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Why Scrum works in new product development: the role of social capital in managing complexity

Why Scrum works in new product development: the role of social capital in managing complexity
Why Scrum works in new product development: the role of social capital in managing complexity
Major changes are currently underway across new product development (NPD) practice, and a number of new NPD management methods and processes are emerging. Managers are faced with an array of possible process models and methods to choose from, including the formal Stage-Gate method as well as multiple emerging variants of Agile. The claimed benefits of Agile methods make it attractive, but its suitability is uncertain. In safety-critical organizations and environments a well-controlled, waterfall-based project model would likely be expected. In an empirical study of an R&D department in a large organization creating and adapting complex air traffic management systems we investigate the use and effects of Scrum, the leading Agile method. Since project coordination is a social phenomenon, we apply social capital and project complexity as theoretical lenses for evaluating the effects of Scrum. We find that Scrum and social capital provide reciprocal benefits, and that the stakeholders found Scrum to be an effective and valuable way of working, mitigating the effects of complexity.
Agile, Scrum, Complexity, Project management, New Product Development
0953-7287
Baxter, David
a7d6ba3f-370f-493d-9202-218d5e6dfc54
Turner, Neil
03e7f778-a75d-4afe-afe3-279f483b2aa8
Baxter, David
a7d6ba3f-370f-493d-9202-218d5e6dfc54
Turner, Neil
03e7f778-a75d-4afe-afe3-279f483b2aa8

Baxter, David and Turner, Neil (2021) Why Scrum works in new product development: the role of social capital in managing complexity. Production Planning & Control. (In Press)

Record type: Article

Abstract

Major changes are currently underway across new product development (NPD) practice, and a number of new NPD management methods and processes are emerging. Managers are faced with an array of possible process models and methods to choose from, including the formal Stage-Gate method as well as multiple emerging variants of Agile. The claimed benefits of Agile methods make it attractive, but its suitability is uncertain. In safety-critical organizations and environments a well-controlled, waterfall-based project model would likely be expected. In an empirical study of an R&D department in a large organization creating and adapting complex air traffic management systems we investigate the use and effects of Scrum, the leading Agile method. Since project coordination is a social phenomenon, we apply social capital and project complexity as theoretical lenses for evaluating the effects of Scrum. We find that Scrum and social capital provide reciprocal benefits, and that the stakeholders found Scrum to be an effective and valuable way of working, mitigating the effects of complexity.

Text
PPC manuscript pre-print Baxter Turner September 2021 - Accepted Manuscript
Restricted to Repository staff only until 17 December 2022.
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 15 October 2021
Keywords: Agile, Scrum, Complexity, Project management, New Product Development

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 452026
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/452026
ISSN: 0953-7287
PURE UUID: 53e0c11d-e312-43a2-9e83-89211f6794dc
ORCID for David Baxter: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1983-7786

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 09 Nov 2021 17:30
Last modified: 13 Dec 2021 03:14

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Contributors

Author: David Baxter ORCID iD
Author: Neil Turner

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