Information Systems & Service Design

Design Principles of Method & Tool Support for Agile Program Management

  • Type:Master Thesis
  • Supervisor:

    Sven Scheu

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    Status: Open

  • Problem

    Successful execution of project portfolios (programs) is key for companies. If programs do not meet their objectives severe consequences might be the case: Product launches will not be available in time or legal requirements as well as agreed specifications might not be met. This might lead to penalty pains, customer dissatisfaction, additional costs due to insufficient processes or worst case to the bankruptcy of the company.

    Agile management has become standard first in software development and is now spreading out to other industries & company sectors. Various methods and tools for agile program management have been suggested in practice and academia.  For example, EnBW has developed in a very large digital transformation program named “EnPower” a new method to manage programs with agile, cross functional teams. The underlying idea is to follow an agile approach and in parallel have full focus and control on the status and delivery of the program. 


    The goal of this master thesis is to derive design principles of method & tool support for agile program management. Following the Design Science Research paradigm, we expect in a first step the student to screen existing methods and tools with a systematic literature review study and a review the state-of-the-art in practice, esp. EnBW’s method and tools. Furthermore, a set of interviews of “users” of the EnBW agile program management should be performed.  The results should be captured in an initial set of design principles for agile program management method and tools.  The design principles should also provide input for a potential refinement of EnBW’s method and supporting tools. In a second step, a new program at EnBW should be accompanied using the refined EnBW agile program management method and tools. As part of the thesis, we expect a well-founded qualitative and quantitative evaluation of the suggested design principles (and their instantiation at EnBW’s method).


    • We expect the student to have interest or ideally to be familiar with (agile)  project/program management. Language of the master thesis is English. The program language itself will be most likely German, hence we expect very good English and German language skills.  


    The thesis is carried out in cooperation between EnBW AG and the ISSD Research Group (Prof. Dr. Alexander Maedche, In case you have any further questions, feel free to contact Sven Scheu (