Data projects in the private sector are usually burdened with strict deadlines and milestones that must be achieved. However, research projects differ in many ways. They are often designed for longer periods and lack tightly integrated control networks, according to management consultant and podcast host Dr. Annika B. Bergbauer. To address this issue, agile research management is introduced. Dr. Andreas Wenninger, a research coordinator at the Bavarian Research Institute for Digital Transformation (bidt), discusses the meaning of the agile approach in the research context and its potential benefits.
Dr. Andreas Wenninger
Research Coordinator, bidt
“The concept of agile research management is derived from agile software development,” explains Wenninger in the “Datenaffaire” podcast episode on July 6th, 2023. In software projects, frequent and brief evaluations of the product are scheduled to promptly address any issues in an agile manner. This approach prevents the need for extensive reworking at the end of the development phase or the inability to fix deficiencies.
In agile research management, research projects undergo regular interdisciplinary exchange. This involves periodic presentations and discussions of results, questions, and problems to gather new insights and adapt the research as needed.
As a third-party funding provider, the bidt adheres to a principle of regular sprint reviews for research projects. These meetings promote agile research management, encouraging solution-oriented, interdisciplinary and open approaches. The focus is not to pressure projects to perform but to bring science closer and make it more accessible. Bergbauer and Wenninger believe that this methodology will help achieve these goals.