Organizational leaders make decisions every day that affect their organizations and employees. Making informed decisions is an imperative for leaders if their organizations are to remain viable and sustainable. This Capstone course was designed to integrate and synthesize research with concepts, theories, and skills learned through the Master’s program to address an organizational problem or opportunity. Integration of acquired knowledge is demonstrated by each student in the development and completion of the Capstone Project process. The final Capstone assignment, Capstone Project Report, demonstrates a student’s ability to conduct practical research in support of a decision-making process.
Your Capstone Project must include the following:

Title Page
An Executive Summary

An outline of the organizational problem or opportunity being investigated.
A summary of the background and argument surrounding your issue.
An overview of your recommendations for your organization

Section I: Organization/Industry Problem or Opportunity

Intro & Definition of Terms
Problem Statement
Purpose Statement
Research Question
Intended Audience

Section II: Problem or Opportunity Background

Background of Problem/Opportunity
Explanation of the Importance of the Topic
Theoretical Framework

Section III: Investigative Steps

An explanation of the research approach taken
Methodology used
Bias found
Topics intentionally not addressed due to time constraints, lack of substantial research, etc…

Section IV: Literature Review

An analysis of the findings of research obtained relevant to the research topic
A comprehensible logical flow of information, with categorized headings, that is unmistakably linked to the problem, opportunity, and research questions
Graphics or other analytical charts from research, if relevant to the findings

Section V: Recommendations and Conclusions

Interpretive views about results
Recommendations, options, action plans, or practical applications for decision makers to use
Correlation to investigative findings for all recommendations
One page, at the minimum, dedicated to the conclusion of this research project, to include future recommendations for areas of opportunity and research that were not addressed due to the time limitations of this CapstoneRunning head: CONCEPT OF AGILE METHODOLOGY
Concept of Agile Methodology
Table of Contents
Introduction ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 3
Description of the Problem or Opportunity …………………………………………………………………………………….. 4
Background of the Problem or Opportunity ……………………………………………………………………………………. 5
Investigative Steps ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 7
Determining whether the agile is for the project or the company ……………………………………………………. 7
Determining how other Organizations are implementing the methodology ……………………………………… 8
Defining the Leadership Role in the Decision-Making Process ……………………………………………………… 9
Leadership Action ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 9
Conclusion ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 11
References ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 13
Project management is an important element of leadership in organizations. In efforts to
improve the project outcome and increase customer/client satisfaction, the agile methodology
was developed in 2001 by software developers. This is a project management (PM) methodology
with opportunities for improvement of the product outcomes (Maruping, Venkatesh, & Agarwal,
2009). The agile methodology is a solution to complex projects such as software development,
which require a collective input from different stakeholders to best respond to the user’s
requirements. Since the establishment of the agile manifesto in 2001, there are over 20 different
agile methodologies, each with a unique success factor (Rasnacis, & Berzisa, 2017). Some of the
methods include Scrum, lean software development, among others. In all these methods, the
collaboration of teams is important over the project process.
The number of organizations adopting the use of agile methodology is also increasing
based on its benefits. Unlike the waterfall methodology, the agile concept helps companies to
deliver a product in a short duration without a compromise on quality and customers changing
expectations (Patwardhan, Kidd, Urena, & Rajgopalan, 2016). There are many problems
associated with the project team in implementing the agile methodology and hence the need for a
leadership role (Rasnacis, & Berzisa, 2017). Preparing the team and motivation are among the
most critical roles which project manager must provide. This discussion focuses on whether
methodology or the concept is chosen based on project characteristics or should the organization
implement all the projects and programs under the chosen methodology. The discussion also
includes the role of leadership in agile methodology to achieve the desired success. Agile
methodologies should be implemented on specific projects since the success of a PM
methodology is defined by the nature of the project and the characteristic of the stakeholders and
should include appropriate leadership interventions.
Description of the Problem or Opportunity
The concept of agile methodology is considered to have some crucial benefits in the
software development projects over the previous methodologies. The agile methodology is based
on a set of values and principles established by some software practitioners in 2001 and it
includes prioritizing the individuals and interactions over the processes and tools (Abrahamsson,
Salo, Ronkainen, & Warsta, 2017). The second commitment is to focus on working software
over the process of comprehensive documentation, which is established in the traditional
methodologies. In agile methodology, collaboration with customers is preferred over contract
negotiation and this process also prioritizes on responding to change instead of strictly following
the plan. Following these initiatives has, in the first experiential reports, been associated only
with some positive outcomes and has triggered many companies to move to agile methodology
in software development project management.
Although implementations in the small collocated teams have consistently yielded some
critical benefits, the use in large projects triggers questioning the level of success (Hobbs, &
Petit, 2017). For large and small organizations using this project management (PM) process, it is
a concern about whether to use it in all projects or to make independent choices for each project.
The level of benefit of the organization using the agile methodologies is uncertain as much as the
overall investment required for this innovation. According to Abrahamsson (2017), it is a major
concern whether there are circumstances in which the application of the agile method can be
considered better than in others. The project manager has a responsibility to determine the PM
methodology, which would yield the greatest benefit in that circumstance. In other words, the
nature of the project defines the best appropriate development methodology which the project
manager should select.
The large organizations which are plan-driven experience significant challenges in their
implementation of the agile method. In theory, comparing with the structured design methods,
the success rate for projects when using the agile methodology is considered to be better
(Alqudah & Razali, 2017). However, in practice, only less than 50% of the projects which are
implemented using the agile methodology are successful. This means that implementation of the
agile methodology relies on some factors to achieve the desired success level. When an
organization is making a shift to use the agile methodology, they takes some risks which are
higher in large organizations with multiple projects.
Background of the Problem or Opportunity
The success of the agile methodologies is dependent on all dimensions such as quality,
cost, time, and scope depend on various factors. Although the agile methodology is defined to
have better success rates than other methodologies, the underlying factors within this concept
determine the failure or success of the project. First, there are many agile methodologies, and the
choice of the methodology defines the level of success. Since many agile methods are choosing
the appropriate method is a complicated task for the company. According to Alqudah and Razali
(2017), many companies are unaware of the benefits acquired from the appropriate selection of
agile methods. Various factors influence the appropriateness of an agile method. One of the
factors is the criticality and the size of the project. When a project manager selects an agile
method that is inappropriate for a large and critical project, the desired outcomes will not be
The culture of the organization also determines the success of using agile methodologies.
In this case, the organization culture is defined in terms of rigidity and flexibility relative to agile
teams. If an organization is rigid, the agile teams experience a difficult time in their operations
since the management can make restrictions for teams to conform to the original plans
(Cockburn, & Highsmith, 2001). A command-control management initiative is inappropriate for
agile methodology. The commitment of management is one of the critical elements of
organizational culture which determine the level of success. Cooperation cultures also promote
the willingness to take on risks, thus promoting success (Tsoy & Staples, 2020, January).
Organizational culture also involves the team environment, such as size, strategies of formation,
and the commitment and the knowledge of the manager about the agile process. Failing to
evaluate the organization factors in implementing agile methodology thus results in critical
The success of the agile methodology in PM is also determined by the skills and
competencies of the individuals involved. The organization must have the skills needed to match
to meet the challenges arising in the project. The teams also need to have competencies to
communicate and collaborate effectively (Cockburn, & Highsmith, 2001). An organization team
that has high expertise and is motivated has a high capacity to achieve better outcomes. For the
organization to achieve high success, the team requires high diversity to address the complexities
of the task (Tsoy & Staples, 2020, January). The team must also engage the team members
effectively to utilize all the competencies. The involvement of the customers, such as full
customer authority, is also a key determinant of success when using this methodology. The
project key stakeholders’ characteristics are, thus, significant factors that influence the outcome.
The success of the PM methodology is also influenced by project factors, technical
factors, and the process factors which must be fulfilled to achieve the desired level of success.
The project factors include nature, type, and schedule, and all have to be evaluated against the
need to use agile methodology in PM. For instance, a project with an accelerated schedule can
fail in terms of time and scope if high flexibility is adopted. Technical factors such as the quality
of data based on the use of agile software influences the quality of the outcome. The common
project process, such as good communication, determines the exchange of data between the
stakeholders leading to high-quality products within an appropriate time threshold (Alqudah and
Razali, 2017). Agile methodology in PM, therefore, has critical factors that influence the level of
success. Unless these factors are effectively met, the theoretical success of the process is
impossible in practice. Some factors such as the agile method appropriate for a project are
complex and require experience in the use of the process
Investigative Steps
Determining whether the agile is for the project or the company
Several investigative steps are critical to the implementation of the agile methodology in
the company. The first step is to determine whether the methodology will be chosen for a project
or organization. An organization can choose to adopt the agile methodology within the
framework of the organization. In this case, the organization implements all projects and the
programs under an agile methodology. On the other hand, the company cans chose to implement
the methodology only when deemed appropriate based on the nature of the project. Each of these
decisions has critical implications on the organization in the level of success obtained and, in the
investment, made for a transition. One critical factor which CEOs and other executives need to
understand is that the nature of the project determines the success of agile. An agile methodology
should be on the project since the success factors which require flexibility and collaboration are
for projects and not the organization (Campanelli, & Parreiras, 2015).
It is not obvious that organizations have the same success factors as individual projects.
For instance, the level of transparency appropriate for the effective completion of the project is
inappropriate in the routine organization operations. In some instances, some types of projects or
project schedules will demand the use of the waterfall methodology to achieve high success.
Integrating agile to the business process can also be challenging for large organizations, and
hence a systematic approach is needed. Having hybrid systems is thus effective since the
management can determine the various factors which are necessary for success during each
project. However, it would be necessary to build a culture where the management has expertise
and commitment to the agile methodology to reduce conflicts.
Determining how other Organizations are implementing the methodology
There are different agile methods, and hence it is necessary to focus on the most
appropriate method for implementation. In this analysis, the main focus is on the experiences
with companies similar in size and specialization. According to Boehm and Turner (2005), small
standalone projects are less likely to experience a critical burden when implementing the agile
methodology. The integration of agile and traditional teams is also challenging when developing
the same projects. Effective prior preparations are thus necessary to define clearly the
mismatches. In most instances, there may be an increased need to define specific functionalities
to the team members. In other words, there is no standard approach for implementing the agile
methodology in a project. There are more than 20 agile methods, each with different success
factors (Hobbs, & Petit, 2017). The use of agile methods in large projects reports positive
outcomes, but the main challenge is to determine which method is appropriate for a given
project. For instance, SCRUM has found critical application in the software and other fields
(Alqudah, & Razali, 2017). This technique involves building teams that are self-organizing
involving the scrum master, product owner, and the development team.
Defining the Leadership Role in the Decision-Making Process
Leadership Action
Leadership is essential for achieving high success when using this project management
process. Despite the lack of a formal approach to PM, the methodology requires different
interventions to improve the competencies of the team and to motivate them for the tasks.
However, the leadership requirements for agile projects are different from those in the traditional
process (Bonner, 2010). One action is thus preparing the team for the project with efforts such as
training. Another action is to share the information with the employees through such a process as
the organization’s vision. In most instances, team members may not understand all the
information which is analyzed by the project manager or the organization executives. Sharing the
information through mechanisms such as a vision enhances continuous commitment. Agile
projects are based on self-organized teams, and hence establishing an effective foundation of the
vision and the goals of the project is necessary. In other words, the agile leader is committed to
building teams’ capacity to act on their own (Parker, Holesgrove, & Pathak, 2015). Another
leadership action in agile projects is motivation. Ensuring that team members are satisfied with
the job is an important factor in the success of the project. Although self-organized teams are
committed towards the established goals, there is a need for providing monetary and non-
monetary benefits where appropriate. However, the motivation of workers within these teams
may depend mainly on autonomy and receiving appropriate feedback (Tessem, & Maurer, 2007,
Choice of Leadership Style
The quality of leadership is a critical factor in the success of the agile methodology. The
leadership requirement within these processes determines the choice of leadership style. The type
of leadership can also be determined by the skills and competences of the team. There are two
leadership styles that are appropriate for this process. The first is transactional leadership, which
involves understanding the teams’ interests and responding to them through decision making.
This leadership style is appropriate, where subordinates have the competencies and motivation
needed for achieving the project goals. The second style is transformational leadership, which
involves building the capacity of individual team members to achieve a high level of success
(Bonner, 2010). In transformational leadership, the agile leader is focused on inspiring,
motivating, and sharing the vision with a subordinate. Transformational leadership helps to
promote project teams to be committed to the project and the company. The primary goals are to
ensure the long-term commitment of the team members in the organization. Using
transformational leadership help achieve long-term leadership success and include building
leadership capacities. This leadership style is also the most appropriate since its emphasis on
people and interactions an initiative shared with agile methodology (van Kelle et al., 2015).
Decision Making
The agile methodology involves a shared decision-making process. It encourages
flexibility from the primary plan to incorporate the changing expectations of product users.
Unlike in traditional methodologies, customers are active decision-makers and hence are not
restricted by the contract terms. One value of agile methodology is prioritizing relationships over
contract negotiation. Internally the project manager work in collaboration with other team
members. Teams are also self-organized, providing autonomy to make decisions about the
products. However, the decision-making process must be aligned to different levels, such as
strategy, operations, and tactics to overcome challenges in the distribution of resources and
maintenance of tasks (Moe, Aurum, & Dybå, 2012). It is upon leaders to remain active in routine
operations in the project to ensure project teams’ autonomy is in the best interest of the project
vision. Leadership thus plays an important role in the success of the agile PM process.
The agile methodology has gained significant popularity as a project management
process both in software development and in other fields. This is a project management
methodology providing opportunities for improvement of the product outcomes. Although the
process has some significant positive outcomes than the traditional waterfall methodology, there
are some significant limitations to its application. The process should be implemented on specific
projects to account for the nature and schedule of the project since the success of a PM
methodology is defined by these factors. This process should include leadership actions like
motivation, inspiration, and preparation of teams critical to project success. The concept was
developed in 2001 by software practitioners to address limitations of another process that failed
to account for the changing user expectations within the period of product development. In this
case, collaboration with customers is more important than contract negotiation.
The primary concern raised in the paper is whether the methodology should be on the
organization or should be chosen for particular projects. Factors that influence the outcome of
the agile methodology are one of the primary concerns. First, more than 20 different agile
methods exist, making a selection for different projects complicated due to unique characteristics
on the type, quality, scope, and schedule. The criticality and size of the project are significant
factors that influence the outcomes. Other factors include organization culture, teams’
competencies, and technical factors. Implementing the concept at the project level is appropriate
to enhance prior assessment while avoiding exaggerated costs. This initiative is appropriate for
overusing the process in all the projects. Leadership plays a vital role in decision making,
communication, and maintaining the stability of the teams and process. Both transactional and
transformational leadership are appropriate styles, but transformational leadership offers more
benefits based on the emphasis on people and interaction similar to the methodology.
Abrahamsson, P., Salo, O., Ronkainen, J., & Warsta, J. (2017). Agile software development
methods: Review and analysis. arXiv preprint arXiv:1709.08439.
Alqudah, M. K., & Razali, R. (2017). Critical factors for selecting an Agile method: A
systematic literature review. International Journal on Advanced Science, Engineering
and Information Technology, 7(2), 526-537.
Boehm, B., & Turner, R. (2005). Management challenges to implementing agile processes in
traditional development organizations. IEEE software, 22(5), 30-39.
Bonner, N. A. (2010). Predicting leadership success in agile environments: An inquiring systems
approach. Journal of Management Information and Decision Sciences, 13(2), 83.
Campanelli, A. S., & Parreiras, F. S. (2015). Agile methods tailoring–A systematic literature
review. Journal of Systems and Software, 110, 85-100.
Cockburn, A., & Highsmith, J. (2001). Agile software development, the people factor.
Computer, 34(11), 131-133.
Hobbs, B., & Petit, Y. (2017). Agile methods on large projects in large organizations. Project
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Maruping, L. M., Venkatesh, V., & Agarwal, R. (2009). A control theory perspective on agile
methodology use and changing user requirements. Information Systems Research, 20(3),
Moe, N. B., Aurum, A., & Dybå, T. (2012). Challenges of shared decision-making: A multiple
case study of agile software development. Information and Software Technology, 54(8),
Parker, D. W., Holesgrove, M., & Pathak, R. (2015). Improving productivity with self-organized
teams and agile leadership. International Journal of Productivity and Performance
Patwardhan, A., Kidd, J., Urena, T., & Rajgopalan, A. (2016). Embracing Agile methodology
during DevOps Developer Internship Program. arXiv preprint arXiv:1607.01893.
Rasnacis, A., & Berzisa, S. (2017). Method for adaptation and implementation of agile project
management methodology. Procedia Computer Science, 104, 43-50.
Tessem, B., & Maurer, F. (2007, June). Job satisfaction and motivation in a large agile team.
In International Conference on Extreme Programming and Agile Processes in Software
Engineering (pp. 54-61). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
Tsoy, M., & Staples, D. S. (2020, January). Exploring Critical Success Factors in Agile
Analytics Projects. In Proceedings of the 53rd Hawaii International Conference on
System Sciences.
van Kelle, E., Visser, J., Plaat, A., & van der Wijst, P. (2015, May). An empirical study into
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