Evaluation of the Adaptive Project Frameworks ability to manage fuzziness.
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The field of project management is more complex than ever due to an accelerating development in technology, competitive climate, rapid-changing customer wants, needs and internationalization. As technology and customer wants are continually changing, new business opportunities opens which firms try identifying and take advantage of. Some of these opportunities result in projects of a more innovative nature, associated with higher uncertainty and risk. These factors along with others have contributed to that the field of project management must manage an increasing degree of fuzziness. It would be fair to state that it is affecting the risk picture. As such there are high demands for project managers to manage fuzziness. Studies and experience have shown that companies struggle to manage projects associated with higher level of fuzziness. Too many project fail or do not meet their requirements, resulting in loss of billions of dollars every year. As a result, new methods and tools are continuously researched and developed. Traditional project management models are suited to manage repetitious project that have been done before, such a developer building houses. Typically these have a lower degree of fuzziness and fewer changes are expected. The traditional methods are not suited to manage projects of a more innovative nature with more expected changes. Other methods are better suited for this such as the agile project management methods, which are becoming increasing popular. The Agile Project Framework (APF) developed by Wisocki in 2003-04 is one of these. Developed and proposed by the author to aid in managing some of these challenges. The framework is still young, but it has shown promise. The method is suited to manage all types of projects. It is characterized by being customer focused and driven. Supporters of the method argue that it provides the client with maximum value on limited resources. Despite the methods strengths, it has some weaknesses. The method is used to manage projects with a higher degree of fuzziness and it still has some of challenges related to this. Some argue that unk unks are a major reason for project failures, but they are not the only reason. Fuzziness consists of several componenets with different roots, all affecting the level of fuzziness. The main purpose of this thesis was to evaluate the Agile Project Framework (APF) ability to manage fuzziness. Three sub-objectives were added to supplement the main purpose and clarify evaluation focus. The first sub-objective was to study advantages and disadvantages with the APF. The second sub-objective was to study how APF manage fuzziness. The third sub-objective was related to assess if the method utilizing Aven`s (A,C,U) perspective can improve APFs ability to manage fuzziness. In addition the strengths and weaknesses of the proposition was evaluated. The study found that the APF has tools to manage projects for a high degree of fuzziness where changes are expected. Despite this the method has some weaknesses. It can be vulnerable to aspects such as unk unks, poor communication, bad quality of personell/project manager and poor feedback. Due to its small project teams it is more exposed to personell challenges than larger teams. This may be sickess, sick children, personell leaving or other reasons that result in personell not completing their work packages. The APF is most stuited for smaller project and not ideal for managing large-scale projects. One of the reasons for this is that it is highly unlikely they will get funding of millions of dollars based on the argument “it will provide maximum value on the given resources and works 100% of the time”. The study found that the presented (A,C,U) approach has some interesting ideas that may complement the APF if it is implemented effectively. To do this the assessment should be crude and focus on critical elements. Still, there is no practical data and experience to show to. Therefore at the current stage, the method presents a theoretical approach that can at best provide discussion or inspiration for new tools, rather than a viable tool. There is a reason for why the current methods are used. Despite many projects failing or not meeting their requirements, the currently used tools are the best alternatives.
Master's thesis in Industrial Economics