Completion of projects
In recent times, the successful completion of projects has been faced by new dynamics and complexities such as huge capital investments, stakeholder interests, quality standards requirements, and customer expectations. These changes have necessitated a shift from the traditional approaches of project management to new strategies to ensure that projects succeed (Olasupo, Ibrahim & Gazal 2012). Arguably, the long-established processes of managing projects have largely been lacking the external cooperation and iterative cycles that are essential in today’s project environment (Totten 2017). Notably, the previous measurement of a project’s success has been based on unit costing, product performance, and the duration between a product’s conception and its market availability (Tatikonda and Rosenthal 2000). Research studies have indicated that the quality of an enterprise can be determined by the triangle of project management whose features include time, scope, and cost (Drury-Grogan (2014). The traditional processes used in project management face a myriad of challenges, including inadequate measures of ensuring project flexibility, customer dissatisfaction, extra reworks, and technological changes that might lead to project failure (Serrador & Pinto 2015). To overcome these problems, project managers are increasingly adopting Agile Project Management (APM) methodologies.
The APM techniques
The APM techniques have been used in the information technology industry especially in the development of information systems, but have increasingly found applicability in non-IT and non-software sector. It has been noted that “Agile thinking, production and project management has evolved since 1990 as a response to the gains made in Japanese industries since their restructuring after the Second World War” (Owen and Koskela 2006, p. 22).Agile Project Management involves the use of iterative methods to plan and guide a project in small sections known as iterations to its completion as shown in figure 1 below. It is important to note that the APM methodologies are the most popular and fastest growing components in information technology project management, and using these techniques can determine whether a project succeeds or fails. According to Vandersluis (2014), the developers of agile thinking envisioned that this concept was to find applicability outside the confines of the IT industry hence its use in a wide range of enterprise projects, including mergers, finance systems, relocation of offices, travel, and construction.
Fig 1: Traditional vs Agile Software Development (Hany, Wells & Smyth 2015)
APM techniques provide the necessary tools used by members of a project team to address any emerging issues during the project life cycle. It is important that crucial changes to an enterprise are made in a timely manner so as to save resources and ensure that it is completed on time and within the budgetary allocations. Several factors affect the success of a given project, including weakness in the team structure, lack of skills, goals that are not well defined, and lack of top management support (Drury-Grogan 2014).These factors can be effectively addressed by use of APM methodologies. For instance, information technology experts have deployed agile strategies in software development to mitigate emerging challenges, including high costs, low productivity, project unpredictability, and recurrent changes that face software development (Mishra & Mishra 2011). Agile Project Management techniques streamlines project operations by enhancing flexibility and iterative cycles aimed at improving project quality, timing, and cost reduction (Conforto et al. 2014). Arguably, an agile project team is one that responds appropriately to changes in customer and stakeholder preferences so as to produce quality products for a particular market (Conforto 2016). Agile methodologies help teams to break down projects into sections that are worked on in sessions that span the entire process, including designing, testing, and quality assurance.
The agile and traditional project
The agile and traditional project management processes are premised on comparable practices and principles that are geared towards the delivery of measurable outcomes. The traditional project approach is a cascading process that “presumes that the requirements, expectations, duration, activities and outcomes of projects can be predicted accurately and planned in a sequence before any actual development activity takes place” (Murat 2016, p. 1). However, the downside of this approach is that testing of a product can only be done after the project is completed, a time when it might be discovered that the functionality of the product is flawed (Murat 2016). In this regard, APM allows teams to release segments of the project as soon as they are completed. The nonstop release timelines enable teams to determine the success of these segments and to fix any project errors as quickly as possible. The continuous improvement undertaken throughout the life cycle of a project is geared towards minimization of large-scale failures.APM allows project teams to establish quick feedback, constant adaptation, and best practices in quality assurance into the iterations. Additionally, it enables the teams to embrace automated continuous integration and deployment practices that speeds up the product release and use. APM also enhances continuous evaluation of project time and costs. In this context, Agile Project Management finds applicability in a variety of projects outside the field of information technology.
1.2 Motivations of the Research
For a long time, the focus of Agile Project Management has been in software development. However, recent research studies have established that APM methodologies can be useful in other sectors that are not related to information technology (Ribeiro & Fernandes 2010). In light of the changing project management environment, it is important that any initiated projects are successfully completed in record time without wasting the scarce resources. Despite the benefits of Agile Project Management techniques, its implementation is likely to face hurdles given that that some of its principles and values of APM are not applicable to non-IT sectors (Gustavsson 2016). Similarly, Hall (2012) notes that the scalability of these processes is still unresolved especially those concerning bigger projects. It is important that the barriers to successful adoption of APM strategies are addressed in an appropriate manner so that their benefits are realized in non-IT and non-Software domains of enterprise projects. Therefore, this study seeks to establish how application of APM methodologies can be achieved in other sectors.
1.3 The significance of the Research
Agile Project Management techniques have been found to enhance project success in the information technology sector. Available evidence also suggests that APM processes can be beneficial to other sectors. The completion of projects is critical in mitigating wasteful use resources, reduction of costs, enhancing employee productivity, streamlining teamwork, and promoting national development. In this regard, the application of APM processes in any enterprise sets the pace for successful realization of projects. Unfortunately, there are unresolved issues that hinder the adoption of APM techniques in non-IT sectors. Therefore, the findings of this study will enable all stakeholders to formulate and implement appropriate Agile Project Management policies that will enhance the adoption of these methodologies in all sectors. Additionally, this study will add new insights to the already existing body of knowledge on APM technologies hence providing researchers with useful information for further research on issues affecting the successful implementation of projects.
1.4 Research Question
The overarching purpose of this study will be to determine the issues affecting the adoption of Agile Project Management technologies in the non-IT and non-Software sectors and how they can be overcome. Available evidence suggests that APM processes have largely been successful in software development. Thus, other sectors can benefit from these processes that seek to address the barriers facing the traditional enterprise management techniques. Therefore, the study will investigate the extent to whichAPM techniques can be adopted in non-IT sectors. The research questions include:
- To what extent are Agile Project Management methodologies applicable in the non-IT and non-Software sectors?
- What are the concepts of Agile Project Management and their benefits in project implementation?
- What are the factors that hinder successful adoption of Agile Project Management techniques in the non-IT and non-Software sectors?
- How can these challenges be mitigated?
- What roles do the different project stakeholders play in Agile Project Management processes?
1.5 Research Design
Approach: This study will use the quantitative approach.
Method: The study will adopt the cross-sectional descriptive survey method. A descriptive research design is used for gathering, summarizing and interpreting information in preliminary and exploratory research studies for purposes of clarification. The study will inquire into the applicability of Agile Project Management techniques in the non-IT and non-Software sectors. A cross-sectional survey allows for the collection of the required data within the time allotted for study.
Study Population: The study population will be leaders of non-IT and non-Software companies.
Sample Size Determination and Sampling Technique: The number of participants in the study will be determined using the Cochran’s formula, while simple random sampling technique will be used to pick the respondents.
Data Collection Instrument: Questionnaires will be the primary instrument for data collection
Data Presentation and Analysis:The collected data will be coded, edited and tabulated to ensure consistency and completeness. During analysis, data will be organized into categories, coded, and tabulated. TheStatistical Package for Social Sciences computer software (SPSS) will be used to analyze collected data using descriptive statistics. The findings will be presented using tables and pie charts
Ethical Considerations: The researcher will first seek permission to undertake this study from Asia Pacific International College’s Research and Ethics Committee and the various non-IT and non-Software organizations. The participants will be informed that their participation in the study will be voluntary, and will be required to sign a consent form. To ensure anonymity, no names should appear on either the consent form or questionnaire. Furthermore, the information given by the participants will be kept confidential.
1.6 Theoretical Orientation
Theories provide a framework for systematic inquiry of a phenomenon under study. In research, a theory forms the basis for argument, and is relevant if it contributes to generation of new knowledge, helps to dispel untruths, and/or confirms a fact. In other words, informed decision-making is premised on sound theoretical models. In this regard, adoption of the best practices in project management should be guided by available theoretical models that inform good practice. Appreciation of the role of theory in project management is supported by the following arguments provided that such appreciation is firmly based on the realities of good practice (Glaser & Strauss 1967). Firstly, relying on facts alone is not enough, for theory is critical in providing mental models necessary for the understanding the nature and effects of practice (Leithwood, Jantzi & Stenbach 1999, p. 75). Secondly, to depend on personal experience for the interpretation of facts and decision-making is defeatist as it disregards the knowledge of others. As such, there is need for familiarization with the reasoning and insights of other people so that one is equipped with all the information necessary to solve emerging issues today. Furthermore, understanding theory helps to reduce making mistakes in the process of acquiring experience. Thirdly, experience alone is not enough especially when people operate in different contexts as organizational variables differ from one institution to the other. Thus, embracing a wider theoretical awareness is invaluable in project implementation under new contexts. In this regard, this study will be grounded on the Scrum theory as it concerns Agile Project Management.
1.7 Expected Findings and Applications
It is expected that this study will confirm the importance of Agile Project Management methodologies in non-IT and non-Software sectors. For instance, APM will increase productivity, reduce costs, and enhance product quality. In addition, it is also expected that this study will establish that lack of management support, inadequacy of skills within project teams, lack of resources, and resistance to change are some of the factors that hinder adoption of APM processes, and that these challenges can be mitigated through creation of awareness among industry leaders. Lastly, the findings will establish that all stakeholders play an integral role in the effective management of projects.
1.8 Structure of the Thesis
This thesis comprises of six (6) chapters. Chapter one is the introduction which provides the background information, motivations for the research, research questions to be answered, significance of the study, research design, the theoretical orientation, the thesis structure, and conclusion.
Chapter two is the literature review. It will review all the relevant literature concerning the topic and the various concepts concerning Agile Project Management.
Chapter three is the research design. This section describes the overall research methodology to be used to conduct the study. It includes the research overview, hypothesis, research questions, research design analysis, instrumentation, ethical considerations, methodology limitations, and conclusion.
Chapter four is the analysis of research data. This section analyzes using descriptive statistics and presents it using descriptive tables and pie charts
Chapter five draws conclusions from the analyzed data, highlights the contributions of the study, provides the study’s limitations, and areas of further research inquiry.
Chapter six comprises of the sources that have been cited in the study.
Agile Project Management technology promises to address the challenges faced by traditional project management processes in project planning and implementation. Instructively, the success of APM techniques in software development can be, with proper management, replicated in other sectors outside the information technology. This study will be beneficial to all stakeholders involved in project management as its findings can be used to make informed decisions during project planning and execution. Additionally, it will be useful for policymakers as it will provide important information that can inform the formulation of appropriate policies regarding project management. Lastly, the study’s findings will enrich the existing body of knowledge on project management.
CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW
This chapter reviews available literature pertaining to Agile Project Management methodologies and their application in a variety of non-IT and non-software domains. The chapter focus on several issues, including history of APM techniques, APM characteristics, Agile methodologies, applicability in non-IT and non-Software domains, challenges facing APM methodologies and mitigation strategies, research gap, and conclusion.
2.2 Project Management
More than ever, organizations are increasingly focusing on project management (PM) as a way of remaining competitive and means of achieving their business goals in today’s fast-paced and complex economy. Project management has been defined as “the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements” (Gartner 2019, par.1). Many Project Portfolio Management (PPM) leaders are aware that the core value of projects supersedes the timely and on-budget delivery of projects to encompass the achievement of the expected outcomes by an organization. Project management has been misunderstood by many people especially those who believe that it is a needless budgetary constraint, for it results in extra costs that exceed the budgetary allocations for a given project. It has been noted that an effective project management goes beyond “keeping project management’s iron triangle in check, delivering on time, budget, and scope; it unites clients and teams, creates a vision for success and gets everyone on the same page of what’s needed to stay on track for success” (Aston 2017, par. 2). The use of PM in execution of projects has several advantages that include;
2.2 1 Strategic Alignment
PM ensures that projects are delivered at the right time to create value for an organization. Evidently, individuals and companies have set certain goals that they intend to achieve, and projects serve to advance these goals. Project management ensures that projects are planned within a client’s wider strategic agenda in order to attain better business results. However, it is imperative to note that a project is prone to certain risks that may require change of strategy, and this is the point where project management ensures that the project is flexible enough to accommodate any imminent change so as to avoid wastage of resources and time.
For a project to be successful, there is need for direction and leadership, and this can be provided by project management. In the absence of proper PM, the project team becomes disorganized, disoriented, and without purpose. According to Aston (2017), the intent of PM is to provide leadership, motivation, inspiration, and vision for the team to effectively and efficiently discharge their mandate. In this context, project managers play an important role in project execution as they enhance accountability, transparency, and maintain order among the team members, for they are ultimately responsible for the failure or success of a project.
2.2.3 Maintains Project Objectives and Focus
Project management enables project teams to come up with a solid plan for achieving project goals. PM ensures that the teams have clearly defined roles, are focused, and work towards the achievement of set objectives. Project managers are better placed to ensure that projects are completed on time by breaking up tasks so that the members can focus their energies on specific objectives, and this allows for easy identification of emerging risks so that they are addressed promptly and appropriately (Aston 2017). Oftentimes, a project is bound to change its goals in accordance with attendant risk, and this calls for proper project management practices to ensure that team members are focused and where necessary, the objectives are aligned accordingly.
2.2.4 Rational Project Planning
Rational project planning is integral to the success of any enterprise. A well planned project is one that identifies the deliverables, timelines for completion, and its estimated cost. Arguably, when project management is lacking, project teams tend to set deadlines and allocate resources that are unrealistic and unattainable. According to Project Management Institute (2010), successful organizations in various sectors and geographical locations have increasingly embraced project management as a means of cutting down costs and improving project outcomes. The adoption of PM ensures that projects are delivered on time and within the budgetary allocations. In this regard, project managers have a duty and responsibility of setting achievable and reasonable timelines and budgets. Unfortunately, the desire to deliver sometimes undermines the important steps, which invariably results in poor quality projects. Therefore, it is pertinent that project managers initiate realistic plans within the scope of the project and the available resources.
2.2.5 Quality Control
Maintaining quality is of paramount important in any project. Understandably, project teams come under immense pressure to bring projects to their logical conclusions. Notably, when a project manager who is not dedicated and has no support from the top management, there is underestimation of tasks, schedules are made tighter, and processes hurried (Aston 2017). This situation leads to poor quality outcomes. Project management allows for proper planning in terms of resources and deadlines as well as quality testing at every step of the project. It has been argued that “Good project management demands gated phases where teams can assess the output for quality, applicability, and ROI” (Aston 2017, par. 23). Therefore, efficient and effective project management is at the core of quality assurance as it enables project teams to assess and test the quality of their work at every phase of the project.
Acceptable project management practices
Adherence to acceptable project management practices and processes helps in minimizing costs, reducing risks, and improving the success rates of projects. Many organizations have realized the need for investing resources, time, and money to develop their project management potential, for this leads to increased efficiencies, sustained stakeholder and customer satisfaction, and improved competitiveness. According to AltexSoft (2016), projects comprises of several phases that also have a number of internal steps that vary in terms of scope, project, industry, and team. The Agile Project Management methodologies have been developed to effectively manage projects while addressing the pitfalls of the traditional approaches to enterprise management.
2.3 Agile Project Management
In recent times, agile project management methodologies have widely been adopted in managing projects in the information technology sector. For instance, agile techniques can determine whether a software development initiative succeeds or fails entirely (Vandersluis 2014). Agile processes have inspired flexibility and efficiency in software engineering. According to AltexSoft (2016), the development of agile approaches were inspired by the incremental development methods that were widely used by Motorola and IBM and popularized by scientists such as von Neumann, Dimsdale, and Weinberg in the late 1950s.Vandersluis (2014) posits that agile methodologies developed from Rapid application design (RAD), a popular software development philosophy of the eighties and nineties. RAD enabled developers to continually improve on the software designs they were working on before they were completed. Similarly, RAD was based on the ideas behind design-build, then a common process in the construction and engineering industry. Correspondingly, design-build was rooted in rolling wave, a highly regarded way of thinking in earlier project management processes (Vandersluis 2014). Therefore, APM has evolved over time to become what it is today.
It was realized that the agile processes differed greatly with the traditional approaches. However, the current agile techniques were unveiled in 2001 by a group of software developers who came up with the Agile Software Development Manifesto, which highlighted the need for better methods of software development.
According to AltexSoft (2016, p. 6), the agile manifesto helped in the formulation of methods, standards, plans, and principles that guide APM today, and it states thus in its totality;
Figure 2: The Manifesto for Agile Software Development (Beck et al. 2001).
The new approach
In combination with the principles guiding agile software development, the new approach has gained universal traction as the new way of managing projects. Agile thinking is a process that is focused on achieving the desired outcomes through repetitive actions. The APM methodologies comprise of several small iterative cycles commonly referred to as sprints, each of which is considered to be a mini project with several steps that include the “design, implementation, testing and deployment stages within the pre-defined scope of work” (AltexSoft 2016, p. 6). In each iteration cycle, a product is improved by adding new features hence every sprint delivers an improved product. The early validation of the new features ensures that a project succeeds by producing quality products. AltexSoft (2016) notes that agile thinking is characterized by the following attributes: 1) Flexibility: the agile approach is adaptive to any changes that may occur during the different phases of a project, 2) Work breakdown: APM encompasses small iterative tasks known as sprints, 3) Value of teamwork: the members of a project team usually work together and have clearly defined roles, 4) Iterative improvements: products are continuously assessed and reassessed for purposes of making improvements on them thus leading to quality outputs, and 5) Cooperation with a client: the project team works closely with the client to ensure that any changes to be made on a product are unanimously agreed upon by both parties. The agile process has several benefits, including proving room for change, increasing project team productivity, and ensures that a project is visible from a broader perspective.
2.4 Agile methodologies
Agile Project Management consists of several methodologies as discussed below.
2.4.1 Extreme Programming (XP)
In software development, extreme programming is focused on improving the quality of the software while responding to the changing customer needs. According to Beck (2000), the conception and development of XP was meant to address software development needs undertaken by small teams in light of the changing and indistinct requirements. Despite being considered to be a lightweight process, extreme programming has challenged numerous traditional principles, including the belief that altering a piece of software dramatically increases its cost over time. This methodology is geared towards cost reduction and exploitation of due savings. XP “advocates frequent “releases” in short development cycles, by using sprints for one, two or three weeks, which are intended to improve productivity and introduce checkpoints at which new customer requirements can be adopted” (Murat 2016, p. 11). Extreme programming has other features that include paired programming or undertaking wide-ranging code reviews, all codes are unit tested, foregoing programming of software features unless required, the management structure is flat, focuses on code clarity and simplicity, anticipates change in customer’s needs, and encourages close collaboration between the client and software developers. According to Murat (2016), XP is premised on four main values (simplicity, courage, communication and feedback) and twelve supportive practices (planning game, small releases, customer acceptance tests, and simple design among others). However, XP has its own pitfalls that include shifting requirements, no provisions for resolving user conflicts, and the lack of design documentation or specifications. \
Scrum provides a platform upon which individuals can develop and sustain complex products. Schwaber and Sutherland (2017, p. 3) define Scrum as “A framework within which people can address complex adaptive problems, while productively and creatively delivering products of the highest possible value.” It is described as being simple to comprehend, lightweight, and hard to complex to understand. The Scrum framework has found application in complex project management since the early 1990s. According to Schwaber and Sutherland (2017), Scrum is neither a techniques nor process for product building, but a framework upon which various techniques and processes are used. This model encompasses the best practices in project management and development that are focused on making improvements to a product.
Scrum is constituted of Scrum teams that have specific roles, rules, artifacts, and events that are all geared towards ensuring that projects are brought to their logical conclusion. Initially, Scrum was meant to manage and develop products but since1990s it has increasingly found applicability in a variety of areas, including researching and identifying feasible markets, products, and technologies; developing and enhancing products, sustaining new products; developing Cloud and other environments for product use; and releasing products.
Customers’ project needs
Scrum recognizes that customers’ project needs and wants are inclined to change, and cannot be adequately be addressed by the traditional approaches. The Scrum framework utilizes the empirical approach, which accepts that such changes may not be fully defined or understood, thus focuses on the project team’s ability to respond to any alterations to the initial plan. according to Schwaber and Sutherland (2017), It has been noted that “Scrum has been used to develop software, hardware, embedded software, networks of interacting function, autonomous vehicles, schools, government, marketing, managing the operation of organizations and almost everything we use in our daily lives, as individuals and societies” (Schwaber & Sutherland 2017, p.4 ). Notably, Scrum has been able to address today’s attendant market, technology, and environmental complexities.
2.4.3 Rational Unified Process (RUP)
TheRational Unified Process also uses the iterative approach in product development. This methodology is an adaptable framework that can be customized by an organization and project teams to fit their needs (Murat 2016). In this regard, project planners choose those elements of the process that are useful to them in terms of product delivery. However, Borth and Shishido (2013) posit that though RUP is regarded as an agile process as it enhances change and depends on iterative development, it differs from agile thinking in that it adopts heavy documentation throughout the life cycle of a project. According to Kruchten (2000), RUP is built on the best practices in software development, including iterative development, requirement management, use of component-based designs, visual model software, continuous verification of software quality, and software change control. The Rational Unified Process has two designs, namely static and dynamic structures (Gouveia 2015).The static design demonstrates the interaction between team members and activities throughout the project while the dynamic design is a representation of the lifecycle of a project in regard to iterations, stages, and milestones.
This is one of the popular frameworks for managing projects. According to AltexSoft (2016), 43 percent of organizations use Kanban to manage projects. This framework that is premised on Toyota’s production control system is simple yet popular, for it has been widely adopted in the management of many projects. It has been noted that “Kanban focuses on the visualization of the workflow and prioritizes the work in progress (WIP), limiting its scope to match it effectively to the team’s capacity” (AltexSoft 2016, p. 13). Upon completion of one task, the project team picks the next item in the pipeline, a process that allows for planning flexibility, quicker turnaround, transparency, and comprehensible objectives.
Notably, Kanban does not require standardized procedures or fixed iterations seen in Scrum. The uniqueness of Kanban is that it allows project members to visualize the workflow on special boards that utilize sticky notes and or online platforms such as Trello. Every work item has specific information that is contained on the Kanban card, and every team member gets to know what he or she is responsible for, each person’s task, and deadlines for each work among others. The boards also allow each member to post a comment, attach documents, screenshots, or links for further details. It is important to note that members of a project team collaborate with one another, and the ease with which work progress is achieved helps colleagues understand each other’s personal input towards the attainment of a common objective.
2.5 Benefits of Agile Project Management
Project management is increasingly being recognized as a key contributor to organizational performance. Throughout various human civilizations, mankind has been involved in the management of projects that have positively contributed to the development of societies. According to Olasupo, Ibrahim, and Gazal (2012), projects constitute about 50 percent of all the operations of an organization, and they contribute to its growth. Project management (PM) plays an essential part in the success of any project undertaken by a company. There are two approaches to PM, including the traditional processes and the agile methodologies. Arguably, the conventional approaches of managing projects are faced with a myriad of constraints that make project execution a big challenge. This has been attributed to “the increasing complexity of project, large capital investment, widely dispersed project participants, stringent quality standard, escalating cost, environment shocks, increasing stakeholders’ power and advancement in ICT” (Olasupo, Ibrahim & Gazal 2012, p. 1). These hurdles to successful completion of projects have been overcome by the development and use of agile project management methodologies. The adoption of APM’s practices and principles has greatly benefitted many organizations by creating shared value. The merits of agile approaches include the following (Project Management Institute n.d.):
- They enable organizations to adapt to the ever changing business requirements so as to effectively address these needs
- They allow for prompt, faster, and continuous client feedback which enhances better communication and empowers project stakeholders to receive and review relevant information that is necessary for project completion
- They help in early determination of the return on investment (ROI)
- They bring on board all project stakeholders and this enhances the quality of the project outcomes
- They ensure high project visibility and determine the progress of a given project, and this allows for early detection of attendant problems facing an enterprise project.
- Due to the incremental delivery of work, they minimize process and product waste
Several factors play a significant role in the successful completion of any given project undertaking, including its complexity, resources, budgets, schedules, clients, goals, objectives, and stakeholders. In this regard, effective communication, team collaboration, and leadership play a pivotal role in the management of projects if its aims and objectives are to be achieved.
2.6 Applicability of APM methodologies in non-IT and non-Software Domains
It is important to note that agile thinking takes cognizance of the importance of human capital, cooperation, and shared value in achieving project success. The philosophy behind agile approaches are aptly captured in the Agile Manifesto, for they exploit iterative and incremental processes, observe flexibility and rapid responses, effective communication among clients, stakeholders, and project teams to produce work of the highest quality. The process of dividing a project into small tasks allows for faster development, testing, and modification of products, which leads to minimization of errors and costs. Nowadays, agile methodologies are being embraced by various non-IT domains beyond the information technology sector, including construction, education, aerospace, and travel and tourism industries.
Notably, agile methodologies are usually applied in information technology projects, but are increasing being adopted to manage non-IT projects, including company reorganizations, company relocation, and departmental business processes change in organizations (Murat 2016).
For instance, Eden (2013) posits that agile processes can be used in developing educational course projects where they enhance quality, flexibility, focus, sharing of knowledge, and enhanced adaptation to change. In light of this, agile technologies can be utilized for a variety of projects provided that project teams follow laid down procedures. For instance, agile approaches are increasingly being used in the construction industry in several areas, including the pre-design, design, and construction phases (Owen et al. 2006). The adoption of agile processes should be based on their beneficial impacts on the organization. However, there are challenges that make it challenging for organizations to adopt agile processes. According to White (2008), the barriers to successful adoption of agile methodologies in most organizations are related to “soft” issues, including human resources and organizational culture, and not necessary to the process themselves or their tools. For instance, people tend to be resistance to change and prefer to do things the old-fashioned way, and indications for such resistance include lame excuses, negative sentiments against the new approaches, and opposition to the project leader.
2.7 Research Gap
Effective project management initiatives are geared towards cost reduction, product quality improvement, meeting deadlines, customer satisfaction, and reduction of wasteful use of resources. It is in this context that agile thinking has been deployed to realize these benefits. Many research studies have established the beneficial implications of adopting agile project management in the IT and non-IT sectors (White 2008; Vandersluis 2014; Murat 2016). However, most studies are focused on the use of agile methodologies in software development in the non-IT sectors. Therefore, this study will focus specifically on the scope of APM on the non-IT and non-Software domains
Agile Project Management methodologies emerged as a result of the frustrations that project managers faced while applying the conventional methods in managing projects. There are several agile methods available to a variety of projects across many industries, including Scrum, Extreme programming, Kanban, and Rational Unified Process among others. The agile thinking takes into consideration various aspects of a project, including its flexibility, cost, time, resources, teams, customers, and stakeholders. The APM frameworks offer speed, quality, and productivity to a given project. The befits of agile technologies include the use of iterative tasks that are well defined to enhance return on investment, ensures that the progress of a project is highly visible, and enables early identification of inherent errors in a product which allows for modification. In addition, the agile processes encourage client participation in the project, allow organizations to change in accordance to new market demands, and minimize wasteful use of resources. Therefore, organizations should be aware of the available agile methodologies so as to select the one that meets its needs.
2.9 Research Model
Independent Variables Dependent Variables
Figure 2: Research Model
2.10 Table Showing Chapter Two Summary
|The article looks at project management and the traditional and agile approaches in PM||AltexSoft||2016||Agile Project Management methodologies emerged as a result of the frustrations that project managers face when applying the conventional methods in managing projects. The agile methodologies include Scrum, Extreme programming, Kanban, and Rational Unified Process among others. The agile thinking takes into consideration various aspects of a project, including its flexibility, cost, time, resources, teams, customers, and stakeholders.|
|The study looked into the application of agile techniques in the development of educational course projects.||Eden||2013||The study established that the use of agile methodologies in education brought about quality, flexibility, focus, sharing of knowledge, and enhanced adaptation to change.|
|The purpose of this study was to establish how Agile Project Management concepts can be implemented in non-IT situations. It also sought to find out the factors to be taken into consideration when deciding if an agile framework should be adopted or not.||Gouveia||2015||The study concluded that Agile Project management has a higher potential for application in New Product Development, and that the factors that determines the adoption of an agile approach include competitiveness, innovativeness, and the project team’s autonomy and experience.|
|The research study sought to establish the adoption of Agile Project Management in the travel industry and||Murat||2016||Agile methodologies can be invaluable to the travel industry provided there are enough resources, qualified and experienced project teams, and top management support. However, the author cautions that agile approaches does not guarantee absolute success but they help project teams to focus their energies towards the production of valuable products and better business outcomes.|
|The research study looked into how project management determines the success of projects at Blackstone Construction Company||Olasupo, Ibrahim and Gazal||2012||The study established a link between the quality of a project and the success of a business; the quality of a project and technical achievement. The study also established that the cost of a project determined its acceptability by customers.|
|The paper provides a summary of the historical development of Agile Project management, while at the same establishing how it differs from lean and agile production as well as ‘leagile’ construction.||Owen et al.||2006||The authors found out that Agile Project Management is useful during the pre-design and design stages of construction but faces many challenges when adopted during the actual construction. However, the researchers note that if these hurdles are successfully overcome, APM offers several benefits that surpass any single project.|
|This article highlights the importance of project management in today’s competitive economy.||Project Management Institute||2010||The article argues that project management enables organizations to mitigate risks, reduces costs, and ensures the success rates of business operations.|
|This guide provides various aspects of the Scrum guide, including its roles, artifacts, events, and rules.||Schwaber and Sutherland||2017||The authors argue that all aspects of Scrum are incontrovertible and although it is possible to implement parts of this framework, it does not amount to Scrum. This approach can only exist in its entirety and can serve as a container for other practices, techniques, and frameworks.|
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