I offer it to you to be your companion and to be used.
EPM8e was written for four distinct markets: the education market, the training market, the consultant market, and the practitioner market. It has been successful in all four. In this respect it occupies a unique position in the literature of project management.
I have maintained a database of all those faculty and institutions that have adopted the EPM materials and with whom I have had e‐mail contact. That database numbers more than 300 adopters. A number of educators have shared their experiences with me. To them I owe a debt of gratitude. I've tried to incorporate their suggestions as best I can. The resulting book is much better because of their inputs. On the EPM8e website (eiipubs.com) are files containing a set of slides for each chapter and a collection of class, team, and individual exercises I have used and recommend to you. These are comprehensive and may be modified to meet your specific needs. I encourage you to use them and adapt them to your training and education environment. If you have a need for other training materials to support your project management or business analyst curriculum, please contact me at
In addition to many adoptions in the higher education market, EPM7e is also used in many training programs and corporate universities. EPM8e will continue to serve that market. All of the instructional materials available to the educator apply equally well to the trainer. I have successfully offered a number of variations of the EPM8e content in training programs of all lengths and configurations. I would be happy to share my experiences with any interested parties. You can reach me at
EPM8e is unique. It is one of the few project management books that simultaneously met the needs of the educator/trainer and the consultant/practitioner. These markets are very different. The business model suggested that the educator/trainer market was much larger than the consultant/practitioner market and so there was a distinct bias in the approach of EPM7e.
EPM8e restores balance to those two markets. That is the primary reason for including the Hybrid Project Management Framework. It is designed to meet the challenges of effectively managing any complex project. These projects account for about 80 percent of all projects worldwide but an effective process for designing a best‐fit Project Management Life Cycle (PMLC) Model has not been forthcoming until EPM8e.
EPM1e was written for the practicing professional but when it was published in 1995 I didn't realize the journey that I was starting. More than 20 years have passed and I have maintained my allegiance to those professionals. They are constantly challenged to master the complex and ever‐changing world of projects. On this journey I have added the educator and trainer to my audience. EPM8e has proven its value.
How Is This Book Organized?
EPM8e is organized into 3 parts containing a total of 15 chapters and 5 appendixes.
Part I: Understanding the Project Management Landscape
The purpose of Part I is to introduce you to the tools, templates, and processes that compose the effective project manager's toolkit. Because many of my readers will be familiar with the PMI A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Sixth Edition) standards document, I have decided to group the toolkits around the five Process Groups, which I call Scoping, Planning, Launching, Monitoring and Controlling, and Closing.
Part I consists of five chapters:
Part II: Traditional Project Management
Part II discusses TPM and presents project management fundamentals as most would understand it from casual conversations and experiences. It begins with Chapter 6, “How to Scope a TPM Project” and continues with individual chapters (Chapters 7–10) devoted to planning, launching, monitoring and controlling, and finally closing. Many of the tools, templates, and processes that will be used and adapted to more complex situations are introduced here. For those who wish to prepare for the PMP certification exams, this would be a good start on that study.
Part II consists of five chapters:
Part III: Complex Project Management
Part III is an in‐depth presentation of the contemporary world of project management. In addition to a discussion of the five PMLC models, it also includes a new topic—Hybrid Project Management. The final chapter is a discussion of all of the complex project management–specific PMLC models along with a comparison of each.
Part III consist of five chapters:
EPM8e includes updated versions of the EPM7e Appendices as well as two new Appendices on case studies that can be used to supplement in class team exercises:
Unique Value Propositions
Unique Value Propositions (UVP) are a new feature of EPM8e. One of the benefits of an active consulting business is that I learn as much or even more than my clients learn. Through the years I have discovered more effective ways of doing project management in the ever‐changing complex project world. I share these with you in EPM8e. The uniqueness comes from the fact that you will not find them elsewhere. They are client inspired, home grown, and battle tested.
I have not only found value in using them with my clients but they will also have value for the educator and trainer. Since they are new and may be disruptive of some practices, they are a good source of team exercises and Chapter Discussion Questions. I hope you find value just as I have found value.
Here is a brief summary of nine UVPs. The details are in the chapters.
For several years the Standish Group has listed lack of user involvement as one of the major reasons for projects failing or being challenged. Despite the importance of user involvement to project success, nothing much has been done to correct this problem—until now. EPM8e advocates and defines a collaborative model for project success that is based on a Co‐Manager model (Figure 1).
One manager is a process expert (the typical project manager) and the other manager is a product expert from the client side (much like the Product Owner in a Scrum project). Together they equally share decision making, authority, and responsibility for the project. This is a strong foundation for a collaborative environment and meaningful client involvement.
See Chapter 4, “What Is a Collaborative Project Team?”
Integrated Continuous Improvement Process
Since the complex project is high risk and the project management process to find a solution may be unique, there is a high likelihood that improvements can be made to both process and product. Such is the justification for an improvement program that can function in real time. So, the recommendation is to design a program that can run in parallel with the project. Figure 2 is the best one I have developed. It has several benefits:
- It is lean and responsive
- It is managed as a project portfolio
- It does not use project team resources
- It integrates into any phase‐based model
- It is designed to quickly provide feedback
In the complex project landscape complete requirements are seldom known at the outset but must be discovered and learned through some type of iterative process. Guessing is not acceptable in these high‐risk projects. EPM8e introduces a two‐phased elicitation process. In the first phase a set of necessary and sufficient requirements are defined. These must be present in any acceptable solution. The Requirements Breakdown Structure (RBS) is discovered through iteration.
The “Iron Triangle” has served the needs of the traditional project quite well for many years but lacks the breadth and depth needed in the complex project landscape. EPM8e has a six‐variable “Scope Triangle” (Figure 3).
Risk affects all five of the variables and must be managed. The other five variables form an interdependent set that defines a system in balance. Changes to one or more of the variables requires adjustments to one or more of the others in order to restore balance to the Scope Triangle. This acts as a decision model and problem‐solving tool for managing complex projects.
See Chapter 6, “How to Scope a TPM Project.”
Project Set‐up Phase
Unique projects require unique management models. EPM8e includes a Set‐up phase for the design of these unique management models. The design is based on:
- The physical and behavioral characteristics of the project
- The organizational culture and environment of the project
- The dynamic conditions of the product supply and demand markets
- The custom design of the project management approach specific to the needs of the project using a vetted portfolio of tools, template, and processes
See Chapter 14, “Hybrid Project Management Framework.”
Project Scope Bank
The Scope Bank is the only depository of the ideas for improving the solution. It will contain the updated RBS, new functionality, processes, or features not yet integrated into the solution. All of the ideas for solution enhancement are held for further consideration and prioritization. At any point in time the Scope Bank will contain the following:
- List of learning and discovery from prior cycles
- Change requests not yet incorporated
- Current prioritized requirements
- The known RBS decomposition
- Prioritized Probative Swim Lanes not yet acted upon
- Prioritized Integrative Swim Lanes not yet acted upon
This is a knowledge base upon which all cycle planning is done.
Probative Swim Lanes
EPM8e has incorporated several “lean” processes and practices. This is particularly useful in the complex project landscape where risk is high whenever goal and solution are not clearly defined. My objective with these lean processes and practices is to minimize the resources spent following dead end paths. So the strategy is to spend the minimum on an unsubstantiated idea. If it shows promise, spend a little more and continue this approach until a solution component is found or the idea doesn't show promise.
Bundled Change Management
In the complex project landscape frequent change is the strength of the project management model. That is the only way that the final solution can emerge. That is on the positive side. On the negative side is that processing frequent change is a resource hog especially as it requires team members to spend time away from their assigned project work to analyze and process these requests. The Bundled Change Management Process is a Lean process and protects project team resources (Figure 4).
The portfolio of vetted tools, templates, and processes has been designed to meet the specific needs of complex project management. Think of it as the food stuff pantry of the chef. To that end here is a list of its contents:
- Bodies of knowledge (PMBOK®, IIBA, IPMA, etc.)
- A specific portfolio of PMLC Model Templates
- Customized reports
- Business process models
- Earned Value Analysis
- Process improvement program
- Professional development program
- Problem solving and decision making processes
- Conflict resolution and prioritization models
- Organizational tools, templates, and processes
Note that the list includes published standards, commonly used processes, and items designed by the organization itself.
The Rationale for This Organization
This book does not advocate following fixed recipes and pre‐defined procedures for managing projects. Rather, it is based on constructing a best‐fit project management approach based on the characteristics of the project, its environment, the business climate, the team skills profile, and other descriptors.
A Bottom‐Up Learning Experience
To begin your study I introduce six questions that form an architecture for any effective project management approach:
- What business situation is being addressed by this project?
- What does the business need to do?
- What are you proposing to do?
- How will you do it?
- How will you know you did it?
- How well did you do?
As long as your chosen approach provides answers to these six questions, you will have defined an effective approach.
Learning about Process Groups
The Project Management Institute (PMI) has provided a comprehensive definition of the basic building blocks from which every project management methodology can be defined. You first learn these and then apply them later in the book to specific project management methodologies and models.
Learning How Process Groups Form Life Cycle Processes
PMI defines the five basic Process Groups that can be used to form project management life cycle processes. Every effective project management life cycle will contain these five Process Groups. In some life cycles the Process Groups will appear once, in others several times.
Learning Effective Life Cycle Management Strategies
In this book the profile of the project and the degree to which requirements are specified and documented form the strategies for defining the best‐fit project management life cycle. As the project work commences, the profile of the project and the requirements definition may change, prompting a change of strategy. Always keeping the project management approach aligned with the changing profile of the project is the unique feature of my approach to project management.
Learning How to Adapt to the Realities of Projects
In Part III you learn about the infrastructure for project support. In a sense this will be a peek into the future for many enterprises. It is a suitable conclusion to my book. Projects, programs, and portfolios as well as the project management processes that support them can impact the business of the enterprise.
Learning to Be a Thinking Project Manager
If you are looking for a book of recipes look elsewhere.
Cooks can only use recipes developed by others and such is the case with complex project management. The complex project landscape is populated with projects that are uncertain and high risk. They are executed in a dynamic and changing environment both from an internal and external perspective. It would be foolhardy to assume that an off‐the‐shelf project management model would fit the situation. A chef could do better. Chefs can create and adapt a recipe.
I use a cook/chef metaphor to further explain my disruptive observation. A cook is a person who arms themselves with recipe books and an inventory of food stuffs to execute these recipes. As long as they can deliver client requirements with one of these recipes, they are on safe grounds. But if a need arises to deviate from these recipes to meet a unique requirement the cook will have been put in harm's way.
Deviations from the recipes take the cook out of their comfort zone. Enter the chef. Their recipes book has been replaced with an acute memory for how various ingredients interact with one another to produce a desired result.
I have a real‐life example that illustrates how the chef differs from the cook. Heather was my soulmate and knew her way around the kitchen like any good chef would. It was late Sunday night and she asked me if I would like some cheesecake. Her cheesecake was to die for, so I said “Yes.” A few minutes later I heard a groan coming from the kitchen. “What's wrong?” I asked, only to hear that she was out of vanilla extract. Vanilla extract was a critical ingredient in her recipe and all the stores were closed. So, I thanked her for her offer and said, “Let's do it tomorrow.” About 30 minutes later I could smell a cheesecake baking in the oven! “What happened?” I asked. She said we had some vanilla frosting in the pantry and it had vanilla extract in it. So, she figured out how much vanilla frosting she would have to use in order to substitute for the vanilla extract. The cheesecake was her best ever. She can adapt and create recipes, not just follow them.
My goal for you is that this book will help you become a chef—a project manager who can think her way out of complex and unique situations and succeed despite the odds.
How to Use This Book
As I noted earlier in this introduction, EPM8e simultaneously accommodates the education, training, consultant, and practitioner markets.
Introductory (Chapters 1–10)
A good introductory 3‐credit undergraduate course or 3‐day training course would consist of Chapters 1–10. Chapters 1–10 introduce the tools, templates, and processes used by the contemporary project manager. These chapters are structured around the five Process Groups defined by the PMBOK® Sixth Edition.
Intermediate (Chapters 6–15)
A good upper‐division undergraduate or introductory graduate course or 3‐day intermediate training course would consist of Chapters 6–15. The prerequisite would be an introductory course in project management. However, my experience with training programs is not to have a prerequisite. I would recommend a 5‐day training course that covers Chapters 1–15.
Advanced (Chapters 11–15)
A good graduate level course would consist of Chapters 11–15. For scheduling or topic interests, some subset from Chapters 11–15 could be chosen. This would open the opportunity for more in‐depth coverage with supplemental readings and for course projects drawn from those chapters.
Who Should Use This Book
The original target audience for EPM1e was the practicing project manager. However, as I discovered, many of the second and third edition sales were to university and college faculty. I certainly want to encourage their use of my book, so with each edition I further expanded the target market to include both practicing project managers and faculty. I added discussion questions to each chapter, and to assist in lecture preparation, I put copies of all figures and tables on the website. EPM8e takes it to the next level with much more collateral content for the instructor.
This book adapts very well to whatever your current knowledge of or experience with project management might be:
- If you are unfamiliar with project management, you can learn the basics by simply reading and reflecting.
- If you wish to advance to the next level, I offer a wealth of practice opportunities through the case exercises.
- If you are more experienced, I offer several advanced topics, including TPM, APM, and xPM in Part III.
In all cases, the best way to read the book is front to back. If you are an experienced project manager, feel free to skip around and read the sections as a refresher course.
The seasoned professional project manager will find value in the book as well. I have gathered a number of tools and techniques that appeared in the first edition of this book. The Joint Project Planning session, the use of sticky notes and whiteboards for building the project network, the completeness criteria for generating the Work Breakdown Structure, the use of work packages for professional staff development, and milestone trend charts are a few of the more noteworthy and original contributions.
I have used EPM7e as a text in consulting engagements whose objective was the design and development of project management environments to meet the specific needs of an organization. The changes integrated into EPM8e further strengthens that use. The PowerPoint slide file of Team Exercises can be adapted to the specific client situation and requirements of their organization to be the vehicle for designing and developing their project management environment.
Undergraduate, Graduate, and Adjunct Faculty
A significant adopter of EPM1e through EPM7e has been the education market. EPM8e offers even more to that market than all previous editions. The complete PowerPoint slide files for each chapter are collateral materials to support educators and trainers, and those slides have been further expanded in EPM8e. The slides contain all of the content that should be in the class lectures. Faculty can add to, delete, or modify these files to suit their specific purpose and style for each lecture. I have also included a PowerPoint file of exercises. These are designed as individual, team, or class exercises.
EPM8e continues to have the corporate trainer's needs in mind. In addition to the materials available to the faculty for their credit courses, I will make available several venues for offering EPM8e. These range from 3‐day programs to 13‐ and 24‐session programs. Contact me at
email@example.com with a statement of your specific needs. I will be happy to offer my advice.
What's on the Website
EPM8e offers more support to the educator and trainer than EPM7e did. Both of the slide files explained earlier were first introduced in EPM5e, expanded in EPM6e, and continued into EPM7e and now into EPM8e. I owe a great debt to those adopters who commented on the contents and offered improvement suggestions.
There is a PowerPoint file for each chapter that you can download and adapt to your specific needs. Each file includes a complete set of slides for delivery of the content of the chapter. You may add, delete, or modify to suit their interests and purposes.
Individual, Team, and Class Exercises
EPM8e also offers at the website another PowerPoint file containing several exercises that have been used successfully in both education and training offerings.
In addition to these downloads, EPM7e included a question‐and‐answer file (based on the discussion questions at the end of each chapter) that could be obtained by vetted faculty and instructors by writing me at
firstname.lastname@example.org and requesting the file. EPM8e continues that offer.
To the extent possible this textbook is an accurate and realistic representation of the real world of projects. Much of the content is the direct result of client engagements and the intelligence gathered from those experiences. To enrich the content, I have written two case studies:
Both are hypothetical. They have been developed to offer a broad and deep experience for the student in solving real‐world problems. If you want to integrate the real world into your class experiences, you should obtain copies of the WBDC Case Study [Wysocki, 2010] for your students. The WBDC book is a complete description of a hypothetical business project that creates a complex environment in which you can create learning opportunities for individuals and teams. I have included a few team exercises and the PowerPoint slides to support your use of both case studies.
Putting It All Together
EPM8e is a valuable addition to the library of every professional with an interest in being an effective project manager. It is my intention to help project managers learn to think like effective project managers. To me an effective project manager is like a master chef. They know how to create recipes rather than just blindly follow existing recipes. As I've said already in this introduction, project management is nothing more than organized common sense, and this book will help you wake up the common sense you already possess and channel it into effective project management.
The client is an essential part of every project. They are either a member of the supporting organization that utilizes the project management resource or a customer of the project management consulting organization. These organizations provide project management service and training to their client companies.
The pyramid has always been associated with strength and stability. And so, it was the natural choice for the EPM8e logo shown on the right. The foundation of the logo is defined by three major project areas: Traditional, Agile, and Extreme. These project types are the foundation of the project landscape. This foundation provides for the support of 5 specific Project Management Life Cycle (PMLC) types: Linear, Incremental, Iterative, Adaptive, Extreme. These 5 PMLC types include more than 20 specific models such as Waterfall, Prototyping, Scrum, DSDM, ASD, RUP, FDD, and INSPIRE to name a few. An organization will support several of these models and given a specific project, one of the models is chosen and adapted by the team as the best‐fit model given the characteristics of the project and their own preferences.
This structure would seem sufficient for effective project management. However, recent observations of processes versus the practices of those processes sends a different message. The complex project management landscape has become even more complex than initially expected and these off‐the‐shelf specific PMLC models are no longer sufficient. Project managers are encountering projects where these off‐the‐shelf models must be force fit in order to accommodate the needs of their projects. That seldom works in a complex landscape now defined by three factors:
- The physical and behavioral characteristics of the project (the old landscape)
- The organizational environment in which the project will be executed (the new landscape)
- The dynamic conditions of the relevant supply and demand markets (the new landscape)
Project managers draw upon their experiences and the portfolio of tools, templates, and processes to design the management approach they will use for such projects. This portfolio should have been in place for some time. In EPM8e these are called “Hybrid Projects” and the management approach designed for the Hybrid Project by the “Hybrid Project Manager” (HPMgr) is called “Hybrid Project Management” (HPMgt) Framework. To date, the HPMgt Framework has been an informal “under the radar” practice of the HPMgr. On close inspection, it turns out that the HPMgt Framework is a logical transition from the Agile movement. The HPMgr community may be the largest PM community but have been totally ignored. Recent surveys suggest that this is certainly the case. EPM8e takes a step forward to understand these informal practices and defines an HPMgt Framework to support it.
The HPMgt Framework is the culmination of EPM8e. It brings together the very informal approaches used by the Occasional Project Manager (OPM) to the very formal approaches used by the Co‐Manager models. It is the fitting pinnacle of EPM8e, which is seen as the collection of robust project management models and frameworks. It is the best starting point for learning about project management processes and practices.