The amorphous nature of agile: no one size fits all

The amorphous nature of agile: no one size fits all PurposeThis paper aims to investigate the extent to which newly agile organizations followed 2001’s Agile Manifesto, especially in terms of the 12 principles of the agile approach, as included in the Manifesto.Design/methodology/approachThe authors conducted in-depth case studies of groups in three large business organizations that had recently adopted agile. Two researchers spent one day at each site, attending daily standups and conducting interviews with managers, developers and customers.FindingsAcross the three organizations, developers were faithful to two agile principles: the primacy of delivering valuable software continually and regular reflections on the process with an eye toward improvement. The developers were uniformly unfaithful to the principle that requires face-to-face communication. Each organization varied in their adherence to the remaining nine principles. Obstacles to faithful adoption included the experience of the organization with agile, the extent to which the industry was regulated and the extent to which developers and customers were physically dispersed.Originality/valueWhile past research on agile development is extensive, this paper examines perspectives on the method and its adoption through the lens of the original Agile Manifesto and its 12 principles. The principles were grouped into three broader categories – software delivery, people and process – to provide additional insights and to sharpen the analysis. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Systems and Information Technology Emerald Publishing

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1328-7265
DOI
10.1108/JSIT-11-2017-0118
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeThis paper aims to investigate the extent to which newly agile organizations followed 2001’s Agile Manifesto, especially in terms of the 12 principles of the agile approach, as included in the Manifesto.Design/methodology/approachThe authors conducted in-depth case studies of groups in three large business organizations that had recently adopted agile. Two researchers spent one day at each site, attending daily standups and conducting interviews with managers, developers and customers.FindingsAcross the three organizations, developers were faithful to two agile principles: the primacy of delivering valuable software continually and regular reflections on the process with an eye toward improvement. The developers were uniformly unfaithful to the principle that requires face-to-face communication. Each organization varied in their adherence to the remaining nine principles. Obstacles to faithful adoption included the experience of the organization with agile, the extent to which the industry was regulated and the extent to which developers and customers were physically dispersed.Originality/valueWhile past research on agile development is extensive, this paper examines perspectives on the method and its adoption through the lens of the original Agile Manifesto and its 12 principles. The principles were grouped into three broader categories – software delivery, people and process – to provide additional insights and to sharpen the analysis.

Journal

Journal of Systems and Information TechnologyEmerald Publishing

Published: May 14, 2018

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