Update the Management Research document title page with a new date and project name.
Update the previously completed sections based on the instructor’s feedback (see below).
Prepare a first draft of your research report. The report must include the following:
Week 1: Problem Identification, Impacts, Design of Research, and Literature Research
A statement of the problem
Impact of problem on the organization
Consequences if the problem is not resolved
How you intend to conduct the research on the issue and its impacts
Week 2: Problem Impact and Findings from Research
Review of the literature with discussion, findings, and conclusions
How you intend to measure (using synthesis from your research on secondary data) the current state of the
How you intend to measure (using synthesis from your research on secondary data) the success of the solution to
the problem issue
Week 3: Data Collection and Research Analysis Methods
Identification of the data needed
How the data will be collected for the before and the after solution states
Synthesizing how the authors from your research were measuring that data
Synthesizing how the authors from your research conducted analysis of measurement results
Findings of those results as they relate to your project
Week 4: New Content (Discussion and Conclusion on Approach)
Identify conclusions from the results.
Discuss how successful the solution will be in resolving the issue.
Be sure to update your table of contents before submission. There are three papers attached that will be used for
this assignment. All the writer needs to do is put the papers in order by week they will be labeled IP1,IP2, and
IP3 and update the table of contents for the week 4 assignment with the three papers IP1 IP3 table of contents to
reflect the papers first draft.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. Introduction 3
1.1. Background of the research 3
1.2. Identification of the Problems 3
1.3. Impact if the problem is unsolved 3
1.4. Consequences if the problem is not solved 4
1.5. Research 5
1.1. Background of the research
This section summarizes the background of the research before stating the research problem and specific details relating to the study. It includes research problems, impacts if the problem is not solved, and the consequences the company will go through if the q problem remains unsolved. Furthermore, it will discuss the design of research and literature research of the project.
1.2. Identification of the Problems
Agile methodology is important in that it is problem-finding instead of problem-solving. In other words, it is meant to identify potential bottlenecks in a project as soon as possible and quickly look for a workaround to remove the impediments. However, it has challenges such as the many processes and procedures get in the way of productivity. Furthermore, the constant testing adopted by agile approach can cause codes to be broken. In addition, agile method can appear to be slowing the workers down because of the repetition of the same area.
1.3. Impact if the problem is unsolved
Holcombe, (2008) exerts that agile methods are known as lightweight methods because they do not use non-software artifacts such as documentations in the development stage. The other methods are referred to as heavyweight methods, such as SSADM W. (Holcombe, 2008).
When an organization does not utilize agile methods, there are several impacts to the organization. A recognized method of agile is referred to as eXtreme Programming (XP), which simply means to get the project hand done. XP ensures that there is a series of principles which must be followed to ensure that the work is done (Beyer, 2010).
When these issues are not solved, the projects will be faced with problems of delivering results which are of high quality. The traditional methods are mainly composed of following phases of the implementation. Once a phase has been completed, it is impossible to go back to it. The sequence usually starts from requirement analysis, design, implementation, testing, and maintenance (Beyer, 2010).
Unhelkar (2013) describes that the company will also miss out the user s involvement in the project. Sometimes the needs of the customer changes and it are crucial for the project to change to, or else, the final product will not satisfy the client. This is the case with the other traditional methods since once the project starts, changing the objects becomes difficult, unless the entire project starts all over again, which cost time and money. However, with agile methods, there is visibility and transparency on how the project is progressing. In the case of changes of the requirement, the agile method offers an opportunity for change, and the appropriate product satisfying the customers needs is delivered.
1.4. Consequences if the problem is not solved
When the problem is not fixed, the company will undergo the following consequences
Low-Quality products Since Agile uses testing in the cycle of development, not using the methodology will miss out crucial errors due to lack of regular checkups. Therefore, the product will be of low quality for changes which would make it better would not have been solved (Stamelos & Sfetsos, 2007).
Low Customer satisfaction the traditional method of project management does not involve the customer in the process. Therefore, the project would lack visibility and flexibility which is an important factor in any project. As a result, the final product would fail to meet the satisfaction of the customer.
Decrease in project control not utilizing agile project will result in the lack of transparency as well as the application of the Jira usage that is each step of the project will not be visible to the respective parties (Stamelos & Sfetsos, 2007).
The increase of risk Agile is meant to minimize any chances of project failure. Therefore, when it is not used, a working product will not be available since all the phases have to be completed. Furthermore, it will not be possible to adapt the needs of the client in the development process. With agile methodology, users are involved in the implementation process.
Slower Return on Investment (ROI) the benefit of the product will only be realized when the project is completed when the other methods of project management are used (Stamelos & Sfetsos, 2007).
The research will be conducted basing on research questions. The research questions will be used to collect the data, which will be analyzed. To conduct the research, there will be three main research requirements which should be addressed.
First of all, a thorough background study will be conducted for the project which will act as a baseline study. IT projects will be used and how they relate to the topic of the research. Furthermore, a review will be done in the literature so that to fully understand the current status of the research in project management. When the literature has been analyzed, it would focus on only the IT projects and study how the organizations will manage the projects. A literature review will be used to provide a solid foundation for the research and also review on existing models and how they affect the current and past studies.
The other use of literature review will be the provision of continuous feedback in the research process. This will act as a triangulation method to be able to confirm emerging research findings. Any issue which arises in the research will be confirmed and clarified in the literature, and therefore providing validity. The literature will be playing an important part since it will guide the research and precious time will not be wasted as well as resources on the research. This will be because the literature will confirm that other researchers have gone through similar circumstances.
Secondly, an overall plan which will ensure that the research is done in an organized and structured manner will be developed. The planning will use the literature review together with interviews conducted by key participants of the organization which the research will be conducted. This will enable the research problem to have an academic insight as well as a specialist insight (Unhelkar, 2013).
Thirdly, there would be the need of testing the proposed agile method using the toolkit which has been devised. The toolkit will be utilized to ensure that the proposed method can be put into operation and whether it is of sound reasoning. This action is important since it will be investigating whether the problem stated can be solved by the proposed solution on the investigated research. Researching in the field situation will be able to demonstrate if the solution is not only theoretical but also practical (Cooke, 2010).
The research will be conducted in the organization where the researcher is an employee so that he or she can gain full access to the organization and the required information. This will be advantageous for the research since an external employee will not have the same opportunity as an internal employee. However, it should be noted that access to information has other problems such as biases in that the researcher ends up being part of the research findings.
Beyer, H. (2010). User-centered agile methods. San Rafael, Calif.: Morgan & Claypool Publishers.
Cooke, J. L. (2010). Agile productivity unleashed: Proven approaches for achieving real productivity gains in any organisation. Ely: IT Governance Publication.
Holcombe, W. M. L. (2008). Running an agile software development project. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley.
Stamelos, I. G., & Sfetsos, P. (2007). Agile software development quality assurance. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.
Unhelkar, B. (2013). The art of agile practice: A composite approach for projects and organizations. Boca Raton: CRC Press.
Distributed Environments 3
Stress on Social Skills 4
Broken Customer Feedback Channels 4
The Hybrid Attempt 5
Lack of Business Knowledge in the Team 5
Increased Workload 6
Impacts and Research Findings
The Agile project management refers to the iterative method of managing the design process of business or information technology activities to provide a service or product in a highly interactive and flexible manner (Kerzner, 2013). Its evolution traces to the publication of the Agile Manifesto which highlighted the following principles; giving more importance to communication rather than standard procedures, shifting focus from documentation to delivery of service or product, effective interaction with clients and flexibility to adapt to changes. In other words, the technique lays more focus on collaboration, coordination and learning instead of pre-determined strict control measures to develop a constantly evolving solution.
This paper gives an outline of impacts, findings on the challenges facing agile project management and a detailed discussion of these difficulties. It may appear that the agile project management is quickly replacing the traditional management practices, but it is very critical to understand its challenges in the face of fear of implementation failure. One must, therefore, learn to crawl before they can walk.
According to a 2014 survey, 94% of IT organizations surveyed were found to be using the agile project management methodology (Kerzner, 2013). This data shows an impressive percentage, yet the methodology cannot still be considered the magic portion for all projects in software development because of the following challenges.
In the modern age, globalization is sitting at the top of priorities for most organizations. The majority of the projects, therefore, will cut across several geographical locations. Rarely will a project have all its activities in a single location. Distributed locations pose a challenge to the agile methodology whose design for activities within a single location. A geographically distributed team will face challenges in communication that is a prominent mention in the agile manifesto. Adding to this inefficiency is the effect of time zone difference that impacts the collaboration of teams (Ma & Lee, 2015). With the inclusion of other factors like language differences and cultural variations, the challenge becomes even more complicated.
Stress on Social Skills
A collaborative team is a unique factor for the agile movement. It requires that teams be well integrated, communicates efficiently and consistently to get updates on the progress of the project. Moreover, since the Agile technique shifts focus from a super developed documentation to super service provision, team members are required to engage the customers at every step of the way.
The method lays a massive strain on the team members social skills. In the case where team members cannot communicate effectively or express themselves fluently a problem develops. They may be superb at their work in software development, but their communication skills will paint them as lousy and incompetent. Across all human interactions, such cases of persons not to so good at social skills do occur, and the agile methodology will begin to fail.
Broken Customer Feedback Channels
For the Agile movement to thrive, it depends mostly on the client’s comments about the project. In essence, the customer is the center focus of the agile team (Kerzner, 2013). That way, the team can assess their progress and develop relevant techniques to stay on schedule. The team develops modifications for the project from analyzing the customer feedback. The challenge arises when the team is not sure of whom the real customer is thereby generating conflicts, ignored inputs and can create scope creep. Another challenge is an inefficient communication system between the client and service providers (Leach, 2014). Due to geographical barriers and language constraints, the process may be hampered and therefore the project timing is affected.
The Hybrid Attempt
Many companies that had wholly embraced the shift from traditional project management to the trending Agile movement are slowly reclining their decision. They realized later their incapacity for the shift. Their staff was also unprepared for the move and to add to that the challenges in implementation and focus shift have proved daunting. These companies now opt for a hybrid of the two models. The hybrid model involves the development of plans for the higher management in the waterfall model whiles the teams work in the agile model.
A problem with this arrangement is the conflicting communication between the upper management and the development team. Reporting becomes a challenge since both parties are different models with different focus areas (Layton, 2012). For example, while the management focuses on documentation because they are on the waterfall model, the development team is more inclined to the product and customer feedback.
Lack of Business Knowledge in the Team
A project does not only consist of the development part. It also entails the business section (Scwalbe, 2015). For projects of increasing complexity, the business concepts and knowledge also needed increases. Since the teams are required to give their regular reports on the progress, which also takes into account the business aspect of the endeavor a problem surfaces. Usually, the assumption is that members of the team are complete experts in their work. This generalization does not take into consideration the merging of different disciplines in a project. So while they may be experts in their software development techniques, they may not be equally experts in other fields that are in the project.
The Agile management method boasts of a shorter delivery time as compared to the waterfall model. While the waterfall model talks of months, with the new method it is in weeks. The team has to work around the clock to meet deadlines and ensure the project does not lag behind time.
In the agile movement, there is a lot of reporting on a regular basis which means interrupting the development process quite severally and laying the strain of the team members to regain lost time. The Agile movement also incorporates daily updating of the software, debugging, documentation and customer reviewing (Scwalbe, 2015). There is an increase in the workload of the team as compared to the traditional model where all these came after the completion of the development phase.
According to Kerzner (2013), Scwalbe (2015) and Leach (2014), the Agile movement is a welcome idea. These sources support the implementation of the management concept for organizations. They give different implementation strategies, though a common element for all of them in establishing preparedness for the shift. They encourage the organization to work toward implementing the concept step by step.
Layton (2012) on the other hand, gives great caution against the move from the traditional model to the Agile method by citing possible flaws and failures. He tasks the management to do thorough research into the potential impacts of their move. Moreover, he advocates for tailoring of the Agile method as per each organization s demands, in case the management chooses to buy the idea to shift. Ma and Lee (2015) give a practical insight into the implementation of Agile methodology in website development. The text highlights challenges and the successes as well, providing a real understanding of what the process entails. Finally, though, the book leaves the decision to the organization for or against the Agile project.
Despite these challenges, the agile process is not ruled out as ineffective. Instead, these insights help an organization in the transition from the old methodology to this new technique. It is necessary, therefore, to have a waterfall methodology in place and be familiar with it before shifting to the Agile method to avoid implementation failures. Weighed against the benefits, this new technique stands out as viable and indeed does solve most of the problems of the waterfall model which was intended to address in its creation. The shifted focus to people, results, and participative leadership stand out as unique strengths. An outstanding quality of this model is that trust is a major factor for the prevalence of the technique.
Kerzner, H. R. (2013). Project Management: A systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling, and Controlling. John Wiley & Sons.
Layton, M.C. (2012). Agile project management for dummies. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.
Leach, L.P. (2014). Critical chain project management. Boston: Artech House.
Ma, W. M., & Lee, J. (2015). Study on applying agile project management for website development-e-flower store as an example.
Scwalbe, K. (2015). Information technology project management. Boston: Cengage Learning.
Table of contents
Data collection 2
Identification of data needed 3
Synthesis of the Data 5
Conclusion Concerning the Research Questions 5
Discuss analysis and synthesis of measurement results 6
Discuss findings of the measurement results 7
Sapsford&Jupp (2006) define data collection as the process during which information is gathered and measured based on defined variables. The process is often conducted in a systematic manner. The data collected should be processed in such a way that it can answer the relevant questions and help evaluate the outcomes. Data collection should be done in a professional manner: a single error can echo throughout a whole project and produce invalid results. Data collection can be exercised using various methods. It is mostly determined by the type of variable to be collected and the degree of accuracy needed. Furthermore, other determining factors are collection point and professionalism of a collector or enumerator. There are various means for a researcher to choose to collect data.
Data collection will use different tools such as semi-structured interviews, surveys and conversation notes, and observations. The data will then be converted into a readable format and checked if any traces of discrepancies are present. After that, the data will be entered into a database to allow the classification and coding to be done. The secondary data collected for the study is then searched for relevant ideas which will be important for the research. After the collection process is through, the ideas are grouped into related themes, which will be facts, and impression throughout the research (Neuman, 2006, p. 218). After that, coding and analysis will be done to produce a link between the theoretical problems and the data provided by the participants. Furthermore, the narrative will be used to clarify the research problems further.
Identification of Data Needed
The research will require two types of data to be used in the used in the process. Quantitative data will be used to measure the quantity of the variables, rather than the quality. This will include the mean, standard deviation, and other measurements. Qualitative data will be the type of data that will be ideas, and opinions. Since they cannot be put in numerical terms, likert scale will be used to collect the data.
There were different stages, which were used for the testing of the data. The environment was first investigated to understand whether it was quantitative. Paper questionnaires were used to collect the data and distributed to individuals to the selected companies. Furthermore, freelancers who were associated with the company were also required to fill the questionnaire. The survey questions were based on the questions in the interviews and were designed for the feedback in the interviews. The main purpose of questionnaires was to triangulate the data provided by the interview: it was important in the research of challenges of agile methods, especially in IT projects. Initially, the questionnaires were in English, and three participants (not part of the research) were invited to test the tool. They helped pilot the study. Out of the three participants, one was a psychologist who provided feedback on the questions, wording, and other details useful for minute improvements.
There were 40 questions in the questionnaire. The first five questions were demographics of the respondents, whereas the remaining questions (35) were in six groups, according to the theme. Once the questionnaires had been completed, they were submitted to the Ethics Approval Committee. Once the approval was received, the questionnaires were translated into Germanfor the participants from Germany and Austria. The translated questionnaires were further adjusted so that the environment could be similar to the English questionnaires (Flamm&Luisi, 1992). The questionnaires were uploaded at www.qualtrics.com to be tested for clarity and simplicity.
To invite the participants to take part in the study, the questionnaires were sent out to 125 people. 23 of them were for those fluent in English and 102 were sent to the German speakers. Out of the 125sent questionnaires, feedback was received from 59 invited individuals, making a response rate of 47.2%. The responses received were then reviewed to ensure that the answers were valid and checked for missing values, which could potentially distort the results. There were 6 out of the 59 questionnaires that were incomplete, in a way that the participants left the survey halfway. The researcher had several options to deal with the missing data. According to Tabachnick and Fidell (2007), missing data can be treated by either deleting the variables of the missing data or using an estimate or a mean of the missing data. However, to use one of the different options, the researcher has to examine the amount and type of missing data and determine the best action. The researcher utilized the course of action discussed by Tabachnick and Fidell (2007) that
One of the more conservative procedures for handling missing data values is simply to drop any cases or variables that contain them. If missing values are concentrated in a few variables and they are not critical to the analysis, the variables with missing values might profitably be dropped.
Following the course of action, the six variables, which contained missing data, were excluded from any statistical calculations since it was the effective method to handle the issue without affecting the results.
Synthesis of the Data
Data collection exercise took 18 months to complete. In the period of time, there were high workloads and a great influx of data, combined with little project work and data collection. The sources were as follows:
Conversation notes and observation
Research thoughts record
Feedback from the company
Feedback from the supervisor
Presentation and feedback from interim results
Conclusion Concerning the Research Questions
The purpose of the study was to investigate challenges of agile project management using the development tools and techniques. The aim was to determine if the concepts used in software development could be applied in a related field. It was concluded that there were challenges in agile development.
In software development, codes can be broken because of the frequent building. Coding and compilation of the codes are changed daily, and the chances of being broken are higher. In this challenge, the study concluded that when recoding, the builds should be tested along each other and automated testing should be applied (Coxon, 1999).
Moreover, the defects were found to be realized earlier. When a defect is realized earlier, it is cheaper than when it is realized at later stages. The research stated that assigning a team to do frequent coding and providing coding reviews so as to spot issues earlier in the development stages could solve this issue. In today s software developing, the APIs are usually exposed to the public so that other developers can extend the design. However, the API testing is complex and can be overlooked sometimes. Lastly, as software matures, complexity also increases. Complexity makes the codes to be added, which introduces performance issues. Understanding what areas of the code are affected and how it can impact performance over time can therefore, solve the issue. Furthermore, load-testing tools can be used to identify the slow areas and track their performance from one release to the other.
Discuss Analysis and Synthesis of Measurement Results
The variables, which were tested, were importance, project fundamentals, change, incremental change, risk and training. The variables will be used for the analysis once their data across the participants have been collected. The importance variable looking at how a project would be important to the organization after collection, inter-item correlation was calculated. Project fundamentals represented the main concepts in project management. Also inter-item correlations were calculated in this variable. The variable change was supposed to represent the concept of change that could affect the entire project. The correlation was also determined for this variable. Incremental change was a variable that tested how incremental change in a project was perceived. The variable risk was for testing how emergence of risk can affect the project. The variable training was for the role of the training in the development of the project.
Discuss Findings of the Measurement Results
The results showed that there were outliers when the multivariate analysis was conducted. When a histogram was drawn, there were minor variances from a normal distribution of the variable change reaction. The histogram of the other variables; importance, project fundamentals, change, and risk all showed that there were minor variances from normality.
A box plot of the data showed that there were outliers in the variable change reaction, but not that significant. The box plot of the remaining variables showed that outliers were present, but not extreme.
A z score calculated showed that the outliers present were between normal distribution, within the limit +3.29 and -3.29 and therefore, the idea of them being univariate outlier was dismissed.
Coxon, A. P. M. (1999). Sorting data: Collection and analysis. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage Publications.
Flamm, J., &Luisi, T. (1992). Reliability data collection and analysis. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Neuman, W. L. (2006). Social research methods: Qualitative and quantitative approaches. Boston: Pearson/AandB.
Sapsford, R., &Jupp, V. (2006). Data collection and analysis. London: SAGE Publications in association with the Open University.
Tabachnick, B. G., &Fidell, L. S. (2007). Using multivariate statistics. Boston: Pearson/Allyn& Bacon.