Testing Validity of Agile framework


on Construction Project Management

in the Middle East



By Jailane Atef Amer

Cairo, Egypt, and
Washington, DC, USA


Agile is spreading! Although its origin has been in IT but recently an increasing number of forward-looking companies in different industries adopted agile techniques responding to market trends to sustain their competitive edge.

This research paper aims to demonstrate the validity of implementing the agile framework in the construction industry in the middle east arena. It will begin by a brief basic definition of agile manifesto going through some values and principles for its use.

Also, one of the main objectives of this study is to understand the difference between being agile and doing agile in an iterative or sequential project management process – witnessed in the construction field. Among many agile tools, the scrum master, one of the prominent agile techniques in construction, will be taken as an example to test the validation in a construction project. This will be illustrated in a case study in Egypt, showing and accepting all the challenges, understanding the concerns and presenting the results.

After going through the example, the research will let us question the validation of the agile framework, should we go agile or stay by the waterfall process in the construction industry!


“Agile”, one of the latest ideas in management, has its roots in IT, where it’s used as a method for developing software. In recent years it has spread beyond IT departments to become an operational mode for an increasing number of forward-looking companies that want to respond to market volatility in ways that create competitive advantage. With this background in mind, some construction companies are enhancing the performance of their project teams to improve their competitiveness and increase the added value to their clients and themselves.

This paper aims to look into the implementation of an agile tool like scrum framework from the IT sector into the construction industry. Conducting a case study, the implementation and application of Scrum was analyzed through the evaluation of its different artifacts. This research covers the following questions: Can Scrum be implemented in the design phase of the construction industry? What adaptations are needed to use Scrum to improve the design phase of construction projects? How and where could Scrum, or parts of it, be used by the design and planning departments of construction companies?

In the construction industry, one of the biggest challenges when creating a building is to account for the unforeseeable. In order to reduce the number of unforeseeable events, project managers typically use templates, checklists and often models with phases, sub-phases and sub-sub-phases. This sequential project management approach aims to plan the project in detail and tries to carry it out without any deviation. The creation of this plan often takes up significant resources before the actual construction has even started. In many cases, these processes are so long that by the time the execution phase has started, the plan needs to be revised because of modified project requirements. Constant modifications of the project requirements coupled with occurring problems in defining the original product requirement causes cost overruns and schedule delay and lowers the product quality. As a countermeasure, agile project management was created, whereas agility is defined.

The results from this study show that Scrum has great potential in the design and planning departments of construction firms. From the analysis of the applications of Scrum in the case study, tangible benefits and weaknesses of the implementation, and its different artifacts, were identified. Finally, this paper gives recommendations about the use of Scrum in the design phase and proposes an outlook to implement Scrum in other phases of construction projects.


To read entire paper, click here

Editor’s note: Second Editions are previously published papers that have continued relevance in today’s project management world, or which were originally published in conference proceedings or in a language other than English.  Original publication acknowledged; authors retain copyright.  This paper was originally presented at the University of Maryland 2021 Virtual Project Management Symposium in April.  It is republished here with the permission of the author and conference organizers.

How to cite this paper: Amer, J. A. (2021). Testing Validity of Agile framework on Construction Project Management in the Middle East; presented at the University of Maryland 2021 Virtual Project Management Symposium, College Park, Maryland, USA in April 2021; republished in the PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue VII, July. Online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/pmwj107-Jul2021-Amer-testing-validity-of-agile-framework-on-construction-pm-in-middle-east.pdf

About the Author

Jailane Atef Amer

Cairo, Egypt
Washington, DC, USA


Jailane Amer, PMP, Born and raised in Cairo, Egypt, she graduated from Cairo University, Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Engineering technology program in 2013. She conducted several studies related to project management starting in 2015 with a ,mini MBA from Cairo University, then she took her Project management professional – PMP- certification. While studying for her Bachelor’s degree, she attended several workshops related to sustainable architecture and environmental studies at Lincoln School of Architecture, Lincoln University, UK.  She was also chosen to represent Cairo University in workshops and architecture competitions at the American University in Cairo. She also participated in architectural design workshops with students from Politecnico Di Milano University, Italy at Cairo University.

In 2015, she was working as a teaching assistant at the German University in Cairo for urban economics course. She worked as an architect in several reputable engineering consultant companies. In 2017, she joined a community development project as a project coordinator. This project was a collaboration between Ain Shams University in Egypt and Stuttgart University in Germany that aimed to develop and turn the attention to the different hidden cultures in informal settlements.

She is a PMI member in the Washington DC chapter and continues her academic studies in engineering management. Jailane has also volunteers in social and educational reform activities. In 2019, she joined the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and has presented papers at the project management symposium at the University of Maryland in 2020 and 2021. She can be contacted at eng.jailane.a@gmail.com