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The Benefits and Key Challenges of Agile Project Management under Recent Research Opportunities


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Frequent changes in project environment have made it increasingly difficult for project managers to use tradition project management methods that emphasize on development of rigorous plans and installation strict control mechanisms for ensuring there are no deviations. Agile project management (APM) has been recommended as alternative to the traditional approaches. In APM, teams use flexible and iterative approaches in implementing projects, which enable them to adjust plans in line with changes in the project environment. The purpose of this paper was to examine the benefits and challenges of using APM. It was found that APM methods present numerous benefits including reduction in the cost of rework, fast completion of projects, and greater customer satisfaction. However, the use of APM method is limited by challenges such as difficulties in scheduling tasks, difficulties in managing knowledge, and difficulties in managing large and multi-site projects. These challenges can be surmounted by blending elements of traditional project management into the agile methods.
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International Research Journal of Management Sciences. Vol., 5 (1), 20-28, 2017
Available online at
ISSN 2147-964X ©2017
The Benefits and Key Challenges of Agile Project
Management under Recent Research Opportunities
Zahid Ali Masood1*, Samia Farooq2
1COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan
2Mohammad Ali Jinnah University (MAJU), Islamabad, Pakistan
*Corresponding Author Email:
ABSTRACT: Frequent changes in project environment have made it increasingly difficult for project managers to
use tradition project management methods that emphasize on development of rigorous plans and installation strict
control mechanisms for ensuring there are no deviations. Agile project management (APM) has been recommended
as alternative to the traditional approaches. In APM, teams use flexible and iterative approaches in implementing
projects, which enable them to adjust plans in line with changes in the project environment. The purpose of this
paper was to examine the benefits and challenges of using APM. It was found that APM methods present numerous
benefits including reduction in the cost of rework, fast completion of projects, and greater customer satisfaction.
However, the use of APM method is limited by challenges such as difficulties in scheduling tasks, difficulties in
managing knowledge, and difficulties in managing large and multi-site projects. These challenges can be surmounted
by blending elements of traditional project management into the agile methods.
Keywords: APM, Agile Project Management, Agile Versus Traditional Project Management, Benefits of Agile
Approaches, Key Challenges of Agile Project Management.
The environment in which projects are implemented has become highly dynamic and predictable. The cultural,
social, and organizational environments in which projects are implemented are ever changing (Collyer, 2009).
Modern projects are also characterized by numerous categories of stakeholders who have a significant impact on the
projects. The focus on project management has also shifted from getting projects completed within scope, schedule,
and cost to ensuring that project outcomes satisfy customers and all stakeholders (Cervone, 2010). It has also become
paramount for project teams to work closely with other stakeholders in order to increase chances of realizing project
success. Consequently, project managers need approaches that are adaptable and flexible. The agile project
management (APM) was developed to respond to this need.
Agility refers to the ability to take proactive actions in an unpredictable and ever changing environment (Xu,
2009). On the other hand, APM is an incremental and iterative approach of managing project where project
developers and stakeholders are expected to work together to identify the product that need to be built and prioritize
specifications (Adjei & Rwakatiwana, 2009). The goal of APM is to enhance the speed of project delivery by
reducing the effect of complexity and uncertainties. There are a number of critical success factors in agile project
Intl. Res. J. Manag. Sci. Vol., 5 (1), 20-28, 2017
management including flexibility, team competence, managerial support, speed, and increased involvement of
project users. This paper examines the benefits and challenges associated with APM and Roles associated with it.
Agile versus traditional project management
Traditional project management (TPM) relies on the plan or process approach to manage projects. TPM
approaches are typified by premeditated and well-organized plans and control methods (Lozo & Jovanovic, 2012).
The plan approach emphasizes on the development of a detailed plan upon which all activities of the project are
developed and implemented. On the other hand, the process approach emphasizes the use of five groups of
processes: initiating processes, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing processes (Sharma et al.,
2012). The processes are implemented in a linear fashion. These TPM approaches are found to be effective in
projects that have well defined scope and that are implemented in environments that have little complexities and
Recently, traditional project management approaches have been criticized because evidence show that projects
are becoming increasingly complex and their environments are becoming highly unpredictable (Karamitsos et al.,
2010). The business environment has become very dynamic and customer expectations have become volatile.
Consequently, it has become difficult for project managers to rely on the traditional project management approaches
that stress the development of rigid plans and adherence to rigid processes. Agile project management (APM) is
viewed as an alternative approach that has the potential of overcoming the challenges of the traditional project
management approaches (O’Sheedy, 2012). APM is an approach that focuses on embracing change as part of all
projects rather than trying to limit change through development of rigorous requirements and upfront plans.
APM uses an iterative approach for managing projects where projects are planned and developed in short cycles
enabling the project team to respond to changes. APM is founded on the premise that the environment in which
projects are implemented is unpredictable; hence, it is inappropriate to rely on rigid project plans and design (Adjei
& Rwakatiwana, 2009). The iteration approach that defines APM emphasizes on the need to reconsider each of the
completed project cycle before moving to the next. This implies that the project specifications, plans and designs
may keep changing in line with changes in the project environment. To conclude, APM process takes into
consideration the new emerging trends, available opportunities, analysis of risks and potential solutions and the
environmental factors influencing the project activities (See figure 1.0). The APM approach was developed in the IT
industry in the 1990s, and quickly transferred to other industry because of its successes in software development
projects (Sharma et al., 2012). It was founded on four essential values: individual and interaction, working software,
customer collaboration, and responding to change.
Need for flexibility, stakeholder engagement and value delivery
Flexibility is one of the defining features of APM. This feature is founded on three basic principles of APM:
embracing change, delivering part of functionality incrementally, and reflecting and learning continuously (Lozo &
Jovanovic, 2012). These principles discourage the use of bureaucratic processes of managing projects. Instead,
project teams are encouraged to use short and incremental cycles when implementing projects, review each of the
completed cycle, and draw lessons for betterment of subsequent cycles. Instead of developing the whole project,
APM approach focuses on dividing the project into several cycles with each cycle adding value to the previous one
(Sharma et al., 2012). The design of the project is continuously improved based on lessons learnt and feedback from
stakeholders. APM also rely on informal and flat organizational structures. This approach enhances the
responsiveness and flexibility of the project to changes in the environment.
Another feature that defines APM is high and continuous involvement of stakeholders in the project
development and implementation processes. In the APM approach, the project manager assumes the role of
providing direction, establishing general rule, and facilitating collaboration between the project team and other
stakeholders (Karamitsos et al., 2010). He/she encourages continuous feedback between stakeholders and project
team enabling the team to effectively address changes. The project manager also has the responsibility of promoting
transparency, openness, shared accountability, and effective communication between the project team and other
stakeholders. The collaborative approach allows the project team to quickly adjust project requirements in line with
changes in the project context.
Focus on customer satisfaction is another feature that defines the agile project management approach.
Traditional project management approaches emphasize on development of project requirements and specifications at
the planning stage of the project and limiting changes to these specifications during the implementation phase
(Sharma et al., 2012). The agile approach recognizes that the project team may not capture all the requirements of
Intl. Res. J. Manag. Sci. Vol., 5 (1), 20-28, 2017
customers at the planning stage of the projects. Consequently, the approach is designed to accommodate new
requirements and changes to existing requirements at any phase of the project because satisfying customers is viewed
as more important than managing scope.
Benefits of agile project management
A significant benefit of APM is that it reduces project cost by eliminating costly changes and rework. In
traditional project management approaches, project teams develop rigid project plans based on the predetermine
specification (Kurup & Sidhardhan, 2015). Any change in the specifications necessitates massive changes to the
project plan and design, as well as, a lot of rework that lead to a significant increase in project costs. A study
conducted by Standish Group (2014) showed that 82% of the studied IT projects that failed to meet budgetary plans
used the traditional waterfall method of managing projects. The APM approach enables the project teams to avoid
costly rework, as this approach is design to respond to unexpected change. The iterative approach used by the APM
enables project team to adapt to changes in the project specification without the need without the need for massive
rework. This argument has been supported in a study conducted by Santos et al (2013) among 109 software project
professionals from around the world. It can be concluded from past research that agile project management (APM)
has its own importance to handle projects in a more efficient way by identifying the risks and unexpected changes
before their occurrence and then help in designing project in accordance with these future risks and changes. In
today’s competitive world, no company can afford the costly rework due to any risk and unexpected changes so, the
use of agile project management is very important for the success of any company.
In their study, Santos et al (2013) established that agile methods improved the management of scope and cost of
software development projects by improving the abilities of development teams, improving the management of user
requirements, enhancing the quality of the code development process and the delivery of products within the shortest
time. The agile approach also helps projects to save resources by eliminating the need for rigorous activities during
the planning phase (Cervone, 2010). It can be concluded by this research that due to tough competition in business
world, no company can rely on one project manager so, the team of project management team which is also known
as agile project management can help in thinking differently from one another to determine the best possible ways of
reduction in overall cost and increase in customer value. In the traditional project management methodologies, huge
undertakings are made during the planning phase including hiring consultant to gather details regarding project
requirements. In some project, more than half of resources are expended at the planning stage before any
development work begins. The basic reason to it was the hiring of consultation team only at the beginning stage of
project (planning phase) in which they were forced to identify possible risks in the form of unexpected changes. It
was not possible in the software development projects to identify all risks in the planning phase because sometimes,
changes have to make in its development stage too. The only solution to this problem, especially in the software
development project was the use of agile approach which helps project team to save resources by placing minimal
emphasis on the planning phase of the project. In this approach, the project team move direct to the implementation
and make short-term and less-rigorous plans as the project progress. In this way, whenever they realize the need for
any change in accordance to possible risks, they easily make that change.
APM also facilitates timely completion of projects by eliminating last minute changes to project plans, scope,
requirement, and designs. The traditional waterfall method focuses on delivering the entire project in line with the
predetermined plans and specification (Leybourne, 2009). Consequently, the project team is compelled to rework the
entire project when there are significant changes to the project environment resulting in significant delays. The APM
approach was design to overcome this limitation by ensuring that changes in the environment are incorporated in the
project designs and plans at every step. Similarly, this approach uses the concept of regular rollout of products
through demonstrations leading to early market entry. The APM method also promotes continuous improvisation and
sprint leading to faster delivery of projects. In their study, Sharma et al (2012), found that the minimal
documentation that characterizes the APM approach also helps the project team to save time and deliver products
within the shortest time. It can be concluded from this research that the major reason of saving time through agile
project management is the use of short-term scope, plans, and design, which not only help in saving cost but also
help to make changes in project in accordance with possible changes of that time. In today’s world, where risks are
large in number due to high competition and continuous change in consumer demands, only APM can help
companies to save time and cost by using short-term scope, plan and design because it is the best way to make
successful changes in a project during implementation phase without any wastage of cost, scope and time.
APM is also associated with improved customer satisfaction. As mentioned in previous paragraphs, one of the
defining features of APM is active and continuous involvement of stakeholders in the development and
implementation of the project (Lozo & Jovanovic, 2012). This feature ensures those stakeholders interests and
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requirements are factored and built in the project resulting in a product that better satisfies the need of all
stakeholders. Similarly, the active involvement of customers and other stakeholders in the project development
creates a strong sense of ownership of and commitment to the project, as well as, the product delivered by the project
(Stare, 2013). In addition, the APM method gives customers the opportunity to get a feel of the product after every
cycle leading to generation of feedback that the project team can use to improve the product in subsequent cycles. It
can be concluded by these researches that APM help companies in gaining customer satisfaction by the delivery of
right product or service to them in accordance with their need and want. The basic reason to it is the high
involvement of stakeholders in each step of project just to determine the possible risks in the form of change in
consumer’s demands and then make possible changes in project in accordance with these demands.
The APM approach also fosters creativity and innovation. The APM method emphasizes the need to give
autonomy to the members of project development and implementation team (Leybourne, 2009). Increased autonomy
leads to improve morale and work engagement resulting in more creativity and innovation. Similarly, the agile
approach encourages the creation of flexible, open, and informal team structures (Stare, 2013). Such structures
facilitate greater interaction and sharing of knowledge and ideas leading to enhanced learning and innovation. In
addition, APM has a positive effect on the confidence of the project team members as minimizes the risk of project
failure by making the project responsive to change (Wells, 2012). Increased confidence among the members of the
project team results in more creativity and innovation, which is of huge importance in today’s competitive business
environment and act like a competitive advantage for companies. It can be concluded that APM is an approach to
perform business activities according to the current business environment in which teamwork matter a lot to bring
operational efficiency and it is a fact that more minds can bring more changes that are positive in product
Another benefit of APM is improved performance visibility. The agile method underscores the use of strategies
such as regular status meetings, progress monitoring, and sprint reviews in assessing intermediate performance of the
projects (Sharma et al., 2012). These strategies provide timely data regarding the status of the project and
performance of the project team unlike in the traditional approach where evaluation is done at the end of the project.
It can be concluded by this research that the project team is able to take timely corrective actions where performance
is found to be wanting; thus, enabling them to avoid costly reworks. In addition, the APM approach seek customer
feedback after each cycle of project implementation implying that monitoring of the project is done from the
perspective of customers (Sharma et al., 2012). The cycle is repeated if the customer is not satisfied with the
intermediate product. This increases the probability of delivering a product that meets the expectation of customers
and other stakeholders without significant cost increments. It is a fact about today’s continuous change in consumer
preferences that if customers provide remarks to customers before the final product development, then it can help a
company to make possible changes in a product just to meet the consumer’s demand and to make the product
development process successful in the form of an increase in sales. All is possible only with the help of agile project
management (APM) because traditional project management does not have any scope regarding the changes in a
project at their implementation stage.
APM also present a suitable approach for managing small projects by SMEs. According to O’Sheedy (2012),
many SMEs do not employ established project management methodologies because the traditional approaches are
too complex and demanding. The traditional waterfall approaches require organizations to develop rigorous plans
and generate massive documentations for project. The APM provides a suitable alternative methodology for
implementing projects within SMEs (Karamitsos et al., 2010). This approach is simple to deploy, as it does not entail
the formulation of detailed plans, estimates, and specifications. The method is also less bureaucratic and does not
require the creation of hierarchical organization structures. It can be concluded from this research that the SME trend
has become more common in a world. As these companies have low capital as compared to other companies so, they
cannot afford any wastage of time, cost, and scope. They are more engage in using APM, which helps them produce
products to meet the demand of right customers and at a right time. If they use traditional project management
approach, then any change in consumer demand during the product implementation phase can cause serious loss
situation for a company.
APM promotes growth of the project team, as well as, individual team members. This project management
methodology emphasizes the empowerment of project team members (Stare, 2013). It encourages project managers
to delegate project tasks to highly motivated people, and provide them with the support and environment that is
necessary to get the job done. Encouraging individual team members to assume responsibilities in the
implementation of the project promotes their personal development. In addition, the agile approach stresses the need
for collaboration between project team and project stakeholders (Sharma et al., 2012). Collaboration enables
individual team members to share ideas among themselves, as well as, between them and other stakeholders, which
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facilitates learning. It is concluded that APM needs collaborative teamwork because it is only a single way by which
each member can freely share ideas to make reasonable changes in the project that can make a project successful.
Challenges of agile project management
A significant challenge of APM is the difficulty in scheduling projects tasks. The agile approach discourages
project teams from developing detailed specification and plans at the initial stages of the project (Kurup &
Sidhardhan, 2015). Specifications and plans are made for each cycle during implementation and not for the whole
project. This approach makes it difficult for the project team to estimate the duration of the entire project leading to
scheduling problems. This problem may have a significant impact on the project given that a project schedule
contribute significantly towards planning for the acquisition of project resources (Stare, 2013). The absence of
accurate schedules means that the project team cannot plan for the acquisition of inputs well in advance exposing the
project to risks such as price fluctuation. The lack of clarity regarding the completion time of the project also make
it difficult for organizations to plan for other projects. It can be concluded that the major challenge for a company in
the use of APM is the lack of proper project schedule due to the presence of different small projects in a one project,
which may cause increases in overall project cost.
The APM approach can also make it difficult for the project team to monitor and control the scope of the
project. This methodology can encourage excessive changes to the project requirement resulting in significant
increase in cost and time (Leybourne, 2009). At times, it may be difficult for the project team to differentiate
between changes that are necessary and nice-to-have changes leading to scope creep. Similarly, the agile approach
makes quality assurance and control difficult because of lack of predetermined specifications and plans against
which performance can be measured and verified (Kurup & Sidhardhan, 2015).
The project is implemented without clear predefined standards and requirements; hence, the project manager
lacks clear guide against which to gage the performance of the team. It is concluded that lack of complete project
scope in the hand of project team do not allow them to evaluate the proper performance of team members in order to
judge that either product development is going in a right direction or not.
APM also creates a challenge when it comes to knowledge management. TPM approaches emphasize the use of
formal communication channels and a lot of documentation (Sharma et al., 2012). On the other hand, APM
encourage project team to cut back on structured forms of communication and decision-making. Consequently, a lot
of the knowledge in APM is tacit and undocumented meaning that it resides in the minds of project team members.
Many organizations view such a situation as unacceptable because it shifts the balance of power from the
management to the project implementing team (Kurup & Sidhardhan, 2015). The tacit nature of APM knowledge
also makes it difficult for the organization to promote transfer of this knowledge across the organization.
People related issues also hamper the APM approach. The APM approach is people-focused rather that process
and plan-focused. The success of this project management approach is heavily dependent on collaboration,
communication, and cooperation between project teams and other stakeholders (Nerur et al., 2013). For
organizations that are accustomed to the traditional and bureaucratic ways of doing things, promoting collaboration
and shared learning among stakeholders can be a daunting task. Similarly, the kind of collaboration and learning
needed in APM can rarely be achieved in the absence of self-motivated, skilled, and above average people. In
addition, the diverse characteristics and backgrounds of stakeholders often make it difficult to rally them behind
common goals and strategies. In her study, Wells (2012) also found that practitioners’ attitudes, accountability, and
expertise had a direct impact on the extent to which the agile approach contributes to the successful implementation
of projects. As Lozo and Jovanovic (2012) explained, organizations cannot successfully implement agile methods
without undergoing transformation. It is concluded that organizations need to transform their structures, cultures and
systems, as well as, prepare their teams first before adopting the agile approach, which is not an easy step for any
company and need a lot of research.
Managing people related issues becomes even more difficult in projects being implemented in geographically
distributed environments. Globalization has led to the growth of projects that are implemented across regions that are
geographically apart (Kurup & Sidhardhan, 2015). The implementation of such projects implies that the project
development and implementation team must also be geographically distributed. It becomes a challenge to promote
collaboration and cooperation among team members who are separated by huge geographical distance. Differences
in time zone and language may make it difficult for the project manager to facilitate meetings and communication
between team members. Cultural differences may also create differences in values, perspectives, and opinions
regarding various project issues. In their study, Shribastava and Date (2010) found that implementation of agile
methods in geographically distributed environments was hampered by breakdown in communication, strategic
issues, knowledge management problems, and process management issues. The use of the APM methodology may
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also become challenging in large projects. The APM approach stresses the need for trust, collaboration, and cohesion
among project team members, as well as, between the project team and other stakeholder (Sharma et al., 2012). This
kind of cohesion and trust is only possible among small teams.
Large projects such road or rail constructions are often characterized by a handful of project managers, tens of
engineers and other specialists, and hundreds of workers. Thousands of stakeholders including suppliers, regulators,
financiers, project users, and the project owners (Sharma et al., 2012) also characterize such projects. It becomes
very challenging to achieve collaboration, trust, and cohesion among the thousands of people involved in such
projects. Daneva et al (2013) also found that there were challenges in implementing agile approaches in large-scale
outsourced projects due to difficulties in setting up vendor-stakeholders collaboration platforms.
In his study, Xu (2009) found that there were serious coordination challenges in implementing agile principle in
large-scale projects because these projects are characterized by limited interaction among participants,
communication difficulties, technical complexity, and complex interdependency of tasks. There are also significant
challenges in implementing the agile approach outside IT, engineering, and product development projects. Having
originated in the IT industry, the APM methods are best suited for software development and other types of IT
projects (Stare, 2013).
The agile method has been easily transferred to engineering and product development projects because these
projects share similarities with IT projects. However, the same cannot be said of projects such as construction of
buildings, roads or bridges. A small change in the specifications of a building may have significant cost and time
implications. This views were supported in a study by Owen et al (2006) that focused on the examining the
applicability of the agile methods in the construction industry. It can be concluded that a company to increase
communication, collaboration, and trust among employees must implement decentralized system in an organization.
It is a fact that traditional centralized organization system conversion into decentralization is a difficult to
approach to implement, manage, and control. In this study, Owen et al (2006) established that agile methods were
applicable to the pre-design and design phase of construction projects, but there were major hurdles to the adoption
of these methods in the construction phase of the project. The authors noted that wide disparities in employees’ skills
and qualifications, as well as, their level of pay making it difficult to attain collaboration and cohesion characterize
the construction phase. Large numbers of sub-contractors and casual workers making it difficult to inculcate loyalty
also characterizes the construction phase. The author also found that implementation of changes in the construction
Need for decentralized
hierarchal system in an
organization to change
organizational culture.
Promotion of collaboration among
employees to implement
knowledge management system in
an organization
Lack of complete project
scope lead towards lack of
project schedule due to
which evaluation of each
step in accordance to
standard is more difficult.
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phase may be harder because changes can have huge impacts on projects and their costs are often too high. It may
also not be possible to allow users to test a building or bridge before completion because of safety concerns.
Role of agile approaches for the management of projects
Agile Project Management is a collaborative method that works best when teams are in proximity. There are
questions regarding the applicability of agile principles in large and multi-site projects that have complex
interdependencies and multiple ownership of product. However, Kratzert et al (2013) argued that the challenge of
using agile methods in large and multisite projects could be surmounted by installing the right systems engineering
framework. They proposed the creation of a system architecture that make parts of systems as independent as
possible making it easy for teams in different sites to work independently. They also recommended the creation of an
integration environment where agile reams can integrate and test their codes at any time. The environment should
also give the team access to codes developed by other teams. This environment will enhance coordination and
prioritization of activities across all project teams. There is also a need to introduce hierarchy to the project
organization structure to enhance coordination.
There are a number of critical success factors in agile project management. One of the critical success factors is
the presence of a correct delivery strategy (Chow & Cao, 2008). It is not enough for the project team to apply the
APM, but the team must devise a good strategy for delivering project outcomes. The strategy must be disciplined,
coherent, comprehensive and consistent with the goals of the project. The second critical success factor is the
capability of the project team (Misra et al., 2013). Availability of highly skilled and motivated team increases the
chances of success and vice versa. Another critical success factor is customer environment (Chow & Cao, 2008). For
APM to be success, customers should be involved meaningfully and continuously in the project design and
implementation activities.
There are many observed cases where agile methods have increased project success. This has various
implications on our understanding of organizations and their fundamental nature. First, the observed success of agile
methods highlights the changing and dynamic nature of modern organizations (Doherty, 2011). Today, the process,
content, and structure of work within organization change on a regular basis. The environment in which
organizations operate has also become extremely volatile. Agile principle responds to this reality by creating
structures that are more flexible and adaptive to change. Second, the observed success of agile highlights the
importance of focusing on customers. Traditionally, organization focused on experts’ opinion and decisions
regarding what constitute a quality product (O’Sheedy, 2012). However, agile methods have stressed the need to
define quality from the customers’ perspective. It recognizes that since customers are the end users of products, the
whole product development process should focus on satisfying their needs and preferences.
Agile project management presents a shift from the traditional project management approaches where the
project team plans for the entire project then execute the plan while controlling changes. The agile approach
recognizes that change is an inevitable part of projects; hence, it places less emphasis on development of rigorous
project requirements and plans. The method accentuates implementation of project in iteration and revision of project
requirements after each cycle. It also stresses the need for collaboration between project teams and other stakeholders
throughout the project development and implementation process. The goal of the agile approach is to make the
project implementation process responsive to changes in the project environment.
The agile approach is associated with a number of benefits to organization, project teams, customers, and
stakeholders. These benefits include reduction in the cost of rework, fast completion of projects, greater customer
satisfaction, individual and team development, improved performance visibility, and greater creativity and
innovation. Even with all these benefits, APM cannot be considered a fault-proof approach of managing projects.
This approach has its own challenges including difficulties in scheduling tasks, controlling quality, managing
knowledge, managing large projects, managing distributed teams, and managing people related issues. To overcome
these challenges, project team and organization should consider blending some elements of traditional project
management such as documentation of projects activities and development of formal project organization structure.
Increased documentation in APM will make it easy for project organizations to manage quality, knowledge, and
schedules. Formal organization structure will enhance coordination especially in large and multisite projects.
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Future work
It is a plan to conduct descriptive research to explore agile project management challenges and benefits
experienced by project managers in southern Asia and Europe. The major reason to conduct a research on southern
Asia countries (India and Sri Lanka) is their experience in using this approach from many years. In the beginning of
implementing this approach, these countries and their companies faced many challenges but, now this agile system is
providing them huge benefits that they are able to develop trade relationships with the United States and European
countries. The research on the challenges of agile project management (APM) in southern Asia countries will
provide a deep idea that in which ways the implementation and the use of agile project management is difficult for
companies that from which type of challenges, they have to pass through. The research on benefits of agile project
management (APM) can help in the motivation of companies that why they have to use this approach and which type
of benefits they can gain by using it.
Similarly, the research on European countries related to agile project management challenges and benefits can
help in getting an idea that why these countries moved towards this APM, which factors motivated them to use this
form of project management and how they move towards decentralized hierarchy in order to implement agile project
management. The basic reason to conduct descriptive research on European countries is the innovation of this system
by these countries that they wanted to gain excellence in their operations to best satisfy the customers.
Overall, the major aim to conduct this future research is to explore the challenges faced by companies in the
past because it may help to alert interesting companies that how they can use agile project management (APM) by
developing the strategies of those companies, which are successfully using it. The determination of agile project
management benefits can motivate companies to bring operational efficiency in their project implementation and
customer satisfaction.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest
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... In contrast, agile methodologies focus on adapting to the situation, making it harder to develop an initial estimate of time consumption and cost. As a result, they are more capable of dealing with changing requirements (Masood and Farooq, 2017). Exploring the Challenges in Transitioning from Traditional More recently industry sectors that do not traditionally have a history of PM are also investigating whether these management practices can bring about improved project success (Pollack and Adler, 2015). ...
... Not only organizations benefiting from using PM for building products and delivering solutions for external clients, but internally the value of project management for the control of IT project delivery and execution has been acknowledged, and has also become a topic of research in the past few years. Many of these recent studies have cantered on researching the emerging concept 'Agile Project Management' (APM) because Agile came as a 'solution' to the disadvantages of the waterfall methodology (Masood and Farooq, 2017) Due to the attractive characteristics of APM such as flexibility and short time-tomarket, agile development has been increasingly popular and the number of organizations which have started to move to APM is growing every day (Masood and Farooq, 2017). Despite the high rate of practicing APM methodologies globally, there is lack of adoption and awareness about APM in Sri Lanka. ...
... Not only organizations benefiting from using PM for building products and delivering solutions for external clients, but internally the value of project management for the control of IT project delivery and execution has been acknowledged, and has also become a topic of research in the past few years. Many of these recent studies have cantered on researching the emerging concept 'Agile Project Management' (APM) because Agile came as a 'solution' to the disadvantages of the waterfall methodology (Masood and Farooq, 2017) Due to the attractive characteristics of APM such as flexibility and short time-tomarket, agile development has been increasingly popular and the number of organizations which have started to move to APM is growing every day (Masood and Farooq, 2017). Despite the high rate of practicing APM methodologies globally, there is lack of adoption and awareness about APM in Sri Lanka. ...
... One of the four Agile Manifesto's values emphasizes the human side of software development stating, "We have come to value: Individuals and interactions over processes and tools" [32]. Recent research has also focused on the human aspects of software development in an agile environment [38,39]. ...
... According to Masood and Farooqi, "The iteration approach that defines agile project management emphasizes the need to reconsider each of the completed project cycle before moving to the next. This implies that the project specifications, plans and designs may keep changing in line with changes in the project environment" [38]. ...
... Nowadays, many other organizations are actively adopting agile project management [12] as an iterative approach to delivering a project throughout its life cycle [13]. The reasons for implementing Agile practices concern the more flexible and adaptive working structures [14], active stakeholders and extensive user participation throughout the project [15], higher performance visibility [16], and transparency [17], to name just a few. ...
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Agile methodologies, along with the corresponding tools and practices, are claimed to facilitate teams in managing their work more effectively and conducting their work more efficiently while fostering the highest quality product within the constraints of the budget. Therefore, the rate of awareness and adoption of Agile frameworks both within and outside the software industry has increased significantly. Yet, the latest studies show that the adoption of Agile techniques and practices are not one-size-fits-all, and highlight the challenges, risks, and limitations regarding numerous domains. In this regard, the state-of-the-art literature provides comprehensive reading. However , in the case of hardware manufacturing, it seems to be sparse and fragmented. To fill this gap, the goal of this study is to analyze and present an in-depth account of the implementation of mix agile-oriented tools and practices. To tackle this goal, a single industry case study was undertaken, based on the primary data obtained through the interview protocol and the secondary data extracted from the project's documentation. The findings concern three areas. First, the rationale behind the implementation of agile for hardware development is explained. Second, the implemented agile techniques and practices are identified, as well as the supporting tools through which their adoption was successfully undertaken. Third, the areas positively impacted by their application are highlighted with the corresponding evaluation measures deployed; moreover, the barriers to adopting Agile practices encountered, and the benefits gained from particular techniques, are further discussed. The presented findings might be of great importance for both researchers and practitioners who are searching for empirical evidence regarding Agile-oriented implementations. Finally, in terms of both benefits and barriers, business implications for hardware development are formulated. Alongside this, numerous open issues and questions present interesting research avenues that concern, in particular, the effectiveness of collaboration and areas of communication through the lens of agile techniques and practices.
... Based on [2], Agile Project Management is an approach to a set of principles that aims to make the project management process simpler, more flexible, and continuing to get better performance (cost, time, and quality) with less management effort and a higher level of innovation and also added value for customers. Agile Project Management is a transition from the traditional project management approach where the project team plans the entire project then implements the change plan [3]. The Agile approach recognizes that change is an inevitable part of a project, so this method emphasizes project implementation in iterations and revisions in each project work cycle. ...
Since information technology changes faster, demanding companies must react quickly and appropriately to the projects carried out. This condition requires an approach to keep the company's projects in a safe state even in an unstable business environment. This study discusses an agile that offers solutions to make the project implementation process more responsive to changes in an unstable project environment. This study was conducted to determine the relationship between knowledge and skills with perceived success in implementing agile project management in companies and how organizational drivers mediate these relationships. Quantitative empirical methods were used as a method for answering the results. The results of this study showed that only the variable knowledge and skills had a significant influence on perceived success, while the variable of organizational factors did not. The results of this study provide an understanding of the implementation of agile project management in companies.
Agile methodology has become the most used software development methodology in different software communities. Besides the extensive benefits that agile methods offer, it also possesses several critical issues. Most studies have reported that when comparing structured methodologies with agile methodologies, agile does improve software quality, other studies have contradicted and questioned the claimed benefits, while others argued that there is not enough empirical evidence. This study aims at investigating the impact that agile method use has on project success in organizations. A systematic literature review to assess the latest evidence of the agile method use impact on project success was conducted. The selected studies were published between 2008 and 2019. Our keyword search found 1507 papers. Thirty publications were selected as our primary studies. The results show that when agile is adopted correctly, the organization can reap its benefits. It positively impacts the success of the project and that makes the customers happy.
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Like other professions, project management is constantly developing, new techniques are emerging, while newer, more effective approaches are being established. As an innovative modern approach, agile project management is most frequently mentioned and many experts argue that it is becoming the project management of the 21st century. The approach was developed in the field of software development and has delivered a number of novelties and benefits for the project team and the project client. On the other hand, it highlights some ‘new’ approaches that are not foreign to ‘traditional’ managers and raises a series of dilemmas about the actual benefits it brings. Even greater dilemmas arise when we attempt to use the approach for other types of projects. This speculative article summarises the most significant innovations introduced by the agile approach and critically assesses the possibility of extending the agile approach to other types of projects.
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This paper deals with the comparative study of agile processes. The paper will serve as guide to other software development process models. Agile processes have important applications in the areas of software project management, software schedule management, etc. In particular the aim of agile processes is to satisfy the customer, faster development times with lower defects rate. This paper compares the agile processes with other software development life cycle models. Agile processes are not always advantageous, they have some drawbacks as well; the advantages and disadvantages of agile processes are also discussed in this paper.
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The application of agile practices for requirements prioritization in distributed and outsourced projects is a relatively recent trend. Hence, not all of its facets are well-understood. This exploratory study sets out to uncover the concepts that practitioners in a large software organization use in the prioritization process and the practices that they deem good. We seek to provide a rich analysis and a deep understanding of three cases in an exploratory study that was carried out in a large and mature company, widely recognized for its excellence and its engagement in outsourced software development. We used in-depth interviews for data collection and grounded theory techniques for data analysis. Our exploration efforts yielded the following findings: (i) understanding requirements dependencies is of paramount importance for the successful deployment of agile approaches in large outsourced projects. (ii) Next to business value, the most important prioritization criterion in the setting of outsourced large agile projects is risk. (iii) The software organization has developed a new artefact that seems to be a worthwhile contribution to agile software development in the large: ‘delivery stories’, which complement user stories with technical implications, effort estimation and associated risk. The delivery stories play a pivotal role in requirements prioritization. (iv) The vendor's domain knowledge is a key asset for setting up successful client-developer collaboration. (v) The use of agile prioritization practices depends on the type of project outsourcing arrangement. Our findings contribute to the empirical software engineering literature by bringing a rich analysis of cases in agile and distributed contexts, from a vendor's perspective. We also discuss the possible implications of the results for research and in practice.
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While organizations want to develop software products with reduced cost and flexible scope, stories about the applicability of agile practices to improve project development and performance in the software industry are scarce and focused on specific methodologies such as Scrum and XP. Given these facts, this paper aims to investigate, through practitioners' perceptions of value, which agile practices are being used to improve two performance criteria for software projects-cost and scope. Using a multivariate statistical technique known as Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA), the results suggest that the use of agile practices can be represented in factors which describe different applications in software development process to improve cost and scope. Also, we conclude that some agile practices should be used together in order to get better efficiency on cost and scope in four development aspects: improving (a) team abilities, (b)management of requirements, (c) quality of the code developed, and (d) delivery of software on-budget and on-time.
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine two aspects of the increasing body of research in the field of project management, namely improvisational working and agile project management (APM). Design/methodology/approach – This is a comparative paper, considering the extant literature on improvisational working within projects and APM. The paper is essentially conceptual, and concludes with a comparative table of constructs, and their segregation into components and outputs. The growth in the recognition of improvisation as a useful addition to the armoury of the project manager stems from the shift that is taking place within the body of project knowledge generally, in that historically the greater proportion of the project management literature has been the epitome of planning in the prescriptive mode, but that a shift has taken place over the last decade or so towards a more behavioural, and as a result of this, a less structured and more improvisational focus. The second area of scrutiny within this paper seeks to position the limited emerging literature on APM within the wider project literature, and to examine overlaps and commonalities with improvisational working within projects. Findings – Common areas across the two working styles are exposed and documented, and there is analysis of recent attempts to combine them with more traditional models. Linkages with complexity theory and complex adaptive systems are also briefly addressed. Practical implications – There is growing awareness amongst practitioners of the potential benefits of improvisational working and “agile” methods, and some potential benefits are identified. Originality/value – This paper moves further from the “traditional” project-based paradigm of “plan – then execute”, offering insights into potential emerging best practice for practitioners in some organisational contexts.
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While software is so important for all facets of the modern world, software development itself is not a perfect process. Agile software engineering methods have recently emerged as a new and different way of developing software as compared to the traditional methodologies. However, their success has mostly been anecdotal, and research in this subject is still scant in the academic circles. This research study was a survey study on the critical success factors of Agile software development projects using quantitative approach.Based on existing literature, a preliminary list of potential critical success factors of Agile projects were identified and compiled. Subsequently, reliability analysis and factor analysis were conducted to consolidate this preliminary list into a final set of 12 possible critical success factors for each of the four project success categories – Quality, Scope, Time, and Cost.A survey was conducted among Agile professionals, gathering survey data from 109 Agile projects from 25 countries across the world. Multiple regression techniques were used, both at the full regression model and at the optimized regression model via the stepwise screening procedure. The results revealed that only 10 out of 48 hypotheses were supported, identifying three critical success factors for Agile software development projects: (a) Delivery Strategy, (b) Agile Software Engineering Techniques, and (c) Team Capability.Limitations of the study are discussed together with interpretations for practitioners. To ensure success of their projects, managers are urged to focus on choosing a high-caliber team, practicing Agile engineering techniques and following Agile-style delivery strategy.
Faced with rapid changes in technology and business environments, more and more information technology (IT) practitioners and researchers are advocating agile methods, which aim to increase customer satisfaction, eliminate waste, accelerate the development process, and lower defects rates. Agile methods, which initially were aimed at small projects, face several challenges when applied to large software projects, however. Concentrating on the challenges of coordinating large agile projects, this study identifies three dimensions of coordination--decision-making structure, communication, and control—and proposes a research framework and a set of propositions to address coordination challenges in large agile projects. Three published case studies are used to illustrate and strengthen the propositions.
This article investigates the benefits and supports provided by project management methodologies (PMMs) to project managers for the management and delivery of information technology/information system (IT/IS) projects. Using a qualitative approach, through case study strategy, the role of PMMs is examined in different business and project contexts. This article evaluates the benefit of PMMs based on their traits and characteristics and investigates PMMs in their operational context: where PMMs come from and how they support practitioners. The findings suggest a misalignment between the intended benefit of PMMs at the strategic level and the reported benefits by project managers at the project level. Additionally, it is shown that practitioners' expertise, accountability, and attitudes all have a direct influence on the extent to which PMMs contribute to and benefit the management of projects.