مدیریت پرتفولیو سریع الانتقال : چشم انداز تجربی در زمینه تمرین در کاربرد
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|22090||2014||13 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Project Management, Available online 24 April 2014
Agile project management methods revolutionized the way how software projects are executed and organized. The question, however, on how to enable agility outside of individual projects and help larger organizations to compete with small entrepreneurial companies requires further attention. As a possible perspective, project portfolio management provides a global view on resources and their distribution across individual projects according to strategic choices. Based on 30 interviews conducted in 14 large European organizations this study contributes to the understanding of agile project management methods applied in IT project portfolios. First, we empirically identify the domains of practice. Then, guided by literature and our data we discuss the characteristics and implications of the agile portfolio management practice in our case organizations.
Agile project management methods caused a silent revolution in the way projects are organized and executed (Abrahamsson et al., 2009 and Dybå and Dingsøyr, 2008). While originating in software projects, the methods are gaining increased attention in the general field of project management. In 2011, for example, the term “agile project management” for the first time surpassed “agile software development” on Google Trends. However, the current methods are bound to a “sweet spot” ( Hoda et al., 2010) of small, co-located software projects and individual teams. In order to break out of this comfort zone and implement the advantages of agile project management in broader organizational contexts, research calls for a view on agility outside of individual projects and teams (Kettunen and Laanti, 2008). One possible perspective, especially prominent in project-based organizations, is that of project portfolio management (PPM). PPM links organizational strategy to the distribution of resources across projects in the portfolio (Cooper et al., 1999 and Martinsuo and Lehtonen, 2007). As such portfolios provide an opportunity to make organizations more agile outside of individual projects. While portfolio management is well established in traditional project management literature, the iterative nature of agile methods introduces new challenges to the current management practice. Agile methods show substantially different patterns of action to traditional projects (Nerur and Balijepally, 2007 and Thummadi et al., 2011). They are largely based on recurring activities, so-called organizational routines (Pentland and Feldman, 2007), such as iterative delivery of intermediate results or daily standup team coordination meetings (Schwaber and Beedle, 2001 and Williams, 2012). Agile software development is fast and flexible due to frequent feedback loops, iterative reviews and close customer contact. Without this direct interaction agile methods loose much of their effectiveness (Hoda et al., 2010 and Stettina and Heijstek, 2011). This is especially challenging for larger organizations with well established routines and structures. Leffingwell, 2007 and Leffingwell, 2010, Krebs (2008), and Vähäniitty et al. (2012) propose frameworks for agile portfolio management and point out initial benefits and challenges, however, there is a lack of empirical evaluation. While most contributions originate in consulting literature only a few limited single-case studies exist on program management (Kettunen and Laanti, 2008, Laanti, 2008 and Laanti et al., 2011), and a few conference publications exist on the application of agile methods within project portfolios, all in individual organizations (Kalliney, 2009 and Rautiainen et al., 2011). In order to close this research gap we take the perspective of the concrete practices applied across three stakeholder teams: senior management, portfolio management and project management. We interviewed project and portfolio management staff in 14 organizations in the Netherlands, Germany and Sweden on their experiences in using agile methods in the context of IT project portfolios. The 30 interviews resulted in a total of roughly 1600 min of recorded material. In this paper we report on this study for the first time presenting an insight on the portfolio management practice in multiple organizations applying agile methods. To the academics this paper provides an overview of the portfolio practice domains affected by agile methods, thus enabling an appropriate investigation on the necessary micro-activities to establish agile portfolio management capabilities (Salvato, 2009). To the project management professionals it provides an understanding of the potential characteristics of agile portfolios and the implications to be expected when applying agile project management methods in portfolios of projects.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
In this paper we contribute to the understanding of portfolio management in organizations applying agile project management methods. The existing literature provides either little empirical evaluation of agile portfolio management frameworks in use, or provides evidence from individual cases only (Kalliney, 2009, Laanti, 2008, Laanti et al., 2011 and Rautiainen et al., 2011). In line with research on actuality of projects (Cicmil et al., 2006) we thus compare our data on the practice in use to the frameworks proposed by Leffingwell, 2007 and Leffingwell, 2010, Krebs (2008) and Vähäniitty et al. (2012). Stemming from interviews with 30 participants in 14 organizations, in total 1600 min of recorded material, our analysis indicates a common ground with shared characteristics across the frameworks proposed and our cases as presented in Table 1. In the vast majority of our case organizations agile methods have been initially adopted in individual projects not following a particular agile PPM framework. After a successful application in projects the importance to align the portfolio management practice becomes visible. Our data indicates that agility enabled on project level by recurring routines such as iteration reviews (Williams, 2012) is expanded towards neighboring domains of practice such as portfolio reviews. Our participants indicate a demand for more interaction across the domains and across strategy, tactics and operations (Hanssen and Fægri, 2008). However, with the increased frequency of interaction in projects and with the self-managing character of agile teams, current portfolio management practices might need to be adjusted to fit this enabled agility. Based on our observations above we have found implications of agile methods on three aspects of the portfolio practice: 1. Routines: the frequent interaction based on routines in projects (e.g. reviews, standup meetings) stimulates the need for an appropriately frequent interaction in neighboring domains of practice (e.g. in PPM). 2. Structures: due to the self-managing nature, agile teams take over aspects of traditional project management. This has implications on the role of project and portfolio management. Further, work in stable teams is preferred in our case organizations. 3. Values: in order to support a closer interaction across domains of practice, a shared understanding how such a closer interaction could look like needs to be in place. Agile organizations are considered as those that learn fast and are effective (Booth and Harmer, 1994 and Conboy, 2009). While it is difficult to delineate what is agile and what is not, we follow the advice of Laanti et al. (2013) and compare the concrete practices applied. Based on those we observe the following characteristics shared across the existing frameworks and our cases: 1. Transparency of resources and work items, improving trust, decision making, and resource allocation. 2. Collaboration, close collaboration based on routinized interaction and artifacts enabling frequent feedback-loops across the domains. 3. Commitment, to strategically managed portfolios. 4. Team orientation, removing unrest in resource allocation and building capabilities in teams. We conclude that agile software development evolves into agility in project management. It is a learning process which requires a consideration of routines, structure and culture. Long-term experience with agile methods in individual projects alone is not sufficient for an appropriate integration of the practice into an agile portfolio. It takes time to overcome the challenges in resource allocation and silo thinking. However, if large organizations want to learn fast, be more effective and integrate entrepreneurial spirit in their operations they might want to address these challenges and reflect upon the underlying routines in context.