O'Sheedy, DG 2012, 'A study of agile project management methods used for IT implementation projects in small and medium-sized enterprises', DBA thesis, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW.
Copyright DG O'Sheedy 2012
Project management methods have been developed from industry practices and international standards to ensure a higher rate of success for information technology projects. These have been widely used in large organisations effectively. However, when projects are implemented in a small or medium-sized enterprise environment, there is often a lack of an established method of project management or skilled project implementers who can use methods used in large organisations. As project workers find themselves pressured to become more responsive to business demands, it is becoming commonplace for smaller organisations to forgo formal project management practices. This is often due to the fact that small projects are viewed as simple to deploy, suffer from a lack of resources, or are given low prioritisation by the organisation. Additionally, the current project management standards are frequently perceived by SMEs as complicated and overly bureaucratic, something undesirable in regards to time-constrained or low-budget projects. Agile development is one solution to the problem of overly complex methods that has recently been adopted in the field of software production, and has gained considerable popularity with smaller organisations.
This research investigates the current state of formalised project management and how these methods could be modified for a small or medium-sized enterprise, especially in relation to information technology implementation projects. A mixture of traditional project management methods and newer agile development methods were utilised, with the goal of establishing that a combination of the two methods that can assist with project success, particularly in the case of resource-poor medium-sized organisations. The acceptance of this method by the technology workers and stakeholders involved was also investigated. In an economic age where businesses are required to do more with less, a project management method that can help with successful implementation could prove beneficial to many organisations of this size. Arising out of agile development, agile project management has great potential to fill this role, and it was with this goal in mind that this research was conducted.