Adoption Level and Challenges of Implementing Agile Project Management Methodology at the Private Banking Industry in Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


This qualitative study has investigated the current level of adoption the Agile software project management methods at the private banking industry in Ethiopia and the challenges faced by the software development teams at the banks. The current 16 private banks in Ethiopia have been grouped into three categories using the decades of their year of establishments, and from each category, 3 banks were selected at random using the lottery method giving a total sample size of 9. Two sets of questionnaires have been used with one questionnaire distributed to the software development team members and the other distributed to the development teams’ managers. Among the 9 banks, complete data was received from 7 banks with total individual responses of 30. The gathered data was analyzed using descriptive statistics. The analysis of the data shows that there is a low prevalence of application of agile methods at the private banks in Ethiopia with only 2 out of the 7 participating banks (28%) in the process of adopting the Scrum Agile method and with the remaining 5 (72%) still using the traditional waterfall method. There are several challenges that face the banks from adopting the agile method and these are presented in three categories as customer-related, team-related and management-related. Customer-related challenges include inconsistent requirements, lack of timely feedback, resistance to change, and lack of full commitment to the process. Team-related challenges include reluctance to work in a team, lack of experience, handling of helpdesk requests while working in software development and departure of experienced team members. Management-related challenges include setting unreasonably short deadlines, de-prioritization of ongoing projects out of work, not specifying standard software development tools and frameworks, absence of general long-term ICT Development strategic plan specific to the improvement of the software development process. In conclusion, there is a very low level of adoption of the agile methodology in the private banking sector in Ethiopia with only 28% of the banks attempting the move to the Scrum method while the remaining 72% is planning to adopt an agile method in the future and still using the traditional waterfall software development methodology.



Agile Project Management, Agile adoption, Agile adoption challenges, Ethiopia, Private Banking, Software Development