The Impact of Agile Project Management on IT Productivity: A Comprehensive Analysis
Task: What is the impact of agile project management on IT productivity?
Agile project management has emerged as a new concept for managing projects in different industries. Scholars and experts are of the opinion that this project management method can become one of the best possible project managements in the 21st century (Bergmannand Karwowski, 2019). It has been observed that APM generates significant impact on IT projects. There has been an increasing pressure on global firms in delivering quality products in the dynamic and rapidly changing business environment. This has resulted in the development of various APM methodologies that help in better managing the projects. Agile project management is a new approach that organizations undertake for managing various time-sensitive and high-risk projects (Layton, Ostermillerand Kynaston, 2020). This is because it helps in gaining better productivity, enhanced quality and superior decision making. In addition, it has also been found to reduce project costs and faster time for marketing in the different projects.
Research Aim and Objectives
The fundamental aim of the research study will be to analyse the impact of agile project management on the productivity of IT projects. In this regard, the application of APM in different IT firms will also be studied in this research.
The research objectives that will be addressed in the research study are:
- To explore the concept of agile project management against traditional project management techniques,
- To study the benefits of undertaking agile project management methods in firms,
- To analyse the impact of agile project management on IT projects,
- To identify potential barriers to the successful implementation of APM in the IT industry
The fundamental research question that will be answered in the main research study is:
What is the impact of agile project management on IT productivity?
For this purpose, various secondary questions will also be answered in the research study:
• Why does firms undertake agile project management in current business environment as opposed to the traditional project management?
• What are the benefits of agile project management methods being applied in different industries?
• What is the impact of this project management method on productivity of IT projects?
• What are the potential barriers that companies can face while implementing APM in IT projects?
In current business environment, firms undertake project management for planning, organizing, directing and controlling various resources for achieving desired objectives (Layton, Ostermillerand Kynaston, 2020). It further involves application of different tools, techniques, skills and knowledge for meeting the stakeholders’ needs and expectations of a project.According to Salameh (2014), agile project management (APM) combines concepts of traditional project management with collaborative, flexible and disciplined practices that have been largely influenced by agile software development methods. These development methods mainly include Lean, Scrum and extreme programming that are driven by principle-based activities. Thus, it helps in immediate adjustment of the project based on different requirements. As pointed out by Serradorand Pinto (2015), agile project management (APM) methodology has gained widespread importance in recent years for reducing the risks associated with traditional and front-end planning methods resulting in downstream development pathologies. The authors have further opined that agile methods facilitate flexibility and responsiveness in uncertain and dynamic environment by using minimum documentation. This indicates that less planning and more agility are used in agile projects. Thus, agile methods are also being used in technology or IT projects as they can directly handle challenges present in dynamic projects in the changing environments.
According to Bunsiriand Kumprom (2016), agile project management leads to better product quality because its methods act as excellent safeguards by undertaking a proactive approach for preventing product problems. It also embraces sustainable development, good design and technological excellence, defines and elaborates on specific product requirements and incorporates continuous integration and testing in the development process. APM also makes use of automated testing tools for fixing bugs and addressing issues immediately and conducting sprint retrospectives, thereby enabling the scrum team in continuously improving project process and activities (Canty, 2015). In addition, it helps in enhancing customer satisfaction, improving team morale, increasing ownership and collaboration, improving performance visibility, product predictability, reducing risks and increasing project control. In this regard, Salameh (2014) has also argued APM often results in increased responsiveness, product quality, speed and flexibility, managerial and personnel skills and improved predictability. These improvements further help the organizations in gaining benefits like shorter delivery time, higher customer satisfaction and retention, cost reduction and increased clients. Thus, this shows that APM overcomes the limitations of traditional project management methods.
As pointed out by Franková, Drahošová and Balco (2016), agile methods emphasize on the fundamental objective of ensuring effective software development without the presence of defects. It has been observed that agile project management methods can be used for Big Data projects for several reasons. This is because it helps in cooperation with customers, people and communication, processes and tools, functional software development, sticking to the plan, responding to changes, documentation of software and fixed contracts. These activities of APM help in better managing of big data projects undertaken in the firms. Furthermore, Agbejuleand Lehtineva (2022) have opined that the core values of agile framework are applied to the agile project management. These are focusing on working software over documentation, individuals and interactions over tools, techniques and processes, responding to changes over planning and customer collaboration over negotiation of contracts. This helps APM in adapting to uncertainties in the project environment alongside making necessary changes in the later phases of a project. Agbejuleand Lehtineva (2022) have further argued that APM becomes most effective in uncertain projects having new design and problem-solving activities. This is because it is capable of handling high rate of changes, risks and complexities in the projects. Thus, these agile methods ultimately help in fostering a working environment with high creativity and productivity for bringing value to the customer.
There are also several challenges involved in the application of agile project management in new product development. According to Conforto, et al. (2014), some issues to this implementation are difficulties in building co-located team members, inadequate full-time dedicated project members and need for functional managers. It is also difficult in involving customers possessing a higher degree of influence on the project development alongside managing the participation of suppliers in APM methodology. In addition, project managers often face hurdles in adapting their current or formalized project processes to agile methods.
In this research the researcher will choose pragmatism research philosophy. When the researcher choses the research design that is closely associated with the actual investigation it is known as research philosophy. This philosophical technique is widely used by researchers in both quantitative and qualitative analysis (Shah, et.al., 2019). In this research the researcher will first identify problems that are closely associated with the productivity of IT and how these problems can be solved with the help agile project management techniques. The researcher will choose this philosophy over other philosophical view points because it can help the researcher to inquire about the topic and accomplish the research objectives with better understanding.
In this research study, the researcher will use inductive research approach. When conclusions are drawn from specific elements to general it is known as inductive research approach. Inductive research approach is generally chosen by a researcher because it can help them to explore wide varieties of activities (O’Kane, et.al., 2019). In this research, the collected data will be observed by the researcher to get an overview of agile project management technique. Once, the researcher interprets underlying patterns of the data it will help them to draw relevant conclusions and accomplish the research objectives. Moreover, the researcher has decided to use inductive approach in the dissertation because it will allow flexibility. Future events that are associated with agile project management can also be predicted by the researcher with the help of this research approach technique.
In this research, the researcher will use descriptive research design. When information is obtained to describe a certain phenomenon, it is known as descriptive research design. This research design associated well with qualitative analysis(Doyle, et.al., 2020). This research design will be chosen by the researcher because it helps in answering the research questions more effectively that further helps in accomplishing the goals of the research. In this research, the researcher will use descriptive research design to describe how agile project management technique have an impact on the productivity of IT projects.
Data Collection and Analysis
This is one of the most important segments of a research study. The aim and objectives of the research will only be accomplished by the researcher if the researcher manages to collect relevant data. In this research, the researcher will collect data from secondary sources. When data are collected from peer-reviewed, journal and newspaper articles it is known as secondary data (Mhlanga and Moloi, 2020). The researcher will also collect data from various company and government websites in order to find out the impact of agile project management on the productivity of IT projects. The researcher will also made sure to collect data from secondary sources that are not more than 5 years old. The objective behind such action is to make the research more updated and authentic. The researcher will choose secondary sources over primary because it will help the researcher provide insightful information about the research topic.
In addition to this, the researcher will use qualitative analysis tool for analysing the collected data. The objective behind choosing this technique is to help readers get in-depth information about the selected topic. More specifically, it can be said that the researcher will use thematic analysis technique for analysing the collected data. The process in which data sets are identified through underlying patterns it is known as thematic analysis. This analysis technique is currently used by researchers in qualitative psychology (Braun and Clarke, 2022). The researcher will primarily identify codes from the collected data. The codes will mainly focus on agile project management technique. The identified codes will be further used by the researcher to generate themes. The objective behind generating themes is to accomplish the research objectives and help the readers and industry leaders get insightful information about the research topic. In-depth analysis is the primary reason the researcher will chose thematic analysis over quantitive analysis tool.
It is the utmost responsibility of a researcher to focus on ethical components while carrying out the research study. The set of principles that guide the entire research study is known as ethical considerations. Relevant data will be collected from sources that gives open access to researchers. Moreover, the collected data will solely used for the purpose of the research. The data will only be shared to third party if required for the research study. The researcher will make sure to stop sharing personal information of authors whose work will be taken for further analysis. Major objectives behind considering all these ethical aspects are to present an authentic and reliable research to the readers and the working professionals. However, due to time constraints the researcher will unable to cross-check each collected information. This might make the research slightly unreliable and less authentic. The researcher should be accountable for the issues within the research because accountability also makes a research authentic.
Research Programme with Key Milestones
The objective of describing the key milestones along with a timeline is to help readers get an estimation of time that has been leveraged by the researcher to accomplish few milestones. In the following part of the proposal, the researcher will make sure to discuss about the key milestones with the help of a Gantt chart.
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Shah, S.S., Shah, A.A. and Khaskhelly, N., 2019. Pragmatism research paradigm: a philosophical framework of advocating methodological pluralism in social science research. Grassroots, 52(1).