Choice of traditional or agile business analysis approach - A decision model to determine the use of the traditional versus agile business analysis paradigm
Jason Amstutz, 2022
Betreuende Dozierende: Rainer Telesko
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The business analysis/project management approach is a key factor in project success or failure in the field of information systems. There are mainly two frameworks: the traditional and the agile approach. While the former is plan-driven and predictive, the latter is change-driven and adaptive in nature. A transition from traditional to agile methodologies can be observed, attributable to the fast-changing market conditions of today's economy, new technologies, and many other factors. Both approaches have advantages and disadvantages that limit their application areas. Another approach is the hybrid paradigm, combining elements of the two abovementioned approaches.
Given a certain context, the question arises of which approach is more suitable. The appropriate approach for a project is a complex decision in which a bundle of factors must be considered. This thesis addresses the following main question: ""Is it possible to assess, based on various parameters, whether a project is more likely to be successful using agile over the traditional business analysis approach?"" To break down this broad question, three sub-research questions have been formulated.
This thesis strongly leans on the decision model developed by Thesing, Feldmann and Burchardt (2021). Their model comprises 15 criteria grouped into scope, time, costs, organisational context, and project team characteristics. Their model was adapted and extended as a first step by consulting further scientific papers from the literature base. Secondly, interviews with experts from Swiss companies were conducted to enquire about the suitability of the modified model, identify potentially missing influencing factors and review existing criteria. As a third step, the reworked decision model, among additional questions concerning the project, organisation and participant, was converted into an online survey to collect concrete practice cases of Swiss companies. Fourthly, a knowledge database in Microsoft Access was developed, in which the structure and the different criteria with their characteristics of the decision model were implemented. Finally, the main artefact – the decision model as a Microsoft Excel solution – was developed, encompassing the recommendation of the most suitable approach (traditional or agile), which results from the assigned scores and weights. A second round of interviews aiming to validate the tool and a simulation of the project cases collected in the survey context revealed that the tool's recommended approach was largely in line with the approach used in practice and, thus, with the experts' opinion. Furthermore, the tool is considered suitable and viable by the majority of practitioners. Consequently, the hypothesis can be regarded as verified.
Studiengang: Business Information Systems (Master)
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