A Comparative Study of Agile and Traditional Methods of Project Management

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction.

Research Question.

2. Literature Review.

Literature Introduction.

Project management.

The Traditional Methodology in Project Management.

The Agile Methodology in Project Management.

Small – Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs)

Technology Industries.

Project Cost in Technology Industry.

Project Speed in Technology Industry.

Literature Conclusion.

3. Methodology

Methodology Introduction.

RESEARCH DESIGN

Research Philosophy.

Research Approach

Research Strategy

Sampling – Selecting Respondents

Data Collection – Instruments

Data Analysis Procedures

Research Ethics

Limitations of Methodology

References

Appendices

Appendix 1 – Primary Research Material

Appendix 2 – Ethics Checklist

Appendix 3 – Support Documentation

Appendix 4 – Research Time-plan

 

1.    Introduction.

A comparative study of Agile and Traditional Methods of Project Management with regards to project cost and speed in SMEs in Technology Industries.

Since 1960, the world knows project management as a discipline (Kerzner, 2017). Even though the methodology of the project management has been changing trough the time, the general aim is to achieve an objective at the end of a process managing a project that has a beginning and ending.

(Kerzner, 2017)

The Project Management Institute (PMI®), defines project management as the application of skills, tools, knowledge, and techniques to project activities to achieve the project aims. The Traditional Project Management approach was the first use it as an official methodology.

(Project Management Institute, 2013, p. 6)(PMI | Project Management Institute, 2018)

According to different authors (Wysocki 2014, Kerzner 2017), Agile Project Management (APM) is used in more complex projects, where there is not a defined goal, and the project is continually changing. It´s critical to review the plan, organisational and environmental characteristics to choosing the correct project management approach.

Wysocki (2014) compare the two methods with a recipe and a framework. Agile Project Management follows a frame because of its numerous changes, and Traditional Project Management follows recipes (step-by-step).

(Wysocki, 2014)

There are some believes that agile can be combined with other methodologies like Traditional Project Management and create a hybrid solution.

(Wysocki, 2014)

As it showing in the previous quadrant, according with Wysocki (2014), the Traditional Project Management is for the projects which have the goal and solution are well detailed, that´s why these projects are like a recipe because all the projects form this approach have been done before and have templates for everything.

The Agile Project Management is believed that´s been used for the projects where the goal is defined, but the solution is unknown, and most of these projects are for software development.

The focus of this research would be the comparison between two different approach in project management and with two variants which are cost and speed in a project in the technology industry.

There are believes that nowadays project managers are using just the agile approach because is more adequate for their projects, however the evidence from different institutes (PMI®, PRINCE2®) are that the agile approach is used for particular projects, like software development.

The 71 percent of IT organizations report using Agile approach sometimes, often, or always, according to the PMI®. However, with this research we are going to find the benefits and the cons for both approaches and to see why the tendency is for the agile approach.

(PMI | Project Management Institute)

There has been a change from traditional approach and the agile approach in project management,

Even the PMI® is offering since 2014 a new certification called The PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP®) and is been growing fast among its users.

(Agile Certified Practitioner | PMI-ACP)

Following are the number of persons who have each certification

PMP® – 791,448 (Project Management Professional Certification)

PMI-ACP® – 16,929 (PMI® Agile Certified Practitioner)

(PMI | Project Management Institute, 2017)

There are studies on the use of the agile and the traditional approach in project management to have a clear understanding of the implementation and their outcomes, which methodology might have better results.

Research Question.

How does the agile approach compare to the traditional method of project management in SMEs in the technology industry in relation to cost and speed?

The researcher for this study is not aware there is an existing research for the same topic, nowadays. The interest for this work is the field of Project Management and two different and popular approaches using by project managers, and more in detail for the SMEs in technology industry.

Is the Agile approach more or less efficient in relation to cost and speed in a project comparing with the traditional method, is the aim to find after this research. Both methodologies have different processes and there are quite interesting.

The current studies show that they can be use in particular circumstances and specific projects, however the unknown is if this two approaches are equally beneficial for the cost and speed in a project.

2.    Literature Review.

Literature Introduction.

This review aims to critically assess the literature surrounding the topic of Project Management and its different approaches.

Nowadays, is extremely well known that one of the approach of project managements are for more likely dynamic and risky environment, and it´s called Agile. Most researchers and institutions about project management are concluding similar statements which are to follow a process to get a product/services in the shorter time with the highest quality and within the budget.

(PMI | Project Management Institute)

Agile approach for project management, since 2001, when it became more popular, is currently uses for an uncertain and changing environment such as software development, and any projects where the main constrain is complexity. One of the most advantage of the agile approach is that project managers in charge of a project can make as many changes as the project requires while they are managing the project and with a low cost comparing with the traditional approach.

(Carroll and Morris, 2015)(Project Management Institute, 2017)

Moreover, Hoffman (1997) talked about the connection between innovation, SME and profitability and the need to create organisational flexibility. A project´s success might be influence by the project management approach used in an implementation, but there are many other factors to consider to have a success outcome from a project.

(Wheelen et al., 2018) (Jones and Tilley, 2003)(Rasnacis and Berzisa, 2015)

Overall, the literature that would be used in this research will talk about the project management as a tool to manage projects particularly in Information Technology field and for the SMEs companies.

Project management.

During the end of the 1950s and the beginning of 1960s emerge the project management as a discipline, thanks to U.S. Department of Defense, they wanted a unique point of contact for all projects, someone who was available through all the phases in a project. The evolution of project management has become a necessity in the organisations, nowadays

(Kerzner, 2017)

Project Management was created as a discipline for systematising and handling resources within a project to deliver the entire work complete between the time and budget established. From the past fifty years many companies have been included project management in their processes, and because of this project management has been expanding rapidly

(Dziuba, 2016)

For large IT departments, a project manager is responsible for handling the resources, the budget and timely in a project. The projects can be software development, networking, hardware installation and, more.

(Dziuba, 2016)

The Traditional Methodology in Project Management.

Traditional Projects began by defining exactly what the project was projected to deliver, after agreed and signed off with the customer the project team started to develop a product or system with these specifications and later provide the finished product to the client.

(Wysocki, 2014)

This traditional approach is based on a chronological design process, kind of waterfall, who is going through the stages of the project. Addition to this process, any change during the process is highly expensive.

../../Screen%20Shot%202017-12-20%20at%202.39.54%20PM.png

(Carroll and Morris, 2015)

 

The Agile Methodology in Project Management.

The origin of the Agile methodology was grown in 2001. The four significant views are:

  • Parties and relations over processes and tools.
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation.
  • Client cooperation over contract negotiation.
  • Acting to change over following a plan.

(Alexander, 2017)

The previous statement is vital to this research because Agile nowadays is used only for software IT projects. However, it can be used for any project as well, because at the end each project is a set of steps or a process which has a beginning and an end.

Agile is a method used by a group to manage projects which might be breaking it up into a lot of different phases and a permanent participation of all the stakeholders through all the project. Agile is a project management methodology that practices short development cycles named sprints to an emphasis on continuous enhancement in the development of a product or service.

(Carroll and Morris, 2015)

Although agile was intended for the software industry, a lot of different sectors are using this methodology. Agile helps the developers, project teams and client aims. However, as Agile is more flexible and less formal, agile might not be the best option for some bigger conventional organisations.

(‘Agile-Project-Management.pdf’)

 

Agile method is most common for the complex environment and dynamic-risk implementation, and the traditional way is being used for more stables projects, as the theory and practice said.

(PMI | Project Management Institute, 2018)

 

Small – Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs)

 

Since 1996 the European Commission defined small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). SMEs have been key for the GDP in a country because of the input to economic development, job creation, and most important innovation. Small enterprise is known as a business who has less than 50 employees, and a medium sized has between 50 and 249 employees.

(Jones and Tilley, 2003, pp. 2–10) (David Keeble and Frank Wilkinson, 2000)

The business environment is constantly changing as a result small and medium companies must be adaptive and adjustable. Entrepreneurs must hunt for the sources of innovation. There are no equal management in small companies, it sometimes depends on the owner believes. There is the small company who doesn´t want to grow and on the other hand the small company who is in the start-up phase and is following its cycle to grow in the future.

(Jones and Tilley, 2003, pp. 21–39)

 

Storey (1994) said small firm is an independent organisation with small share of the market and usually is managed by its creators in a very specific way. Additionally, most of the time the successful high-technology SMEs are targets for the big companies.

(David Keeble and Frank Wilkinson, 2000)

Tether (1998) mention that technology SMEs are more innovative because they use radical technological innovations and because of the creation of new products. Usually the SMEs offer they services national and international generating a considerable income for the countries’ economies.

(David Keeble and Frank Wilkinson, 2000)

In 2017, according to the parliament of the U.K. over 99 percent of business are SMEs. The importance of these kind of companies in the economy of a country is massive. In Ireland, the SMEs represent the 99.8 percent of all active businesses.

(Dublin.ie | Official Site for News, Information and Events)(Parliament.uk)

Last year, in 2017, the university Dublin City University created learning programme with Enterprise Ireland and will enable SMEs to get a global growth in the future, the name is “Go Global 4 Growth”.

(Irish SMEs to achieve global growth with new programme | DCU)

According to Storey (1994), the SMEs are just a small scaled version of a big business, and as all the business they have positive and negative characteristics. SMEs most of the time are focus, as it was mention before, in innovation therefore they have a better flexibility and more motivated workforce than a big company (Rae, 2010)

(Chamelian, 2016)

Technology Industries.

 

Information technology (IT) is associated as digital communication technology. Every day more and more industries are being affected by computerization. Moreover, IT is not as a traditional capital investment, but as a full technology (Bresnaham and Trajtenberg, 1995).

(Brynjolfsson and Hitt, 2000)

According to Deloitte (2018), the tech industry covers an abroad approach like the Internet of Things, business model transformation, mobile, cyber security and analytics, among others.

(Deloitte Ireland | Audit, Consulting, Financial, Risk Management, Tax Services, no date)

After 1970, the technological transformation in digital communication has been a huge change in the world. Nowadays, people do their daily activities like work, travel, communicate differently because of the technological innovation.

(‘How Important Is IT?’, no date)

Paul Sallomi (2018), U.S. and global technology sector leader states the trend for the growth for this industry is going up.

According to Pamela Newenham an award-winning business journalist, states Dublin Ireland after its financial crisis on 2000´s has recovered in the best way possible and nowadays Dublin´s docklands are one of the most affluent areas of Ireland.

(Newenham, 2015, pp. 10–35)

There was a global hi-tech-industry crisis from 2001 and 2004, Ireland with the help of the local hi-tech industry could recover from that crisis. Specially the increase of the workforce in the hi-tech industry was one of the re-stabilization of the industry.

(Cohen, 2015)

Tom Chan (2016), managing director of HKT commercial group states “Innovation on IT services and cost savings are top on the agenda for enterprise customers,”. Enterprises are investing in cloud, mobility, big data and social media to improve business and client experience.

(Ho, 2016)

 

Project Cost in Technology Industry.

The cost of implementing a project is one of the most important variable throughout the project management life cycle. The best scenario is to have a budget for the project. The cost of a project can be based on the customer/company budget or in a quote from the company that offers the services or product.

(Wysocki, 2014, pp. 13–20)

Atkinson (1999), define cost as the total of resources required to complete the project, and the time is the period to complete the project successfully. These two variables are linked, if there is a change in time the cost would be affected.

(O’Sheedy, 2012)

Project Speed in Technology Industry.

Wysocki (2014), states cost and time are without a doubt related between each other. The cost in a project can be reduced if the project is completed on time or before the final date. The time must be managed by the project manager in the most productive way possible.

(Wysocki, 2014, pp. 20–35)

According to Georgas, P. G. & Vallance, G. V. (1986), the core of Project Management is Cost Management integrated with time management and scope of the project. All the project phases are affected by the cost and time of a project.

(Georgas, P. G. & Vallance, G. V. 1986)

Pulse of the Profession® (Annual global survey of project, program and portfolio managers from PMI), according to its last report states that only 51 percent of projects are completed within their initial schedules.

(PMI | Project Management Institute)

 

Literature Conclusion.

Furthermore, many theories have been proposed to describe what is the correct methodology to use in a project in IT, whether is Agile or Traditional Project Management Methodology. Although the literature presents these themes in a range of contexts, this research will focus on their application.

This is why the focus on this research to get a conclusion of which of these two methodologies are better with all the variables presented in the literature review.

 

3.    Methodology

 

Research is the conception of true, objective information, following a scientific method. Facts and data, are the outcomes of interpretation.

(Alvesson and Sköldberg, 2017, pp. 1–10)

“The development of knowledge and the nature of that knowledge” (Saunders et. al, 2012) is how Saunders interprets research, he said that all the research has an aim even if is to solve a problem or to answer a question about a behaviour in an organisation, but at the end the results will create new data.

(Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, 2012a, pp. 127–140)

The Saunders “Onion” is a convenient tool to the researches for decide which path the research will take; this methodology is helping the researches to understand better the philosophies and approaches that they are going to take during their researchers.

(Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, 2012b, p. 128)

Methodology Introduction.

 

This section will indicate how will be deploy the research methodology in this research. The primary research will be carry by interviews (face to face) with project managers in the industry of technology. This research is looking for in-depth answers from the participants.

The aim of this research is to find a new, powerful statements regarding the project management in Information Technology field. Even though this research is hoping to find new theories through the collect an analysed of the data, it may be a possibility that it can fit into an existing one.

(‘Interpretivism (interpretivist) Research Philosophy’)

Gather data, data analysis, interpretation and validation will be explained in this section of the document.

 

RESEARCH DESIGN

Research Philosophy.

The design in a research is affected by philosophy, methodology and methods. According to Creswell (1998), researches can choose sources of data collection not normally used in practice, such as observation, however, Denzin and Lincoln, (2003) argue this approach can be very complex.

(‘Qualitative Data Analysis’, no date, p. 140)

There are different ways of viewing a research philosophy such as ontology, epistemology, and axiology (Saunders, 2012). These three help us to understand better and appreciate research in more sophisticated ways.

Ontology deals with the nature of reality, the ontology guidance the choice of the research objective, the research questions and how the research is managed.

Ontology is related with a principal question of whether social individuals should be noticed as objective or subjective; positivism and subjectivism can be important aspects of this view.

(Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, 2012a, p. 140)

Epistemology focuses on what is known to be right, is the opposite way of thinking to ontology. The epistemology can be the criteria on which the researchers classifies what constitute the knowledge.

(Darlaston-Jones, 2007)

Axiology, studies judgements about the value (Saunders, 2012), what values outcomes will result from our research.

The interpretivist approach is constructed on naturalistic approach of data collection like interviews and observations, which in this research will be through interviews. This philosophy will focus on the details of situation, a veracity behind these details.

(Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, 2012b, pp. 135–156)

This research will follow the interpretivist approach because it´s believe is appropriate and will permit the researcher to use her perception with the person work experiences in their work, to get the individual point of view. The research will gather data from small samples, in-depth investigations, qualitative (Saunders, 2012)

 

This research is going to be base in interpretivist. This philosophy highlights qualitative over quantitative analysis. Interpretivist philosophy is used to combine different approaches between people, in this case would be the approach of project management in the technological industry.

Research Approach

Inductive

 

Inductive reasoning starts with observations of the world. This approach looks to create meanings from the data collected to detect patterns and relationships to elaborate a theory, nevertheless, won´t prevent the researcher from using existing theories to generate the question to be explored.

This approach is based on learning from experience, and this is the aim for this research to gather information from the experience from people. Inductive reasoning is often referred to as a “bottom-up” approach to knowing, as the follow image is showing (Lodico, Spaulding and Voegtle, 2010).

(Lodico, Spaulding and Voegtle, 2010, pp. 10–25)

The deductive approach might not be adequate for this research because it involves the development of a theory that is then subjected to a rigorous test through a series of propositions (Saunders, 2012). This approach focuses in testing hypotheses, and building most likely future, and prediction changes.

This inductive approach seems correct for this research, because it is more focus on narrative description and a comparison between the two approaches of project management in the tech industry.

Research Strategy

Qualitative method

 

Quantitative research is more common to use it with positivism, and is normally related with a deductive approach. This research will follow the interpretivist and the inductive approach therefore is going to use the qualitative method for the research strategy, because they are more compatibles according to Saunders (2012) and Lodico (2010).

The strategy for this research will be qualitative, because is not going to use numeric data in the collection, numerical estimation, or statistical inference. Qualitative research can be managed by structured interviews, unstructured interviews, semi-structured interviews, group interviews, observation, and more (Saunders, 2010).

This research will performance semi-structured interviews, having in mind that the researcher has to transcripts from the interviews. Contrasting with quantitative methods, in qualitative data analysis there are no specific techniques that can be applied to create the findings.  It´s crucial that the researcher must apply analytical and critical thinking skills for the data analysis.

According to Bernard (1998), the semi-structured interviews is the best when the researcher won´t get another opportunity to have a second interview, the process will follow as

  • Engage in a formal interview (face to face)
  • The interviewer will create an interview “guide”, this will be a list of questions and topics that must need to be covered in the conversation (Refer to Appendix 1)
  • During the interview, the researcher will follow the guide, however she will be able to talk about the additional topics regarding the main topic

The interviews will be applied to gather data which can be used to determine the attitude of project managers within the Information Technology industry and making the comparison of the two approaches in the project management methodology regarding cost and speed.

By doing these individual interviews with a small number of project managers the research will gather data of their perspectives regarding their experience as a project manager and their outcomes in their projects related to speed and cost.

Legard, Keegan and Ward (2003) advice that the interview should be naturalistic, it must be like an everyday conversation. The interviewer can get the richest responses from a relaxed environment. However, the interviewer need to be careful with share her own potential leading opinion.

(In-Depth-Interviews, Legard, Keegan, Ward, 2003)

 

Sampling – Selecting Respondents

 

According to Saunders (2012), there are two sampling techniques probability and non-probability. Probability sampling refers to survey and experimental research strategies, the chance of each case being choice from the population is known. Non-probability sampling the chance of each case being choice is not known.

(Neuman, 2009, pp. 245–260) (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, 2012b, pp. 272–280)

 

The participants will generate focused information on the topic of this research, and the members selection should be compatible with the research question (Curtis et al. 2000, Walsh & Downe 2006).

(Cleary, Horsfall and Hayter, 2014)

 

The number of participants is a tough decision for the researcher, if there are a few interviews the risk to not gather depth information is high, however a huge number of interviews would be unmanageable volumes of data (Sandelowski 1995).

(Cleary, Horsfall and Hayter, 2014)

This research will use non-probability sampling, because the researcher is not aware of the probability of each case.

For the purpose of this research the sampling will included,

  • Five project managers (female or male) with experience at least three years in Agile and Traditional Project Management in SMEs companies in the tech industry.
  • The companies must be located in Dublin Ireland.
  • Range of age: from 25- no limit.

The exclusion criteria will be, participants

  • Below 24 years old.
  • Below three years of experience as a project manager.
  • Outside of Dublin Ireland area.
  • With no experience in tech industry.
  • With no experience in SMEs companies.

The sample will help to gather a broad sense of the insights in project management in these two approaches in the tech industry in Dublin within SMEs companies, and more detail regarding cost and speed in a project.

 

Both approach in project management the cost and speed for a project are included in the processes, and because in Dublin the majority of the active business are SMEs, as it was mention before, is an excellent area for these comparison between these two approaches in project management.

The researcher is working as a volunteer in a SMEs company in the tech industry, that would be the first approach to get the interviews, the contact is available to engage the participants.

 

Data Collection – Instruments

 

This research will performance semi-structure interviews as it was mention in the research strategy section, by asking open-ended questions. The data collection will be collected by audio-recording (with the previous consent of the participants) extensive amount of conversations, the aim is to gather data, more specific opinions, perceptions, attitudes and background information from the experts in project management.

After the tape-record interviews it will be a transcript of these tapes for the analysis. The data collection will be one to one through face to face interviews. Because it is difficult to take notes in these kind of interviews the best way to do it could be by recording the conversation, but this doesn´t meant the interviewer can´t bring a note-taker during the interview.

One of the main issue for data collection is how the researcher becomes aware of this subjectivity and its consequences, and how to use it productive in the research Flick (2017).

(Flick, 2017, pp. 25–30)

 

Before each interview the researcher will send the informed consent form (Refer to Appendix 3)

 

The recording of each interview the researcher has two options to do it:

  1. Digital Audio Recorder, is a small handheld device that records audio to digital media.
  2. Computing Recording Program, is a software to capture audio directly to your computer. The Audacity Software is for free and can work in any kind of computer. To avoid problems with the capacity each interview will recorder in a USB with 2T capacity and encrypted (Audacity® | Free, open source, cross-platform audio software for multi-track recording and editing.)

The transcript of the audio, the researcher will use “transcribe®” is a free software to transcribe the data from audio into text.

(Transcribe – online transcription and dictation software, 2018)

Data Analysis Procedures

 

According to Neuman (2014), to analyse data is to organize, integrate, and examine while the research search for patterns and relationships between the specific details. Analysis allows people to improve knowledge. The researcher must link particular data from the interviews to concepts and identify themes.

(Neuman, 2014, pp. 476–480)

(Neuman, 2014, p. 479)

The table above is showing some differences between the quantitative and qualitative about data analysis. For this research as it was mention before the approach will be qualitative analysis because that will allow the researcher to have richness in the data comparing with quantitative.

The aim of the research is to build a new theory and to analyse the data while the researcher is still collecting from the interviews.

Qualitative data gives meaning expressed through words and image and the analysis is conducted through the use of conceptualization.

(Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, 2012a, pp. 567–560)

This research is searching for the opinion of project managers in their experiences in the tech industry in SMEs companies, the research is not looking for numerical results or statistics, but to get the comparison of two approaches in project management, specific with cost and speed within the projects.

Saunders said the researches need to be careful with the inductive approach, which is the one it will be implementing in this research, because the data collected must be examined and assess which themes are arising from the data though all the process.

(Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, 2012a, p. 570)

This research will follow a thematic analysis, the researcher will organise the raw data into conceptual categories and create themes, that is qualitative coding. To code data into themes is part of the abilities from the researcher like identifying patterns in the data, opinion in terms of systems and concepts, having implicit knowledge, and holding significant information.

(Neuman, 2014, pp. 479–480)

Neuman (2014) talks about 3 stages in coding, open coding when the research started with the data analysis and it is categorized in preliminary codes, the second one is axial coding when the researcher finds key analytic categories, and finally selective coding when examines previous codes to select data that will support the research.

Avoid the errors when coding (Schwandt, 1997:17) such as staying at a descriptive level, treating coding as an automatic process, carry codes fixed and inflexible.

(Neuman, 2014, pp. 479–482)

 

Research Ethics

 

Saunders (2012), ethics are the standards of behaviour that guide the people´s conduct in relation to the rights of the stakeholders involve in the research.

(Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, 2012a, p. 145)

Ethical conduct depends on the researcher, even though codes of ethics can give a guidance Neuman, 2014. Even when the participants are not aware of ethics it´s responsibility of the researcher to be ethical.

(Neuman, 2014, pp. 144–150)

Furthermore, two conflicting philosophical position exists according to philosophical foundations of research ethics (Saunders, 2012). One is the deontological view is strict and states that there is no justification to act outside of the rules. And the other one is the teleological view, which is more flexible and it allows to modify the rules if needed.

(Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, 2012b, pp. 239–240)

Because the data collection will be through interviews, before each interview the researcher must explain in detail the aim of this research. Moreover, each person interviewed must sign the consent form before answer the questioner.

This research will follow the EU Data Protection Act to preserve personal information confidential. And will follow the Dublin Business School Ethics Committees (Ireland, no date) (‘Quality Assurance Handbook, DBS’) (University of Leicester)

Moreover, this research is going to be under the deontological view which is not going to be justify the use of the information gather during the entire process of this research.

The researcher is including the Ethics Information Form, given by Dublin Business School (Refer to Appendix 2)

Limitations of Methodology

 

  • The difficult to obtaining the interview with the project managers.
    • The researcher has already a good contact in one SMEs company, and additional the researcher has work experience in the project management field and is part of the PMI® which would be easier to get in contact with the future participants.

The difficulty of obtaining access in relation to these more intrusive methods and approaches has been recognised many times in the literature (Saunders, 2012).

  • The time consuming to use face-to-face interviews (manual data entry, time to do the interview)
    • As a project manager, the research will have to apply her own experience in time management to find the time to do the interviews with the participants, the meetings with her supervisor and the analysis of the data.
    • Regarding the data recorded, as it was mention before the researcher is going to record the interviews and to transcribe the audio to text is going to be use a software to be more efficient regarding time (Refer to Data Collection section).
    • The researcher is given a first draft of how is she going to manage her timeline through the research process (Refer to Appendix 4)
  • Quality of data by interviewer.
    • Since is the first time the researcher is going to use the recorder or the software in the computer to record the interview, the strategy is to try it before the interviews, both methods to see which one has a better performance.
  • Analytical and critical thinking skills of the researcher in data analysis.
    • The researcher will be very focus on this analysis, and will work closely with her supervisor to highlight any deviation from this topic.
    • Additional there are a lot of advices the researcher could follow to improve her skills like take an online course, learn one new thing every day, play brain games, and so on.

 

 

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Appendices

Appendix 1 – Primary Research Material

Appendix 2 – Ethics Checklist

Ethics Information – Business Postgraduate Studies

 

Student Details
Student Identifier: 10360618
Submission Date: 23rd April 2018
Proposal Research Title: A comparative study of agile and traditional methods of Project Management with regards to project cost and speed in SMEs in Technology Industries.
Brief Description of the research: Comparison between two approaches in project management in the Technology Industries for SMEs in particular the cost and speed in a project. Which of the approaches are better according to the project managers in Dublin Ireland.
Sampling
Population of interest:

(brief description)

  • Five project managers (female or male) with experience at least three years in Agile and Traditional Project Management in SMEs companies in the tech industry.
  • The companies must be located in Dublin Ireland.
  • Range of age: from 25- no limit.
Sample of interest:

(brief description of size and how it is chosen)

Five project managers, because is going to be semi-structured interviews, the research is looking for the opinion and stories from the project managers who have experience in both approaches (Agile and Traditional). Is going to be five because of the recommendation from different authors in the subject (Saunders, Neuman, among others)
Primary Research – Data Management
Is the data anonymised – how is this done? Through the consent forms. The data collected will be transcript it and analyzed by the researcher only. Participant´s real names will be protected by using fake names if any references are required.
How is data confidentiality maintained: The researcher will be the only person with access to the information (interviews, notes, and transcripts). Data gather from the participants will be kept under the researcher locked computer and encrypted files and UBS encrypted.
Where will the data be stored: The data will be storage in a USB encrypted that the researcher has it and in the locked computer and encrypted files
When will the data be  destroyed: Data from this research will be kept under one locked computer and encrypted files and reported only as a collective combined total. No one other than the researcher will know your individual answers to this questionnaire. After concluding and reporting the findings, all raw data will be deleted within a year.
 

 

Specific Ethical Considerations
Detail any aspects specific to your proposal that will require further ethical approval e.g. interaction with under-18 year-olds, experiments requiring deception, anything that might cause respondents any distress, etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No Specific Ethical Considerations for the moment.
Student Signature: Date Signed: Monday, 23 April 2018

Appendix 3 – Support Documentation

Proposed Information Sheet, Proposed Consent Forms

INFORMATION SHEET FOR PARTICIPANTS

PROJECT TITLE

A comparative study of agile and traditional methods of Project Management with regards to project cost and speed in SME in Technology Industries.

You are being asked to take part in a research study on Project Management and two different approaches Agile and Traditional regarding cost and speed on a project in the Technology Industry and for SMEs. I´m currently registered in the Master in Business Administration in Information Systems at Dublin Business School, and I´m working on my dissertation. The purpose of this research is to get a more depth analysis in different approaches in project management within the previous variables mentioned. The supervisor of this research is Dr………..

 

WHAT WILL HAPPEN

In this study, you will be asked to have an interview with the researcher, this meeting will be recorder and transcript it later on. The aim of the interviews is to get a depth detail about your experience as a project manager working in a technology industry in a SMEs. This will help the researcher to analyse the information and get the findings to do a proper comparison about both approaches in project management. Data from this research will be kept under one locked computer and encrypted files and reported only as a collective combined total. No one other than the researcher will know your individual answers to this questionnaire. After concluding and reporting the findings, all raw data will be deleted within a year.

TIME COMMITMENT

The study typically takes between 45 – 60 minutes.

PARTICIPANTS’ RIGHTS

You may decide to stop being a part of the research study at any time without explanation required from you. You have the right to ask that any data you have supplied to that point be withdrawn / destroyed.

You have the right to omit or refuse to answer or respond to any question that is asked of you.

You have the right to have your questions about the procedures answered (unless answering these questions would interfere with the study’s outcome.  A full de-briefing will be given after the study). If you have any questions as a result of reading this information sheet, you should ask the researcher before the study begins.

CONFIDENTIALITY/ANONYMITY

The data I collect does not contain any personal information about you except your career, industry you are working for, and your experiences in your daily job. This data will be use to do the analysis of the topics mention before, and is with the only purpose of this dissertation, however the transcripts from the interviews won´t contain any names.

 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION

I or / and [Supervisor name] will be glad to answer your questions about this study at any time. You may contact my supervisor at …. (provide email and DBS phone].

 

INFORMED CONSENT FORM

PROJECT TITLE:

A comparative study of agile and traditional methods of Project Management with regards to project cost and speed in SME in Technology Industries.

PROJECT SUMMARY:

This research will focus on Technology Industry in particular SMEs in Dublin Ireland. To gather a authentic information the sample will be project managers with experiences in Agile and Traditional approach in project management, working in a SMEs and the comparison between the two approaches related to cost and speed in a project. This study is going to make the comparison between the two approaches from the experiences of the project managers in their daily activities. The aim of this research is to create new insights into this amazing area of project management.

By signing below, you are agreeing that: (1) you have read and understood the Participant Information Sheet, (2) questions about your participation in this study have been answered satisfactorily, (3) you are aware of the potential risks (if any), and (4) you are taking part in this research study voluntarily (without coercion).

_________________________________   _________________________________

Participant’s signature     Participant’s Name (Printed)

_______________________________   _________________________________

Student Name (Printed)        Student Name signature

_________________________________

Date

Appendix 4 – Research Time-plan

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