I am a Masters student in Project management (I have a bachelors in Mechanical engineering. ) and requires a thesis to be completed in 4 months. It can be an empirical or conceptual paper. I was looking around integration of agile project management in automation or industry 4.0, but could not zoom in on a particular research question. it would be great if any one can help me.
My suggestion is simply that what do you intend to do after your Masters? Think 3 steps ahead, as an MPM, I can advise you that if you intend to pursue industrial practice, focus on applied learning with your dissertation, focus on conceptual experiments which you can simulate - if something mature comes out of it, it's great, if not, at least discuss your ideas clearly.
If your intention is to pursue a conclusive study of these things, 4 months is a little too short of a time. It might be challenging for you to fit that many activities within such a timeline that goes behind empirical studies. Note that empirical studies need data - you will need to formulate instruments, get them validated, collect data, analyse them, test them against formed hypotheses and then write your paper (usually 100,000 words or more). So, 4 months, things might be a little tight. Can you handle it? Remember, it's about you and your ability to manage these kind of things.
In my case, I successfully completed an empirical study when I did my MPM. I had to manage my time very carefully and am fairly disciplined in my activities (think missing out of life for a while).
Either way, I have done a little work in the area of factors behind successful software projects. This study may be found here:
First you need to read the literature and find out where the gaps are in the topic you are interested in. Then, you need to develop a model for your study that includes the variables of interest. Then, you can start working on the method through which you want to examine your model. Most importantly, READ first.
I am conducting a large (n = 600+) literature review of agile development methods. Without doing your work for you, I can tell you there is a large number of case studies documented in the literature examining usage of agile development methods in embedded systems engineering.
It is interesting that the concept of agility was first introduced in the context of hardware development1, only then it was adopted in software development2, 3. The software context however took over and nowadays many practitioners are not aware of the origins.
So introducing agility to hardware development and to development of embedded systems is kind of a "homecoming" for agile approaches to development/project management.
Of course, the concept has evolved since when it was first introduced.
You can synthesize the literature, find a weak spot (or a gap) and perhaps contribute by a case study, if you manage to locate one.
1 Takeuchi, Hirotaka, and Ikujiro Nonaka. "The new new product development game." Harvard Business Review (1986).
2 Alliance, Agile. "Manifesto for agile software development, 2001." (2001).
3 Schwaber, K. (1997). Scrum development process. In Business object design and implementation (pp. 117-134). Springer, London.
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