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A Hybrid Project Management Approach: Bridging Theory and Practice in ERP Implementation Projects
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The use of efficient information systems and technology has not only become a source of competitive advantage, but also a threshold criterion for organizational survival. In response, many organizations are utilizing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems (Baykasoglu and Gölcük, 2017, p. 256). ERP systems are software packages that integrate, centralize and automate a company’s information and commercial operations, regardless of the company’s size, diversity or geographical dispersion (Parr & Shanks, 2000, p. 1). This thesis explores the use of hybrid project management approaches in the context of ERP implementation projects. Hybrid project management approach (PM) involves the blending of traditional and agile project management practices and principles. Although the use of a hybrid PM approach has appeared in research and seems to be utilized in practice, minimal empirical findings have been confirmed due to the infancy of the research topic. Emerging literature emphasizes the importance of context making the point that no single PM approach can be suggested as a “universal best practice” (Highsmith, 2009, p. 23; Leybourne, 2009, p. 524). The ongoing debate between academics and practitioners involves the choice of the PM approach that would lead to maximizing project benefits and achieving project success. Hybrid approaches are becoming increasingly popular as a way of answering the common paradox between flexibility (agile approaches) and structure (traditional approaches). The study was guided by the following research question: How are traditional and agile project management approaches blended in ERP implementation projects and what are the associated impacts?

There is very limited research investigating the use of a hybrid project management approach for this type of projects. This study aimed to contribute to the research field, providing new insight to drive future research and useful implications for practitioners. Specifically, this study provides insight on how a hybrid approach is employed in practice, which principles and practices are used throughout the project lifecycle, the critical success factors, benefits, and challenges. Additionally, the factors that should be considered when determining the project management approach for ERP implementation projects are investigated. The findings were supported by the development of a framework and suggestions for future research.

 

Six in-depth semi-structured interviews with industry experts were conducted to gain insight on their opinions and experience in this specific context. Secondary data was collected, utilizing company documents and websites to support the findings. Following the exploratory purpose of this research and the underlying research question, the qualitative data analysis deployed a combination of a template approach and inspired grounded theory as an analytical tool. The data analysis approach utilized the development of themes a priori from the literature review, however the codes were generated directly through analyzing the collected primary data. Answering the research question, the study’s findings were reflected in a model, which also draws conclusions about how the various themes are related. In this framework, the critical success factors, such as the project team, project manager, and project planning, were considered important for using a hybrid project management approach, irrespective if the project management approach is more predominantly traditional, agile or an even combination. An assessment criterion is provided, to determine the best suited project management approach, including client, project manager and team, project specific, and external factors. The most important and used traditional and agile practices were then identified throughout the implementation phases. Finally, the benefits and challenges of using a hybrid PM approach for ERP implementation projects were outlined.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , p. 89
Keywords [en]
hybrid project management, project management approach, ERP implementation
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-144299OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-144299DiVA, id: diva2:1178870
Educational program
Master's Programme in Management
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-03-05 Created: 2018-01-30 Last updated: 2018-03-05Bibliographically approved

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