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Article
Publication date: 11 January 2021

Silke Bambauer-Sachse and Thomas Helbling

Agile methods have considerably transformed project management. The purpose of this study is to analyze the impact of agile (as compared to plan-driven) methods on…

1307

Abstract

Purpose

Agile methods have considerably transformed project management. The purpose of this study is to analyze the impact of agile (as compared to plan-driven) methods on customer satisfaction in the context of knowledge-intensive business services.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses a survey examining the experiences of 361 customers with different outsourced software projects in Switzerland and a regression-based model to test the hypotheses.

Findings

The findings show that agile approaches can lead to higher customer satisfaction than plan-driven approaches, but the impact size is not as substantial as expected. The effect does not depend on the number of specification changes.

Practical implications

Managers must be aware that merely switching from a plan driven to an agile approach will not lead to substantial improvement in customer satisfaction. Satisfaction with the process is a more important driver of overall customer satisfaction than satisfaction with the service outcome. Thus, providers of knowledge-intensive services should train their employees in recognizing the importance of the cooperation process.

Originality/value

So far, the positive impact of agile methods is often only based on anecdotal evidence as well as on surveys examining the supplier perspective. This study provides support for the positive impact of agile methods on customer satisfaction, an important response variable from a marketing perspective, which has not been examined before in the context considered here.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 36 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

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…

1979

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

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 October 2012

Subhas Misra, Vinod Kumar, Uma Kumar, Kamel Fantazy and Mahmud Akhter

Agile software development is an emerging approach in software engineering, initially proposed and promoted by a group of 17 software professionals who practice a set of…

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Abstract

Purpose

Agile software development is an emerging approach in software engineering, initially proposed and promoted by a group of 17 software professionals who practice a set of “lightweight” methods, and share a common set of values of software development. They consolidated their thoughts, and defined these methods as “agile”. The approaches are based on experiences and best practices from the past by the above‐mentioned group of 17 software professionals. The purpose of this article is to outline the history and evolution of agile software development practices, their principles, and the criticisms as reported by the software development community.

Design/methodology/approach

A comprehensive literature review was undertaken to do this research.

Findings

Based on the literature review, this paper provides a comprehensive document that helps the practitioners working in the area of the agile software development.

Originality/value

This article will provide comprehensive material for the researchers in the area of agile software development. It will also be very useful for the practitioners practicing software development in the area of agile software development.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 29 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

Keywords

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

6036

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

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 October 2020

Dag Naslund and Rahul Kale

Agile is the new popular management change method and agile has lots of momentum. Management consulting firms are promoting agile via articles and newsletters. While…

1935

Abstract

Purpose

Agile is the new popular management change method and agile has lots of momentum. Management consulting firms are promoting agile via articles and newsletters. While history does not repeat itself, it often rhymes, and thus agile will probably be a successful change effort in some organizations. On the other hand, there is a high probability that agile will not deliver the expected results for most organizations. History reveals that about two-thirds of the change efforts are deemed unsuccessful – regardless of the actual change method. In this paper, we present the results of a systematic literature review on agile and we compare and contrast it with other similar organizational change methods. The purpose of this paper is to explore what one may learn from the history of the earlier change methods in terms of how organizations may succeed in their agile efforts.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on a structured literature review of the agile concept – including agile transformation, and with a specific focus on critical success factors.

Findings

In addition to presenting the state of the art on agile in general, we identify, structure and categorize critical success factors (CSF) for agile. From the 13 categories, we form three clusters, which constitute a 3P framework (purpose, process and people). We also compare and contrast the CSF literature regarding agile with CSFs for organizational change in general. history indicates that most organizational change efforts are not successful. Based on the framework and the discussion, we provide recommendations to hopefully increase the probability of successful agile implementations.

Originality/value

Given the relative novelty or at least the renewed interest in agile, a structured literature review of the current status of this “new” method provides value as it may help organizations and managers to not repeat old mistakes – once again.

Details

International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-669X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 January 2021

Anna Schmitt and Sabrina Hörner

Numerous approaches from the field of economics already exist for the improvement of business processes. In the field of software development, work has been done on…

1522

Abstract

Purpose

Numerous approaches from the field of economics already exist for the improvement of business processes. In the field of software development, work has been done on improving development processes. For years, the focus here has been on agile approaches. Although various approaches for improving business processes exist, it is becoming increasingly difficult to adapt business processes to the fast-moving conditions of the market and the business environment. Agile approaches address this issue. Thus, not only software development processes, but also business processes should benefit from agile approaches.

Design/methodology/approach

To this end, values and principles of the Agile Manifesto, agile methods such as Scrum, and various agile practices such as the Kanban board should be applied in business processes. This paper examines the work already done on this topic. With the help of a systematic literature review (SLR), literature studies dealing with the implementation of the agile approach in business processes are identified.

Findings

This paper presents, investigates and contrasts 12 primary sources dealing with agile and business processes and shows how they are different/ equal regarding three research questions.

Originality/value

We provide an overview of existing approaches handling the combination of agile and business processes to improve business processes.

Details

Business Process Management Journal, vol. 27 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-7154

Keywords

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. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-4166

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 November 2016

Katie Jane Taylor

Early research into Agile approaches explored particular practices or quantified improvements in code production. Less well researched is how Agile teams are managed. The…

3766

Abstract

Purpose

Early research into Agile approaches explored particular practices or quantified improvements in code production. Less well researched is how Agile teams are managed. The project manager (PM) role is traditionally one of “command and control” but Agile methods require a more facilitative approach. How this changing role plays out in practice is not yet clearly understood. The purpose of this paper is to provide insight into how adopting Agile techniques shape the working practices of PMs and critically reflect on some of the tensions that arise.

Design/methodology/approach

An ethnographic approach was used to surface a richer understanding of the issues and tensions faced by PMs as Agile methods are introduced. Ethnographic fiction conveys the story to a wider audience.

Findings

Agile approaches shift responsibility and spread expert knowledge seeming to undermine the traditional PM function. However, the findings here show various scenarios that allow PMs to wrest control and become more of a “gate-keeper”. Ethnographic fiction communicates a sense of the PMs frustration with the conflict between the need to control and the desire for teams to take more responsibility.

Originality/value

Stories provide insight and communicate the experiential feel behind issues faced by PMs adopting Agile to surface useful knowledge. The objective is not how to measure knowledge, but how to recognize it. These reflections are valuable to fellow researchers as well as practitioners and contribute to the growing literature on Agile project management.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 29 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 August 2020

Johan Bolmsten and Momoko Kitada

The purpose of this paper is to understand the usefulness of an agile social learning method in higher education to build capacity for sustainable development at the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand the usefulness of an agile social learning method in higher education to build capacity for sustainable development at the community level. Social learning methods intend to empower students (and instructors) to work together in connection with real-life issues – combined with acquiring a conceptual understanding – to analyze issues at hand and work out solutions. The agile format of the method was aimed at a subject that is adaptive and responsive to change to empower the students to take action toward sustainable development.

Design/methodology/approach

This study was based on a case study methodology where the running of the subject was documented and analyzed for two years. The target student group was maritime professionals who had an interest or were in a position to work with developing sustainable solutions in their home organizations (mostly in developing countries).

Findings

The results of the analysis indicate how the students learned about environmental, social and economic spheres of sustainable development and their linkages; how the subject format stimulated the students to develop different “learning paths” between the three spheres of sustainable development, which enabled a multi-faceted understanding of sustainable development issues; and, finally, how the students were able to design evolvable sustainable development solutions.

Originality/value

The results indicate both the novelty and usefulness of the agile social learning method to build capacity for sustainable development through the subject designed for higher education.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 21 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

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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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

Keywords

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