Agile Project Management for Knowledge-Based Projects in Manufacturing Industry : Case Study: Epiroc Drilling Tools, Fagersta, Sweden

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Industriell teknik; Uppsala universitet/Industriell teknik

Abstract: Epiroc Drilling Tools is a manufacturing company that produces tools for rock mining and excavation. The company adopted the principles and framework of Lean Product Development in their R&D department with few practices of an agile framework called Scrum. These agile practices are used in the pre-study phase or the knowledge value stream of their lean product development. Hence, this research is limited to the knowledge value stream within the R&D department. The use of agile project management in manufacturing industry is unique and majority of the agile frameworks are specifically designed to suit the needs of software development companies. Several theories like Scrum, Lean, Kanban and DSDM were studied by the researchers to scrutinize the current framework of the department. The challenges and the similarities of the currently used framework with several other agile frameworks and the companies are discussed. Several qualitative research methods were adopted to know the viewpoints of the working employees in the department which are compared with other companies like Volvo Cars, ABB, LShift, EnergySoftware and from another division of Epiroc called Rocktec Automation who faced some similar challenges while practicing agile project management. After further research on the theories and comparison of the process, roles of the working employees and documentations within the knowledge value stream, DSDM had more similarities with the currently used framework than Scrum. This allowed to recommend ways that can fill the missing gaps using practices of DSDM without altering the existing working procedure in the knowledge value stream. This ensures that the improvement in the knowledge value stream remains continuous. On the contrary, a brief discussion is included on whether there is a need to be agile for manufacturing industries or is it just a changing trend in the field of project management.

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