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Process Consultant. Sumit, K. (2012)

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Alternative name(s)


Description

Strategic Decision Management is the concept of using tools, procedures and practices by discussing issues with the full involvement of stakeholders, to agree on shared strategic visions. This process is done in small decision with the use of main strategic tools like Mintzberg tool due to the continuous change in the requirement on an agile project environment by the product owner (Mintzberg, 2006).These decisions relate to the external environment and include decision topics such as resources and performance. Strategic decision management also requires clear and specific company objectives and aims, it also involves information on the projects which will need to occur in order to achieve these objectives. However, for the purpose of this report strategic decision management can be linked to software projects where the project manager is now not solely responsible for the software development itself, instead the decision making as been been handed down to the agile software development team (McAvoy & Butler, 2008).

Agile values


Feedback (XP). Having constant feedback about the work and the product development actually can be helpful about the decision making process in terms of clarifying the actual situation and making more rational decisions in the future.

Customer collaboration over contract negotiation (Agile Manifesto). Decision making about the requirements specification and how to handle changes are of course specified in the contract. However, in agile when a change occurs, the decision about how to proceed does not have to go through a pile of documentation and a complex bureaucratic process.

Commitment and focus (Scrum). This scrum value is related to Strategic Decision Management, because members of the project look to make decisions and take actions based on interests of the business and the environement.

Agile principles


Decide as late as possible (Lean Software Development). This Lean Software Development principle suggests that there should be options for the investors to have the opportunity of making decisions at the end of the working process, when the future is closer and easier to predict.

Empower the team (Lean Software Development). This Lean Software Development principle can be related to Strategic Decision Making in terms of involving the team members into decision making process. In fact the team members are the people who are directly involved on the project and can give an objective opinion about the working process.

Requirements churn (Scrum). This key principle of Scrum suggest that the client can change their mind during the implementation of the project and come up with different decisions concerning the working process and the product.

Agile practices


Guiding Vision (Agile Project Management). This practice relates to strategic decision management because the principle aims to achieve all member have a shared vision. This is important within strategic decision management because the if top management are able to make vital decisions about the direction of the company it is important that they have the same vision as the owners ( Augustine & Woodock, 2003).

Facilitating Participating Decision Making (Agile Project Management).This practice looking in to sharing the decision management, it relates to strategic decision making because it involves delegating the decision making responsibility to top management, in essence encouraging decision making in that level of the organizational structure (Highsmith, 2004).

Empowering the Team (Lean Practice). This principle is related to strategic decision management because the delegation of decision making aims to empower the software development team. This allows the project manager to focus on organizing and facilitating, and allowing the software development team to utilize their expertise.

Discussion


In tradional management the decison making is a responsibility of the project manager. While in agile projects the decison making can be transferred to the team members (the developers). The role of the project manager has changed in terms of becoming a facililator of the project. However, sometimes high level of empowerement of many people can lead to problems such as bringing difficulties about the decision making.

In Scrum for example, according to Drury et al (2011) agile teams focus more on tactical decision making rather than strategic decisions. This is because working on a sprint gives the team only a short-term focus. Sometimes working on small interations or sprints can make the team lose sight of the overall organizational goals and neglect the long-term strategic decisions.

Links from this KA to other KAs


Strategic Decision Management has a number of KAs which are relevant to the KA, some of these knowledge ares include Resource Management, Project Scope Management and Problem Solving. This is because making decisions on where to allocate resources, and how best to achieve the scope is important and also rectifying problems is also vital. Furthermore, it can also be related to Change Management as strategic decision will need to occur is the need for change arises.

References


Augustine S, and Woodock S. (2003) “Agile Project Management,”CCPACE Report: [Online] Available at: http://www.ccpace.com/Resources/documents/AgileProjectManagement.pdf (Assessed: 28 March 2013)

Drury, M., Conboy, K., Power, K. (2011) Decision Making in Agile Development: A Focus Group Study of Decisions and Obstacles. IEEE Explore.[Online] Available at:
http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?tp=&arnumber=6005504,(Assessed: 28 March 2013)

McAvoy, J., Butler, T. (2008) The role of project manager in ineffective decision making with Agile software development projects. European Journal of Information Systems (2009) 18 372-383. [Online] Available at:http://www.palgrave-journals.com/ejis/journal/v18/n4/full/ejis200922a.html (Assessed: 28 March 2013)

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