A dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of
Executive Master of Business Administration – Public Management,
at the Faculty of Economics, Management and Accountancy
University of Malta
This research aims to gain an understanding of the impact an Agile introduction has on the public service. The public service, pending an ongoing process for improving productivity, and of a relationship between work organization and tasks assignments, needs to differentiate from the roles and practices of traditional management. Agile helps lessen bureaucracy by setting clear objectives, responsibilities and expectations, and allows operational units to concentrate on productivity gains, higher adaptability of teams, reduced uncertainty and greater employee satisfaction.
Based on a deductive approach, a conceptual framework of theoretical propositions and predictions is used to analyse and test qualitative data collected during the investigation. Out of a sample of 30 informative cases, saturation was reached after the 23rd case. The semi-structured interview process was conducted in a three phase approach:
1. Understanding current public service context in terms of Agile concepts,
2. Understanding public servants reaction to Agile use in the public service, and
3. Understanding barriers and benefits of Agile practicality in the public service.
Findings highlight that the public service context lacks the necessary formal practices to organize employees into self-managed and autonomous units, capable of discussing operational performance, whilst confronting obstacles affecting productivity. Sampled public servants confirmed that Agile would yield better visibility, communications, and efficiency in their Section. The proposed concepts make them feel trusted, respected and give them a sense of ownership. Moreover, they feel inspired to work better, be more effective and produce more output, especially with the introduction of the team facilitator role.
One major concern of participants is that the status quo culture impedes the implementation of Agile in the public service. However, there are those who see Agile as an opportunity to instigate a culture change while, others believe this is not possible. It also emerged that tested Agile practices have the potential to expose impediments to productivity including unwarranted bureaucratic processes.
An important outcome reveals that well organized small sections within the public service tend to be more receptive to the proposed Agile concepts. In fact, some use methods similar to Agile which facilitates the process of such small sections to evolve into empowered Agile work teams.
Read more here:-
- Background & Framework
- Qualitative Data Analysis and Findings
- Conclusion and Recommendations