Application of Agile Methodologies for Member and Team Role Transformation in Projects


By Subhashish Sengupta, PMP, ITC Infotech

Dr. Debashish Sengupta, Alliance University


Prof. Ray Titus, Alliance University

Bangalore, India


This paper explores how the Agile methodology impacts all the process groups of Project Management, in a way that the role of the Project Manager and role of the team transforms as compared to a non-Agile environment. Fundamentally, the role of project manager alters from a controlling and directing approach to a facilitation approach in an Agile environment. The role of the team alters more from a mindset point-of-view, from an individual accountability to more of a mutual accountability perspective. In short, the Agile methodology focuses more on the team and not on the individuals, as in a non-Agile set-up.

Keywords: Project, Project Management, Agile Methodology, Waterfall Methodology 


A project is a ‘temporary endeavour’ undertaken to create a unique product or service. ‘Temporary’ denotes that all projects are time-bound and hence have a start and finish date; and, ‘Unique’ denotes that the product or service developed as a result of the project is distinguishable from other products or services. Project is different from an operation. Although project and operations share some similarities like both consist of activities, both are limited by resources and both need to be planned, executed and controlled, however while operations are continuing and repetitive, projects are temporary and unique (Choudhuri). Projects also have a third characteristic besides being ‘temporary’ and ‘unique’, the third characteristic of a project is progressive elaboration. ‘Project management is a group of interrelated processes, implemented in a progressively elaborative manner, in which to produce the deliverable’ (USBR). “A project is a one-shot, time-limited, goal-directed, major undertaking, requiring the commitment of varied skills and resources” (BEE).

A project has the following attributes (Baume & P.Martin, 2002):

  • has a clear purpose that can be achieved in a limited time;
  • has a clear end when the outcome has been achieved;
  • is resourced to achieve specific outcomes;
  • has someone acting as sponsor who expects the outcomes to be delivered on time; and
  • is a one-off activity that would not normally be repeated.

Literatures on Project strategies have viewed projects from three different tracks (Artto, Kujala, Dietrich, & Martinsuo, 2008):

  1. In the first track, projects are seen more as subordinate of the parent organization and the project strategy is a derivation from the larger business strategies of the firm. 
  2. In the second track projects are viewed as independent organization in themselves that are loosely connected to the parent organization. In this case projects have their own strategies that may not be dependent on the organizational context.
  3. In the third track, projects are viewed as organization that adapt to ongoing changes as strategic entities of their own. 

The first track is the most dominant one where projects are viewed as subordinate of the parent organization. 

Project Management

Project Management is the process of achieving project objectives (schedule, budget and performance) through a set of activities that start and end at certain points in time and produce quantifiable and qualifiable deliverables (Kay, 2013).

Project management has been practiced for thousands of years, dating back to the Egyptian epoch. Although management of projects has been going on for thousands of years, the practice has been widely recognized as a discipline in its own right for only about ten years. It was in the mid-1950s that the organizations commenced formal project management tools (Lewis, 2002).

Project Management as a discipline developed from different fields of application including construction, engineering, telecommunications, and defence. The 1950s marked the beginning of the modern project management era. According to Azzopardi (2009) four periods are identifiable in terms of evolution of Project Management (Modesto & Tichapondwa, 2009): 


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About the Authors

flag-indiapmwj18-jan2014-senguptas-titus-PHOTO1 SUBASHISHShubhashish Sengupta, PMP

ITC Infotech Ltd.

Bangalore, India

Subhashish Sengupta is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP)®. He has over 15 years of work experience in the IT industry and his key strengths are in Project Development & Management, Delivery management, Project Analysis & Design. He currently works as Senior project Manager at ITC Infotech Ltd.  and is based at Bangalore (India). He has played a leading role in coming-up with recommendations on implementing Agile in the Indian IT scenario. He has received several awards in his career and recently he was awarded the ‘Star performer of the Year’ award by his current employer. Besides his present role, Subhashish also has interests in practice-oriented research, especially in the area of Project Management. Email: [email protected]  Linkedin Profile URL: http://in.linkedin.com/in/subhashishpmp/

flag-indiapmwj18-jan2014-senguptas-titus-PHOTO2 DEBASHISHDr. Debashish Sengupta

Alliance University

Bangalore, India

Dr. Debashish Sengupta currently works with Alliance School of Business, Alliance University, Bangalore (India) as a senior faculty member. He is the author of a Crossword bestseller book – Employee Engagement (2011). He has also authored three other books. He has been a book reviewer for the prestigious Emerald Group Publishing, London (U.K.). He is an avid researcher and has more than 70 research publications to his credit till date. He occasionally writes columns, articles and case studies for reputed business dailies and for leading business magazines. He writes a professional blog on employee engagement – http://www.peopleengagement.blogspot.in

Dr. Sengupta is among the selected 26 authors invited from all over the world to be invited by Institute for Employee Wellbeing, Bellevue University, Nebraska, U.S. for writing invitational posts on Employee Happiness. Dr. Sengupta is a much sought speaker at various business forums and a resource person in several MDPs, corporate training programs. He has also been involved in some not-for-profit business consulting in the area of strategic HR and employee engagement. Email: [email protected]

flag-indiapmwj18-jan2014-senguptas-titus-PHOTO3 TITUSProf Ray Titus

Alliance University

Bangalore, India

Ray Titus is the Professor and Marketing & Strategy at the Alliance University, School of Business located at Bangalore, India. He also serves as the Area Chairperson at the Department of Marketing. Ray’s entry into academia followed a decade long stint in the Industry where he served in Operations, Marketing, and Project roles. As an Industry Professional he’s overseen strategic growth infinitives that included product and category expansions and the launch of an independent strategic business unit.

As an academic in the classroom Prof. Ray teaches courses on Marketing Strategy, Consumer Behaviour, and Social Media Marketing. Ray is also a visiting Professor at the SP Jain Center of Management, Dubai and Singapore, and the Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand. Prof Titus’ research interests lie in the area of consumption behaviour, marketing value propositions, and new & social media landscape. As a Marketing Trainer and Consultant, Ray has closely worked with leading Indian and Multinational firms. He also actively engages with the industry through Management Development Programs.

Prof. Ray publishes his professional blog ‘Buyer Behaviour’ which is listed among the ‘Top 100 academic Blogs every professional investor must read’ by Currency Trading and ‘15 Must Read Indian Blogs about Investing & Business’ by INForum India. Ray is also a business columnist whose expert opinion features in leading business newspapers and magazines.  e.mail: [email protected] Blog: http://www.buyerbehaviour.org Twitter handle: https://twitter.com/buyerbehaviour