The project management challenges, benefits, risks and limitations of adopting agile methodologies for a multiphase ERP program
University College Cork
This research presents an insight into the project management challenges, benefits, risks and limitations of adopting an Agile-At-Scale methodology for a multiphase ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) IT Programme. As the researcher, my main motivation for undertaking this study was to gain a deeper understanding of how Agile could be leveraged in an ERP Environment. In my work for Dell Technologies, I have been at the forefront of Dell’s Global IT Transformation initiatives and have been part of pilot programmes to adopt Agile and Agile-At-Scale across the IT function. While working closely with specialist external IT Consultancy firms, I identified a knowledge gap which raised research objectives relating to the project management challenges, benefits, risks and limitations of adopting an Agile-At-Scale methodology for a multiphase ERP programme. This study aims to address and further examine this knowledge gap. This study is aimed primarily at both IT and Business Project leaders engaged in large scale, global, multiphase Transformational ERP Programmes. The primary research method I adopted was that of participant observer. As a fully engaged participant in Dell’s IT Transformation journey, my role provided me with the opportunity to attend professional Agile training, participate in the piloting of Agile Transformation Programs and be part of a Core Team whose role was to implement Agile. The Core Team’s goal was to provide feedback to the Executive Leadership on the Agile adoption and contrast Agile with the more traditional Waterfall methodologies being used over my twenty years working on Global ERP Programs. To compliment the participant observer research method, I also used case studies, surveys and interviews. This thesis uniquely illustrates, through the lens of the Agile ERP Quadrant view (Fig 2.18), a new understanding of the challenges, benefits, risks, limitations and lessons learned of Adopting Agile for an ERP Program. (Fig 4.1), builds on the Agile ERP Quadrant and denotes the positive, negative and neutral impacts by magnitude. The study concludes that the adoption of Agile is not a one size fits all and highlights specific areas associated with ERP Programs that require a more hybrid approach. This research will provide a detailed study of Dell Technologies Agile-At-Scale journey and will present an Agile Framework which can be adopted for a large-scale Global ERP Implementation.
ERP , Agile , SAFe , Agile at scale , Waterfall methodology , IT project management
Toomey, E. 2021. The project management challenges, benefits, risks and limitations of adopting agile methodologies for a multiphase ERP program. MComm Thesis, University College Cork.