E-Net News

Valle, O'Mara publish article in Journal of the Academy of Business Education

The professors of management describe a classroom exercise to explore and teach the fundamentals of adaptive project management.

Matt Valle, Martha and Spencer Love Professor of Business, and Kevin O'Mara, professor of management

Matt Valle, Martha and Spencer Love Professor of Business, and Kevin O'Mara, professor of management, authored the article, "Adaptive project management:  A classroom exercise to explore the fundamentals of agile (scrum)," which appears in the Journal of the Academy of Business Education.

The article describes a classroom exercise to explore and teach the fundamentals of adaptive project management:

An estimated 28 percent of project management offices (PMO’s) today are implementing Agile methodologies such as Extreme Programming (XP), Crystal Methods, Scrum, Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM), Feature Driven Development (FDD), and Adaptive/Agile Software Development (ASD) to manage project work, and in some IT organizations, adoption of agile methods approaches 70 percent. Therefore, it seems prudent that participants in project management courses, whether in degree programs or continuing education programs, obtain a fundamental understanding of the basics of adaptive project methods, otherwise known as agile approaches. The linear, sequential world assumed by the pedagogy associated with traditional project management methods is being challenged by the realities of a project management environment requiring adjustments, collaboration and adaptability.  It is not enough to learn how to lead projects in a world characterized by limited uncertainty and dynamism; future project managers must learn to adapt methods and processes on the fly to deal with multiple, dynamic environments and constantly changing customer needs.  Therefore, students must be exposed to a variety of alternative project management methods and must develop the skills necessary to succeed in the dynamic environments they will enter upon graduation.

This article describes an innovative teaching technique/exercise developed and successfully employed in undergraduate, graduate (MBA) and executive education project management courses to introduce participants to the fundamentals of agile methodologies. This innovative experiential exercise incorporates active learning pedagogies to involve student participants in a fast-paced project management learning activity.  After a brief classroom overview of agile (scrum) fundamentals, participants are assigned as members of 3-person software coding teams to complete a software development sprint.  Participants complete code development and team leadership and self-management functions during a simulated 3-day sprint cycle where they build software features for a hypothetical software package - USoftTuition Maximization Software.

Valle, M., & O’Mara, K. J. (2015).  Adaptive project management:  A classroom exercise to explore the fundamentals of agile (scrum). Journal of the Academy of Business Education, 16, 257-275.

Matt Valle,
Faculty
4/8/2016 1:40 PM