Improving software organizations: agility challenges and implications

Anna Börjesson (Ericsson AB and IT University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden)
Lars Mathiassen (Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA)

Information Technology & People

ISSN: 0959-3845

Publication date: 1 December 2005



The paper seeks to explore the impact of events in Software Process Improvement (SPI) environments based on a longitudinal study of a requirements management initiative at Ericsson.


The paper presents the initiative from three perspectives – the improvement initiative, the targeted software practices, and the environment.


SPI initiatives easily get interrupted, are side‐tracked, and progress slowly due to changing environments. While most practitioners are painfully aware of this, the SPI literature has so far only touched on the issue. Agility principles would have helped Ericsson respond more effectively to events that impacted the initiative. Development of agile SPI practices requires coordination and alignment with other initiatives to develop agile software organizations.


SPI has been adopted by many organizations to help them to deliver quality software. However, its success is a matter of debate and this paper deals with the issues involved.



Börjesson, A. and Mathiassen, L. (2005), "Improving software organizations: agility challenges and implications", Information Technology & People, Vol. 18 No. 4, pp. 359-382.

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Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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