Exploring an Agile Plus Approach for Project Scope, Time, and Cost Management

Exploring an Agile Plus Approach for Project Scope, Time, and Cost Management

Ali Hassan (Lincoln University College, Malaysia), Soayba Younas (Fast University, Lahore, Pakistan) and Amiya Bhaumik (Lincoln University College, Malaysia)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/IJITPM.2020040105
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Managing project scope, time, and cost in an agile project planning are considered to be key influencing factors for a project's success. A large quantum of work and literature shows how agile with its iterative project execution methodology has produced a large number of successful projects over the last two decades, especially in the IT sector. However, the concern regarding applicability of this highly successful project execution methodology in industrial sectors other than IT has been a question to which researchers are trying to find an answer. The solution to this problem would require covering all aspect of project management through which an answer for its applicability could be provided. This study identifies the possible issues and proposes an agile plus limited to scope, time, and cost knowledge area of project management. The results are obtained from the extensive empirical findings gathered using literature study, interviews, and surveys. Further, the empirical findings and proposed model are quantitatively validated, which came out to be in accordance with the literature and empirical findings.
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1. Introduction

Industry practitioners practicing traditional project management approach have always looked for ways towards implementing agile project management due to its adaptive nature. From last two decades, the failure of large and small scale projects executed using waterfall raised many questions and highlighted many drawbacks of this methodology. Researches over the years figured out that waterfall have limitations of being a rigid and inflexible approach that is unable to cater the changing needs of today’s diverse and complex projects (Royce 1998).

The failure of traditional methodology gave rise to the more flexible project management approach that tends to be adaptive in nature. Agile has been in spot light since late 1990s and

has benefited a large number of projects with its features of adaptability, flexibility and agility (Gren et al., 2015). Agile has evolved the process of carrying projects especially in software industry by continuous customer involvement, accommodating project requirement change, early risk assessment due to small iterative product releases, continuous integration and by establishing high communication among teams. However, agile’s high rate of adaptability, lack of forecasting, controlling and un- certainty marked many concerns on its applicability for projects of diverse nature.

Researchers have made various attempts of integrating predictability with adaptability and structuring in together the positives of both these approaches into one intact approach that could serve the purpose (Cohen & Larson 2001). This attempt of directing two dimensions into one and proving its applicability to diverse nature of projects has raised concerns on authenticity of such integration. Many issues have been emerged when waterfall and agile has been combined and researches in favor of this single intact approach are unable to answer the concerns and also unable to prove its success when it comes to fitting all industries under one roof.

Therefore, the researcher believes that one hybrid approach cannot fulfill the gap. Two independent but hybrid approach should be created. First hybrid approach that contain all attributes and process of agile combined with additional attributes of waterfall to take the agile approach closer to its best usage and the second hybrid that comprises if all attributes and processes of waterfall but additional attributes of agile which could fulfill the dependencies in waterfall

The researcher in this study only attempt to identify attributes of waterfall that could be added in agile project management and hence naming this addition combined with any existing agile approach: an agile plus approach for agile project managers

To address the identified agile related concerns, this research is focused on identifying the factors to mitigate the effect of agile shortcomings by proposing an ‘Agile Plus’ approach. This study emphasis on exploring the methodologies that can be adopted under components of project management process groups that can leverage the efficiency of agile approach (Project Management Institute 2006). This paper contributes an agile plus approach that is developed by mapping the PMBOK project management best practices to agile project scope, time and cost management. This approach has been developed by conducting a detailed literature and qualitative survey made on current industry practices; and is validated by extracting the key improvement indicators from the survey and making a quantitative analysis to foresee the degree of effectiveness they can add to the current agile project management competency.

This mapping study aims at addressing the following questions:

  • 1.

    How agile project managers could prevent scope creep while regular/ iterative changes added by the customers?

  • 2.

    Which scheduling technique can improve the project time management for agile project managers?

  • 3.

    What cost and schedule control measure could aid agile project managers? Is forecasting done in agile industry? What type of forecasting should be done by agile project manager?

The Section 2 discuss the methodology followed in this research; Section 3 present detailed literature review; Section 4 comprises empirical findings; Section 5 conducts quantitative validation of empirical findings Section 6 discusses results while Section 7 consists of conclusion and future directions of this research.

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