Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership, Research and Technology

First Advisor

Dr. Louann Bierlein Palmer

Second Advisor

Dr. David Szabla

Third Advisor

Dr. Daniel Gaymer


Agile, scrum, project management, critical success factors, stage gate, product development


The use of agile project management methods in the software development industry is well established and researched. The purpose of this study is to understand whether agile project management methods (Scrum in particular) used successfully in the software industry are also being used in full, or in part, in non-software development industries when managing product development projects.

Using an online survey instrument, data was collected from 329 non-software/IT global practitioners to identify in what industries and work functions agile project management methods are used, to find the independent variables that have a significant relationship with project success, and to determine the reasons why agile project management methods may not be used in non-software development industries. Project success was defined by 11 separate dependent variables. Of the respondents, 238 (72%) used agile project management methods to some degree, and of those, 150 (63%) used the Scrum Framework.

Results from this survey show that agile project management is used in industries other than software development, mainly in manufacturing, training and consulting, research and development, and education. Four independent variables that showed significance with project success included: (1) the commitment by management with a clear vision, (2) holding daily stand-up meetings, (3) keeping task sizes small, and (4) using visual management. The main reason for not using agile project management is insufficient time to change from current methods. These findings suggest that agile project management methods are being used in industries outside of software development. Further, a small number of significant independent variables can be used to predict multiple dependent variables of project success.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access