To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

The amorphous nature of agile: no one size fits all

Joey F. George (Department of Supply Chain and Information Systems, Ivy College of Business, Iowa State University , Ames, Iowa, USA)
Kevin Scheibe (Department of Supply Chain and Information Systems, Ivy College of Business, Iowa State University , Ames, Iowa, USA)
Anthony M. Townsend (Department of Supply Chain and Information Systems, Ivy College of Business, Iowa State University , Ames, Iowa, USA)
Brian Mennecke (Department of Supply Chain and Information Systems, Ivy College of Business, Iowa State University , Ames, Iowa, USA)

Journal of Systems and Information Technology

ISSN: 1328-7265

Article publication date: 14 May 2018

Downloads
1806

Abstract

Purpose

This 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/approach

The 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.

Findings

Across 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/value

While 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.

Keywords

Citation

George, J.F., Scheibe, K., Townsend, A.M. and Mennecke, B. (2018), "The amorphous nature of agile: no one size fits all", Journal of Systems and Information Technology, Vol. 20 No. 2, pp. 241-260. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSIT-11-2017-0118

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited