P-R Workshop VIII - Vienna "Change & Ambiguity"

Agile Strategies for Managing the Unpredictable

University of Vienna - Faculty of Computer Science
Währingerstraße 29, 1090 Vienna, Seminar Room SR7
Tuesday, 26th of February 2013
13:30 - 18:00


Practice/Research Workshop VIII Vienna

On February, 26th 2013 the iCom-Project and the Postgraduate Center invited practitioners to participate in the 8th Practice-Research Workshop “Change & Ambiguity – Agile Strategies to Managing the Unpredictable”.

Volatile external environments, especially in the IT sector and in SMEs and Start-Up companies, cause a high degree of uncertainty in preceding projects. Often, such unpredictable situations demand new strategies or fundamental changes. The workshop questioned how to deal with such external and internal changes. Participants elaborated how to deal with ambiguity in projects, how to manage relationships (towards customers as well as within the team or organization) throughout a change process, and how good communication can reduce ambiguity.

Thomas Spielhofer, management consultant for agile and traditional project management, introduced a real-life case from the network “Platform for Agile Management” (www.p-a-m.org). He demonstrated how changing requirements throughout a project can cause downfalls of projects, and showed what different aspects may have caused the failure in the case. Afterwards, other participants had the opportunity to bring up their own real cases for the following workshop sessions. The proposed challenging situations ranged from ambiguous business situations over changes within project teams to complex organizational changes.

In an “open case” workshop setting (developed within the iCom-project and the uniMind-workshops), the “case-providers” examined their cases with other participants. After the first workshop phase, Professor Renate Motschnig (Faculty of Computer Science, University of Vienna) and researcher David Haselberger (iCom-Project) provided a scientific perspective on dealing with change. The crystalizing input on understanding the dynamics of change and dealing with change focused on Kotter’s eight steps to change, Lewin’s model on change and a system theory perspective researched within the iCom-project.



Since January 2011 the University of Vienna (Austria) and the Masaryk University in Brno (Czech Republic) are working together in the EU-funded project “iCom” to strengthen the ties between universities and IT-companies across borders. We o­ffer companies the chance to build up networks with universities and get involved in research projects. Also, we provide opportunities for ICT-professionals to enhance their communicative competencies and share experiences in agile project management. Intense cooperation and networking between companies and universities is endeavored to link practice and research.

To enable sustainable relationships, “iCom Practice-Research Workshops” are regularly held in or around Vienna and Brno. In these workshops computer scientists, PhD-students, IT-experts, project managers, consultants and many more are coming together to share and discuss practical issues, look for their interface to science and research and cooperatively search for solutions.