Agile project management in engineering, procurement and construction projects: A case study of ABB Grid Integration Finland
Oja, Jonna (2017)
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This thesis is commissioned by ABB Grid Integrations Finland. The case organization was interested in finding out if agile project management (APM) and particularly the Scrum framework could improve the management of their projects. The research problem of this study is formulated as follows: could agile project management be used to improve project management in the case organization during the initial phases of its EPC projects?. In addition to providing guidance to the practitioners in the case organization, the study also aims to make a relevant academic contribution. It became apparent early on in the research process that while there were many academic studies on the use of APM in software development projects, the research on APM in non-software development projects is limited. This study helps fill a gap in the academic literature by making a contribution to this emerging research field. The thesis presents theory on agile project management and its use in non-software development projects. Theory on the Scrum framework and its use in an EPC project is also presented. The study is a qualitative case study. Empirical data is gathered through semi-structured theme interviews (fin: teemahaastattelu) and observations in connection to these interviews. The three interviews with Scrum practitioners working with hardware and software projects within ABB provided an extensive material for analysis. During the research process a pilot project started in the case organization. In this project a hybrid method consisting of Scrum, Kanban and traditional project management practices was piloted. The initial experiences from this pilot project also contribute to the findings of the present study. The results from the study indicate that APM could be implemented in the case organization during the initial phases of its EPC projects, and such an implementation could be beneficial and improve project management. Initial evidence from the pilot project indicates that the benefits which the case organization was hoping to gain from using APM could be achieved. It remains unclear however if the case organization has become more agile through the implementation of APM in the pilot project.