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Article
Publication date: 5 June 2017

Jan Pries-Heje and Richard Baskerville

The purpose of this paper is to use translation theory to develop a framework (called FTRA) that explains how companies adopt agile methods in a discourse of fragmentation…

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1765

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to use translation theory to develop a framework (called FTRA) that explains how companies adopt agile methods in a discourse of fragmentation and articulation.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative multiple case study of six firms using the Scrum agile methodology. Data were collected using mixed methods and analyzed using three progressive coding cycles and analytic induction.

Findings

In practice, people translate agile methods for local settings by choosing fragments of the method and continuously re-articulating them according to the exact needs of the time and place. The authors coded the fragments as technological rules that share relationships within a framework spanning two dimensions: static-dynamic and actor-artifact.

Research limitations/implications

For consistency, the six cases intentionally represent one instance of agile methodology (Scrum). This limits the confidence that the framework is suitable for other kinds of methodologies.

Practical implications

The FTRA framework and the technological rules are promising for use in practice as a prescriptive or even normative frame for governing methodology adaptation.

Social implications

Framing agile adaption with translation theory surfaces how the discourse between translocal (global) and local practice yields the social construction of agile methods. This result contrasts the more functionalist engineering perspective and privileges changeability over performance.

Originality/value

The use of translation theory and the FTRA framework to explain how agile adaptation (in particular Scrum) emerges continuously in a process where method fragments are articulated and re-articulated to momentarily suit the local setting. Complete agility that rapidly and elegantly changes its own environment must, as a concomitant, rapidly and elegantly change itself. This understanding also elaborates translation theory by explaining how the articulation and re-articulation of ideas embody the means by which ideas travel in practice.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 30 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Article
Publication date: 9 February 2015

Arthur Ahimbisibwe, Robert Y Cavana and Urs Daellenbach

While the choices available for project management methodologies have increased significantly, questions remain on whether project managers fully consider their…

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6832

Abstract

Purpose

While the choices available for project management methodologies have increased significantly, questions remain on whether project managers fully consider their alternatives. When project categorization systems and criteria are not logically matched with project objectives, characteristics and environment, this may provide the key reason for why many software projects are reported to fail to deliver on time, budget or do not give value to the client. The purpose of this paper is to identify and categorize critical success factors (CSFs) and develop a contingency fit model contrasting perspectives of traditional plan-based and agile methodologies.

Design/methodology/approach

By systematically reviewing the previous literature, a total of 37 CSFs for software development projects are identified from 148 articles, and then categorized into three major CSFs: organizational, team and customer factors. A contingency fit model augments this by highlighting the necessity to match project characteristics and project management methodology to these CSFs.

Findings

Within the three major categories of CSFs, individual factors are ranked based on how frequently they have been cited in previous studies, overall as well as across the two main project management methodologies (traditional, agile). Differences in these rankings as well as mixed empirical support suggest that previous research may not have adequately theorized when particular CSFs will affect project success and lend support for the hypothesized contingency model between CSFs, project characteristics and project success criteria.

Research limitations/implications

This research is conceptual and meta-analytic in its focus. A crucial task for future research should be to test the contingency fit model developed using empirical data. There is no broad consensus among researchers and practitioners in categorizing CSFs for software development projects. However, through an extensive search and analysis of the literature on CSFs for software development projects, the research provides greater clarity on the categories of CSFs and how their direct, indirect and moderated effects on project success can be modelled.

Practical implications

This study proposes a contingency fit model and contributes towards developing a theory for assessing the role of CSFs for project success. While future empirical testing of this conceptual model is essential, it provides an initial step for guiding quantitative data collection, specifies detailed empirical analysis for comparative studies, and is likely to improve clarity in debate. Since previous studies have not rigorously assessed the impact of fit between project characteristics, project environment and project management methodology on project success, additional empirically robust studies will help to clarify contradictory findings that have limited theory development for CSFs of software development projects to date.

Originality/value

Previous research for software development projects has frequently not fully incorporated contingency as moderation or contingency as fit (traditional vs agile). This research sets out to develop fully a contingency fit perspective on software development project success, through contrasting traditional plan-driven and agile methodologies. To do this, the paper systematically identifies and ranks 37 CSFs for software projects from 148 journal publications and holistically categorizes them as organizational, team, customer and project factors.

Details

Journal of Enterprise Information Management, vol. 28 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0398

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Article
Publication date: 10 April 2017

Arthur Ahimbisibwe, Urs Daellenbach and Robert Y. Cavana

Aligning the project management methodology (PMM) to a particular project is considered to be essential for project success. Many outsourced software projects fail to…

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4065

Abstract

Purpose

Aligning the project management methodology (PMM) to a particular project is considered to be essential for project success. Many outsourced software projects fail to deliver on time, budget or do not give value to the client due to inappropriate choice of a PMM. Despite the increasing range of available choices, project managers frequently fail to seriously consider their alternatives. They tend to narrowly tailor project categorization systems and categorization criterion is often not logically linked with project objectives. The purpose of this paper is to develop and test a contingency fit model comparing the differences between critical success factors (CSFs) for outsourced software development projects in the current context of traditional plan-based and agile methodologies.

Design/methodology/approach

A theoretical model and 54 hypotheses were developed from a literature review. An online Qualtrics survey was used to collect data to test the proposed model. The survey was administered to a large sample of senior software project managers and practitioners who were involved in international outsourced software development projects across the globe with 984 valid responses.

Findings

Results indicate that various CSFs differ significantly across agile and traditional plan-based methodologies, and in different ways for various project success measures.

Research limitations/implications

This study is cross-sectional in nature and data for all variables were obtained from the same sources, meaning that common method bias remains a potential threat. Further refinement of the instrument using different sources of data for variables and future replication using longitudinal approach is highly recommended.

Practical implications

Practical implications of these results suggest project managers should tailor PMMs according to various organizational, team, customer and project factors to reduce project failure rates.

Originality/value

Unlike previous studies this paper develops and empirically validates a contingency fit model comparing the differences between CSFs for outsourced software development projects in the context of PMMs.

Details

Journal of Enterprise Information Management, vol. 30 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0398

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Article
Publication date: 12 August 2021

Tarek Kaddoumi and Mohamed Watfa

The application of agility principles and methodologies on Enterprise Architecture (EA) is a promising field. This paper aims to provide an in-depth study of the Agile

Abstract

Purpose

The application of agility principles and methodologies on Enterprise Architecture (EA) is a promising field. This paper aims to provide an in-depth study of the Agile Enterprise Architecture (AEA) by studying EA practitioners’ perspectives to propose a foundational framework for AEA.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors formulate a foundational framework that defines the AEA motivators, enablers and blockers using the agile manifesto as one of the AEA enablers where a total of 156 EA stakeholders with at least one year of experience in enterprise architecture were surveyed, and a set of hypotheses was analyzed and tested based on the proposed framework. The authors also develop a quantitative method to evaluate the agility index of the EA based on the introduced framework.

Findings

The research results show with significance that enterprise architects perceive positively the application of the agility methodologies on the enterprise architecture. This perception is primarily affected by the enterprise size, the EA dependency and the agile methodologies awareness. The findings also indicate that AEA is primarily motivated by the Business and IT Change Ready and Responsive EA. Finally, an EA Agility Index (EAAI) was designed to assess the agility application of the EA based on the three forces, i.e. motivators, enablers and blockers.

Research limitations/implications

Because of the chosen research approach and the sample size, the research results may lack generalizability. Also, EAAI designed was not thoroughly tested.

Practical implications

The paper includes implications for the design and development of an EA Agility Index, and the need to increase the awareness of the agility methodologies to overcome the blocker of the unfamiliarity with the agile methodologies implying that the current business models in enterprise must be more aligned with the agile methodologies.

Originality/value

While there are efforts to develop AEA frameworks, one of the major findings of the literature review conducted is that there is evident research gap in the literature on the perception and associated factors of the EA stakeholders on having an agile enterprise architecture. This paper attempts to fill this gap.

Details

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-4166

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Article
Publication date: 4 April 2017

Teemu Lappi and Kirsi Aaltonen

Agile methodologies are widely used to manage the technical complexity of software development, and project governance can provide feasible means of organizational support…

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4032

Abstract

Purpose

Agile methodologies are widely used to manage the technical complexity of software development, and project governance can provide feasible means of organizational support for complex project success. The purpose of this paper is to: analyze the project governance practices of public sector organizations, illustrate what kind of impact these practices have on agile software projects and describe the tensions of agile project governance.

Design/methodology/approach

The research is based on qualitative research strategy and applies elaborative logic with analyses of three case projects in the Finnish public sector.

Findings

The findings of the research describe how project governance practices can be categorized into six dimensions: business case, contracting, controlling, steering, decision-making and capability building. The results illustrate how these practices either support or detract the performance of agile projects. The results also show that there are two interfaces to agile project that create most tensions to governance – the public sector and technology.

Originality/value

The study contributes to both project management and information and communication technology theories by combining technical aspects of agile methodologies with micro-level project governance practices. The study also adds original value to academics by introducing the new concept of “agile project governance.” The results of this study will allow public sector project organizations to design appropriate governance mechanisms for agile projects, and to identify the challenges and tensions that need to be considered and managed in the process.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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Article
Publication date: 14 May 2018

Joey F. George, Kevin Scheibe, Anthony M. Townsend and Brian Mennecke

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

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1777

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.

Details

Journal of Systems and Information Technology, vol. 20 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1328-7265

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Article
Publication date: 16 February 2010

Francisco Loforte Ribeiro and Manuela Timóteo Fernandes

Agile methods have proven successful in increasing customer satisfaction and decreasing time and cost to market under uncertain conditions. Key characteristics of agile

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5578

Abstract

Purpose

Agile methods have proven successful in increasing customer satisfaction and decreasing time and cost to market under uncertain conditions. Key characteristics of agile methods are lean, flexibility and highly iterative development with a strong emphasis on stakeholder involvement. Today construction firms in general and small to medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) in particular are surviving in a drastic competitive environment in which they are facing more and more challenges. Additional innovation is needed in the construction sector, with increased participation from more competitive SMEs. The main purpose of this paper is to present a model to prioritize available management systems to help SMEs address the challenge of today's market competition more effectively.

Design/methodology/approach

The research methodology used is that of interpretative case study and grounded theory based on a strong empirical foundation, on which new theoretical insight into knowledge management as an autonomous action is developed. The paper looks at ways by which SMEs are managed, based on the empirical data collected from 12 case studies. It presents the empirical findings drawn from the case studies. Finally, the adoption of agile methods is subjectively assessed as to its potential contribution for improving the business processes of small and medium construction firms.

Findings

It is assessed that agile methods offers considerable potential for application in construction SMEs and that there are significant hurdles to its adoption in the actual phase. Should these be overcome, agile methods offers benefits well beyond any individual company.

Practical implications

Construction firms need to be aware of the advantages of new management paradigms and practices. The analysis shows that SMEs in the construction sector have to internalize agile values into their business processes to reap the benefits of agile methods. It also reveals that existing practices show some kind of agile flavours.

Originality/value

Agile principles and methods are explored, including: philosophy, values, practices and benefits. The management approaches used by construction SMEs are analyzed and discussed. The paper presents recommendations and insights for enhancing the performance and efficiency of SMEs by adopting agile values in their business processes.

Details

Journal of Enterprise Information Management, vol. 23 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0398

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Article
Publication date: 24 October 2021

Sreenivasa Sekhar Josyula, M. Suresh and R. Raghu Raman

Organizations are fast adopting new technologies such as automation, analytics and artificial intelligence, collectively called intelligent automation, to drive digital…

Abstract

Purpose

Organizations are fast adopting new technologies such as automation, analytics and artificial intelligence, collectively called intelligent automation, to drive digital transformation. When adopting intelligent automation, there is a need to understand the success factors of these new technologies and adapt agile software development (ASD) practices to meet customer expectations. The purpose of this paper is to explore the success factors of intelligent automation and create a framework for managers and practitioners to meet dynamic business demands. Total interpretive structural modeling (TISM) framework is a suitable approach to integrate quantitative measurement with qualitative semi-structured interviews capturing the context of the individual organization environment.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper identified agility factors and their interrelationships using a TISM framework. TISM results were validated using a one-tailed t-test to confirm the interrelationships between factors. Furthermore, the agility index of a case project organization was assessed using a graph-theoretic approach (GTA) to identify both the triggering factors for agility success and improvement proposals.

Findings

Results showed that leadership vision, organization structure and program methodology were driving factors. The TISM model was validated statistically and the agility index of the intelligent automation case project organization was calculated to be79.5%. Here, a GTA was applied and the triggering factors for improvement of the agility index were identified.

Research limitations/implications

The limitations of the study are described along with the opportunities for future research as the field evolves through the rapid innovation of technology and products.

Practical implications

The increasing role of digital transformation in enterprise strategy and operations requires practitioners to understand how ASD practices must be planned, measured and/or improved over time through the implementation of automation, analytics and artificial intelligence programs. The TISM digraph provides a framework of hierarchical structure to organize the influencing factors, which assists in achieving organizational goals. This study highlights the driving factors which contribute to the success of intelligent automation projects and project organizations.

Originality/value

This is a first attempt to analyze the interrelationships among agility factors in intelligent automation projects (IAP) using TISM and the assessment of the agility index of a case IAP organization using a GTA.

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

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Article
Publication date: 23 August 2020

Jan Koch and Carsten C. Schermuly

In times of market volatility and uncertainty, finding effective strategies to attract and retain individuals continues to be a challenge for organizations. Based on the…

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1183

Abstract

Purpose

In times of market volatility and uncertainty, finding effective strategies to attract and retain individuals continues to be a challenge for organizations. Based on the psychological empowerment process (Spreitzer, 1996), this paper strives to examine if the application of agile project management could serve as such a strategy.

Design/methodology/approach

In two independent studies, the authors used an experiment with students as potential applicants (N = 121) and a field study with employees (N = 229) to test the predictive quality of agile project management for attracting individuals toward the organization.

Findings

Using structural equation modeling, the authors identified an indirect relationship between agile project management and attraction toward the organization via psychological empowerment. The authors found this relationship for potential applicants as well as employees. Furthermore, individuals high in sensation seeking are found to be more attracted toward organizations that apply agile project management than individuals low in sensation seeking.

Research limitations/implications

The findings contribute to the empowerment literature by establishing agile project management as a work structure that fosters feelings of psychological empowerment.

Practical implications

Taken together, these results suggest that agile project management can attract individuals who seek novel, complex and intense sensations. Where applicable, organizations may highlight their practice of agile project management methodologies as part of their employer brand to attract future specialists for agile projects.

Originality/value

This paper is the first to integrate the research streams on agile project management and attraction toward the organization using quantitative data.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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Article
Publication date: 23 November 2010

May Chang

This paper seeks to describe the application of the Agile software development approach to rapidly develop and deploy a variety of innovative IT applications.

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2826

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to describe the application of the Agile software development approach to rapidly develop and deploy a variety of innovative IT applications.

Design/methodology/approach

The Agile approach is flexible and iterative with continuous feedback and constant communication. It is also marked by frequent and short delivery schedules. An Agile team of staff and students was formed for different projects, and visual tools were used to show process and progress. Team members were also co‐located (situated in the same space), a key element that allowed faster and direct communication. Within the Agile framework, the Crystal Clear methodology was selected, which is based on team size and criticality of the application to develop the workflow and iterative processes.

Findings

The Agile approach is particularly suited to innovation development and creative teams for rapid development of products, services, and technology. However, its acceptance is dependent on organizational culture and nature of application.

Research limitations/implications

As a next step, it would be useful to test the Agile approach in an innovative application that is on a larger scale than six team members and with a different level of criticality.

Practical implications

Flexibility and adaptability are needed in managing the development of IT innovations and applications as they vary in size and complexity. The flexible and iterative Agile approach provided the framework to develop and implement these projects despite the small staff size.

Originality/value

There is little in the professional literature on software development and project management approaches for small teams. The Agile approach would be of interest to an IT unit or library with limited staff resources and interested in a lightweight framework to develop and deploy innovative projects.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 28 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

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