The success rate for agile methodologies is on par with, if not better than, those managed under a traditional methodology. In addition, enterprise agile frameworks are at the peak of adoption. Thus, if agile methodologies are followed rigorously and exclude a project manager, then maybe the project manager role and some project management tasks are obsolete. The aim of the research was to answer the following questions:
- Are project managers engaged in agile projects?
- Who executes the project management tasks in projects applying agile methodologies?
The survey report summarizes the survey inputs from and analysis of 120 projects. The first section provides descriptive statistics for the data that was collected as part of the survey. The second section provides summary of the analysis that was performed with the survey data.
The participants were from 20 industries with no geographic region having an overwhelming majority. The majority (81%) of the projects were undertaken within the last five years and lasted more than one year (56%). Most of the projects (81%) had less than 21 team members.
Scrum and waterfall were the top methodologies at 22% and 20%, respectively. However, the different types of agile methodologies (a single methodology, multiple agile, or a scaled agile framework) represented 46% of the cases. There was no significant difference in time, cost, requirement, or overall delivery performance between the agile and non-agile projects.
The project manager role was involved in 67% of the projects, including 58% of the agile projects, 82% of the mixed methodology projects, and 79% of the plan-driven projects. The agile coach, product owner, and team combination – a full scrum team – was present in 23% of the projects. However, the combination of roles could be found in almost all methodologies, except kanban and other plan-driven methodologies.
Based upon a mapping of the standard project management processes to the principles from the agile manifesto and the scrum roles, a consolidated view of project management responsibilities for scrum projects was created. In some cases, it is the practice of the method itself that is responsible for realizing the activity, while in other cases, it is a specific project role.
The Bottom Line
Project management remains an important and significant set of activities in agile and non-agile projects. The team, product owner, and project sponsors are taking on the informal role of some project management tasks. The agile coach is not a substitute for the project manager. Yes, project managers are engaged in agile projects.