Most people categorize projects as being either Agile or Waterfall. Agile in particular is portrayed as a panacea for all projects by consultants and companies who wish to sell training or license frameworks.

What if it were possible to look at a project’s characteristics and choose the approach that fits best?

The four quandrants

Diagram from Effective Project Management: Traditional, Agile, Extreme, Hybrid by Robert Wysocki

Projects have clear or unclear goals and solutions. When a project approaches and wags its tail, the project manager must check its goals and solutions to make the correct identification. Calling an extreme project “agile” would be silly, like confusing a golden retriever and a pug.

Traditional (Waterfall)