Impacts of agile-approach project management methodology on Information Technological Companies in term of productivity”Background IntroductionThis research will relate to the body of knowledge in Information technological systems development (ITSD) with an empirical investigation in form of a case study that demonstrates the impact of the agile approach project management methodology using concept of Scrum in terms of productivity in Information technological companies. This research will also identify and analyse the different factors of areas where the companies had managed to derive the benefits by the use of Scrum concept and its practices with respect to the impacts on productivity.
Over the last decade using agile-approach in information technological companies has gained a lot of attention from the researchers and practitioners to deal with the fluctuating, unpredictable and hardly controllable elements of ITSD in constantly changing environment. While several publications claim a positive impact of agile approach on information technological companies theoretically. However, very little empirical work exists to verify these claims.
In this dissertation however, I will focus on agile approach using Scrum’s concept with respect to the impact on productivity in information technological companies. In the rest of this academic paper I will first introduce Scrum concept methodology briefly, and then I will describe theoretical literature review along with the background and afterwards the research setting and methods that will be used.Current ResearchesSince the evolution of agile-approach methodology in the mid of 1990s, the interested of IT industry has grown increasingly in it. Nowadays, a lot of organizations claim to be using agile-approach or shows interest in the adoption of agile-approach methodology. According to a Forrester study where each IT decision-makers from different organizations were interviewed in Sep 2006, about 17% of companies were already using agile-approach methodology, while more than half of the remaining organizations were interested in adopting the agile methodology (K. Schwaber, G. Langanza, D. D’Silva, 2007). This shows that the advantages & benefits of agile-approach methodology have been recognized in the Information Technology industry.The management of development of a software productivity is a key issue in IT industries, where the major elements are less cost and shorter time-to-market (B.W. Boehm, 1987). To manage productivity efficiently, most essential part is to look upon the difficulties which are reducing productivity and develop strategies to encounter them. Agile methodology, using Scrum concept (K. Schwaber, M. Beedle,2001), just simplifies the software development process in an IT industry. The main purpose is to reduce the development time and handle the occurrence of changes which are resulting from market dynamics (M. Pikkarainen, J. Haikara, O. Salo, P.Abrahamsson, J. Still, 2008). Therefore, the adoption of agile-approach project management methodology has been rising and rapidly joined the mainstream of IT projects development approaches (D. West and T. Grant, 2010).Statement of Research ProblemHowever, the benefits of agile-approach methodology is widely recognized, but the strength of empirical evidences are still claimed to be very low (T. Grant, P. Burris, Z. Reiss-Davis, 2008).GapsLike companies have very rare comparable data to explain the impact of agile-approach methodologies before and after adoption (K. Schwaber, G. Langanza, D. D’Silva, 2007).From a scientific viewpoint, majority of current research related to agile-approach methodology addresses qualitative case studies of individual projects development which lacks broader scope. Currently, there are very rare research studies showing quantitative evidences on agile-approach methodology providing more generalized results (K. Schwaber, G. Langanza, D. D’Silva, 2007).In fact, recent studies reveal that most of agile-approach methodological related studies focus on XP exclusively which is 76% related to IT industry studies while, proposing an essential requirement to broaden the focus of research studies to include other agile-approach methodologies as well (T. DybҐ, T. Dingsoyr, (2008), p. 833).Aim and objectivesAimThe aim of this academic research paper is to look upon the impacts of agile-approach project management methodology using Scrum concept on productivity in information technological systems development processes and projects.Research Objectives1) Reviewing the literature on current state of knowledge on most agile Project management methodologies using in IT industry.2) Overview of agile-approach scrum project management methodology.3) Exploring the significance of Productivity.4) Critically evaluating the impacts on productivity of agile-approach scrum’s project management methodology in IT industry.5) Recommendation of integration of scrum with another project management methodology to further enhance the productivity if possible.Scope of the studyThe scope of the study is limited to research within: – Search will be carried out on two IT industries of Lancashire in England. Impact on productivity using scrum agile methodology will be focused. However, team workers and upper managerial staff will also be considered as their views, approaches and difficulties are key sources of knowledge about working in different sort of IT projects. Mainly the software development project area in whole IT industry will be focused. Medium size production organizations will be targeted. Literature ReviewIn this academic research paper, I am interested in the impact of a specific agile project management methodology, Scrum on productivity mainly in software development projects in IT industries. So, literature review was focused on that particular agile-scrum methodology. The typical keywords for original research I used are ‘impact of Scrum on productivity’, ‘effect of Scrum’, ‘impact/effects of Scrum on productivity during implementation etc” primarily in Google, sciencedirect, Google Scholar and mostly on IEEE sources and got around 96 publications of which 9 are more precisely matched with my research problem. From these literatures I derived a number of concepts related to research framework which includes the identification of different factors of productivity, different interrelated concepts related to productivity, quality, team-working & role of leadership and customer satisfaction, along with the employee satisfaction.In the agile literature productivity is a term of the development of team productivity (Moe & Dingsoyr, 2008). There are number of interrelated factors that are interlinked to different areas that can impact on the productivity. Dyba & Dingsoyr, (2008) explains in their report of a comparative case study where measuring of productivity in projects was driven by traditional and agile-approach methodologies which is based on total number of code lines (LOC) per hour, month or employee. In addition to that, Guang-Yong (2011) also explains the measuring the productivity with respect to number of code-lines, and further demonstrates how to gain higher productivity level gradually through team working by getting self-organizing and continuously oversee to review the development procedures to prevent the repetition of mistakes. On the other hand, Appelo (2010) shows a different view on how to measure the productivity. According to him the main factor of betterment of productivity is enhanced functionality to the final product. His way of measuring the functionality is the accomplishment of the number of story points in a specified time-period. A story point is the number that shows the severity of a defined task. Whereas, Mahnic and Vrana (2007) and Mahnic and Zabkar (2008) characterize the evaluation of productivity as a proportion of the added value against the associated financial expenses and expenses associated with bug fixes.¶ From these sources to examine the productivity I took factors like employee efficiency & performance, the time-period related to bugs fixing, and again & again doing same mistakes.Furthermore, Sutherland and Altman (2010) use a bit different term “perfect hours” as a label for a project worker’s undisturbed and uninterrupted work. According to them by taking perfect hours into consideration combined with some other factors, project’s progression and productivity should be measured.¶ The number of interruptions & uninterrupted perfect hours were the two key factors I take from these authors that can have impact on the productivity.Moore et al. (2007) argue that improvement in productivity by agile-Scrum methodology is based to focus on delivering functional software in short-time interims with defined deadlines where developer don’t finish up in continual advancement cycles trying to give proper solution of a product that can deal with everything at one time.¶ Prevention from continual developing cycles and along with deadlines are the last two factors which are driven from these authors.Methodology This research will be carried out through numbers of different steps. Manual and electronic searches on the different long hour shift works for the previous research reports and literature reviews will be conducted which will be examine and analyse to extract and concentrate on the relevant facts and to obtain the documentary evidences which will help in supporting and validating facts in our research.Both mixed approach research will be carried out i-e quantitative and qualitative data collection which will be used to gather data from different industries. Qualitative data will be collected by means of questionnaire surveys containing about 15-20 questions and interrogated using a combination of descriptive statistics and content analysis. For Quantitative data collection 5-10 semi-structured interviews will be conducted which will be recorded and transcribed and subsequently analysed using a mix of content and comparative analysis.After analysing which will be then use in theoretical interpretation and comparisons with the earlier researches also.