Recently, we published the results of a survey we conducted in 2019 on “Roles in a Project and Project Success” on Agile and Project Management.
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 project applying agile methodologies?
We would like to share and discuss the results with like-minded project managers. Therefore, we invite you to a discussion forum conducted by Gloria Miller called Project Management Stammtisch at our offices in Heidelberg, Germany.
Friday, 27.09.2019 – Agile Coaches Vs Project Managers: Do we need both?
Friday, 25.10.2019 – Impact of Scaling Agile Projects – Different scaling methodologies
Friday, 29.11.2019 – Scaling Agile Projects – Pros and Cons
Friday, 31.01.2020 – Are there differences between the agile and non-agile projects regarding scaling projects?
For further information about these workshops and to register, please send mail to register[at]maxmetrics.com.
You can find a summary of the survey on our blog at the
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.
What is the relationship between project methodologies, the roles in a #project, and project #success? I am interested in your view. #agile #pmot Please take our quick survey before 11-Jan: http://bit.ly/2LOUWft
Also, we are looking for a few projects to interview 4-5 project members including, the sponsor, project manager, agile coach/scrum master, product owner, and a few team members. Each interview with take about 15 minutes.
Our plan is update our book “Going Agile Project Management Practices Second Edition”. For your support, we can download an ePub or Kindle of the current version of the book. The link will be provided at the end of the survey.
In addition, for those that contribute before 11-January-2019 we will add you to our list for a free download copy of the next book edition when it publishes (note your email to receive the study results).
In the Project Management Stammtisch on the 30th of November, we covered “Success Criteria for BI and Big Data.”
There were two different types of criteria for Big Data Analytics projects: one area has six success criteria and the second had only one. The Business Intelligence projects also had one success criteria, which was different from that for Big Data Analytic projects. These criteria were not the project efficiency criteria of on-time and in-budget delivery. In fact in the project efficiency area, we could identify meeting requirements as the most appropriate success criteria. All of this provided for a very interesting discussion during the session.
The next session focuses again on success factors specifically “Stakeholder Influence on System Use and Success for BI and Big Data Projects” on Friday, 25.01.2019.
Based on our study from 2017, we built a classification model for Business Intelligence and Big Data Analytics projects. We would be interested in how well the model classifies your project, and if the reporting information is relevant for project management. You can select “generate report” and provide your project specifications at the following site: http://bit.ly/2qRdzG2 .
Let us know your feedback.
In addition, on the following dates, we will discuss the study results in our office in Heidelberg, Germany. Please contact us if you wish to join.
Success Criteria for BI and Big Data Projects: Friday, 30.11.2018
Stakeholder Influence on System Use and Success for BI and Big Data Projects: Friday, 25.01.2019
In the Project Management Stammtisch on the 26th of October, we covered “Impact of Multidisciplinary Teams and Data Scientist on Project Success Project Management Stammtisch. ”
The research in this area offered an intriguing story about teams and individuals. The profiles of the participants were of mixed: An Artificial Intelligence specialist managing international projects, an Agile Coach, Scientific Journal Editor…Nevertheless, the group came to a similar conclusion: having specialist in the team is important for learning, building a well-functioning team with mixed profiles is important to success.
We used the session as an opportunity to announce the availability of a system to generate a custom target project planning report. https://www.pmxtra.com/dspcsf/Index.php.
In the Project Management Stammtisch on 28-September, we covered the topic “Project Success Factors for Business Intelligence (BI) and Big Data.”
The discussion was on a comparative analysis of Big Data Analytic and Business Intelligence projects from our project success study. In short, the study compared 52 demographic and project attributes. None of the organizational demographic (e.g., industry, organization size) or project demographic or efficiency factors (e.g., team size, budget, duration) items were significantly different. Also, business strategy, top management support, and client acceptance were not significantly different. Of the 39 remaining items, 18 were significantly different all in favor of Big Data Analytics. This information reflected the discussion of the session participants. Especially interesting was the role of Senior Managers in the success of the projects. The participants reflected that Senior Managers could act as a buffer between the project and top management to ensure the project maintains an agreed course of action until a successful outcome is reached.
The following diagram reflects the differences in the project complexity, pace, technology uncertainty, and product novel between Big Data Analytic and Business Intelligence projects. Complexity and product novelty were significantly different. The diagram is based upon the Diamond model for project success from Shenhar, A., & Dvir, D. (2007).
Shenhar, A., & Dvir, D. (2007). Reinventing project management: the diamond approach to successful growth and innovation. Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business School Press.
Miller, G. J. (2018). Comparative Analysis of Big Data and BI Projects. Paper presented at the Proceedings of the 2018 Federated Conference on Computer Science and Information Systems. http://dx.doi.org/10.15439/2018F125