An integration of traditional project management principles into Agile software development methodologies.
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A large amount of money and effort has been invested by companies into establishing their project management (PM) environment and processes which follow the classical phased approach where requirements are defined upfront and fixed. However organisations also desire to react more quickly to new global challenges and to the changing business environment. These business requirements then result in the failure of these classical approaches to PM. There is therefore a need to enhance the current PM environment so that it is more adoptive to changes in the business environment. As a result of these changes in the business landscape agile software development methodologies (ASDM) have acquired a lot of popularity in the software development community. This popularity is being driven by their dynamic nature and the notion that user requirements do not have to be fully specified in the initial phases of the development process. This has resulted in the improvement in success levels of information systems (IS) projects that have made use of an ASDM. A shift to ASDM can increase the success rate of IS projects and mitigate some issues that are typical for heavy weight methods. Good examples can be found in the case studies (Balada, 2013; Raithatha, 2007), where agile methods were successfully used in software development projects of all sizes and complexity. However introducing ASDM for large and complex projects particularly in large enterprises can introduce a number of challenges (Thamhain, 2014). While agile principles foster great flexibility and agility in changing environments, they are very difficult to realize in larger projects that require more execution formality and discipline to deal with the specific complexities (Waardenburg & Vliet, 2013). In order to address these problems, the current study investigates the problem of integrating Traditional Project Management (TPM) techniques into the development of large scale IS projects in large enterprises with complex IT landscapes that make use of AM. This study followed a hybrid approach combining both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. Data collection entailed semi-structured interviews and questionnaires. The sampling strategy that was used was purposive sampling. A phenomenographic approach was used to obtain an insight into the experience of software development (SD) by software practitioners who made use of ASDM. The qualitative data elicited from this phase of the study was analysed thematically to identify aspects of AM that had a pivotal influence on software practitioners’ perspective on ASDM. A substantive component of this phenomenographic incursion was to establish whether there was some form of resonance between ASDM and PM or whether these methodologies were diametrically opposite to one another. The objective of the qualitative component of the study was to obtain sufficient information to enable the development of a model for SD that integrated the principles of PM into ASDM. This phase of the study was followed-up by a quantitative phase that was underpinned by the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) in order to ascertain software practitioners’ acceptance of the proposed model (referred to as the Agile-Project Management Model (APMM)) The results of the UTAUT-based acceptance test indicate that the proposed APMM received a high acceptance rate by the software practitioners who constituted the main subjects of the current study.