Agile Project Management: A Case Study of a Virtual Research Environment Development Project
In this paper we use a case study of a project to create a Web 2.0-based, Virtual Research Environment (VRE) for researchers to share digital resources in order to reflect on the principles and practices for embedding eResearch applications within user communities. In particular, we focus on the software development methodologies and project management techniques adopted by the project team in order to ensure that the project remained responsive to changing user requirements without compromising their capacity to keep the project ‘on track’, i.e. meeting the goals declared in the project proposal within budget and on time. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork, we describe how the project team, whose members are distributed across multiple sites (and often mobile), exploit a repertoire of coordination mechanisms, communication modes and tools, artefacts and structuring devices as they seek to establish the orderly running of the project while following an agile, user-centred development approach.