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Explaining the emergence of team agility: a complex adaptive systems perspective

Explaining the emergence of team agility: a complex adaptive systems perspective PurposeAgile software development helps software producing organizations to respond to manifold challenges. While prior research focused on agility as a project or process phenomenon, the authors suggest that agility is an emergent phenomenon on the team level. The paper aims to discuss this issue.Design/methodology/approachUsing the theory of complex adaptive systems (CASs), the study captures the multiple influencing levels of software development teams (SDTs) and their interplay with self-organization and emergence. The authors investigate three agile SDTs in different contextual environments that participate with four or more different roles each.FindingsThe results suggest self-organization as a central process when understanding team agility. While contextual factors often provide restriction on self-organization, they can help the team to enhance its autonomy.Research limitations/implicationsThe theoretical contributions result from the development and test of theory grounded propositions and the investigation of mature agile development teams.Practical implicationsThe findings help practitioners to improve the cost-effectiveness ratio of their team’s operations.Originality/valueThe study provides empirical evidence for the emergence of team agility in agile SDTs. Using the lens of CAS, the study suggests the importance of the team’s autonomy. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Information Technology & People Emerald Publishing

Explaining the emergence of team agility: a complex adaptive systems perspective

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
0959-3845
DOI
10.1108/itp-04-2017-0125
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeAgile software development helps software producing organizations to respond to manifold challenges. While prior research focused on agility as a project or process phenomenon, the authors suggest that agility is an emergent phenomenon on the team level. The paper aims to discuss this issue.Design/methodology/approachUsing the theory of complex adaptive systems (CASs), the study captures the multiple influencing levels of software development teams (SDTs) and their interplay with self-organization and emergence. The authors investigate three agile SDTs in different contextual environments that participate with four or more different roles each.FindingsThe results suggest self-organization as a central process when understanding team agility. While contextual factors often provide restriction on self-organization, they can help the team to enhance its autonomy.Research limitations/implicationsThe theoretical contributions result from the development and test of theory grounded propositions and the investigation of mature agile development teams.Practical implicationsThe findings help practitioners to improve the cost-effectiveness ratio of their team’s operations.Originality/valueThe study provides empirical evidence for the emergence of team agility in agile SDTs. Using the lens of CAS, the study suggests the importance of the team’s autonomy.

Journal

Information Technology & PeopleEmerald Publishing

Published: Jan 1, 1

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