Agile and Lean: Organizations, Products and Development

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    Subgroups in Agile and Traditional IT Project Teams
    ( 2018-01-03) Pflügler, Christoph ; Wiesche, Manuel ; Krcmar, Helmut
    This paper analyzes the formation of subgroups within project teams that apply agile methods and teams that apply traditional methods. Subgroups form based on faultlines, which are dividing lines regarding attributes of diversity of the team members. We conduct case studies of two agile projects and two projects with a traditional approach. We find that the formation of subgroups differs between the two methods. Task assignment is the dominant factor that leads to the formation of subgroups in traditional methods, whereas previous ties between team members is the dominant factor in agile projects. In addition, location and language lead to the formation of subgroups in both methods. Our analysis is exploratory and our data is limited to four teams. We contribute to the literature on team formation and groups in IT project teams and show that research should consider subgroups and potential consequences when examining agile and traditional software development methods.
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    A Wheelbarrow Full of Frogs: Understanding Portfolio Management for Agile Projects
    ( 2018-01-03) Smeekes, Isabelle ; Borgman, Hans ; Heier, Hauke
    Organizations increasingly embrace agile approaches for IT projects, replacing rigid formal stage-gate control by flexible output-orientation. This challenges established program or portfolio management approaches that largely rely on consolidated (stage-gate) project metrics. Based on seven case studies of large Dutch organizations we explore these challenges and the organizational responses towards a new approach to portfolio management for agile projects. Data-collection is guided by four propositions derived from control theory and portfolio management literature. Our findings show that portfolio management adapts to agile projects by performing fewer and less strict process controls, by modifying the budget controls and by shifting from IT project/program control to business outcome control, with an increased focus on business value.
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    Thoughts on Current and Future Research on Agile and Lean: Ensuring Relevance and Rigor
    ( 2018-01-03) Tripp, John ; Saltz, Jeff ; Turk, Dan
    Over the past two decades, research in the area of agile and lean software development has mirrored the strong growth of the use of agile and lean methodologies. However, while these research streams have made a significant contribution in the use of agile and lean methodologies, much of the recent research lacks the rigor and relevance to make an impact in research and practice. For example, many of the studies have not measured the actual use of agile or lean methods nor had a significant theoretical grounding. Furthermore, agile research has not expanded to fully cover emerging opportunities and challenges. A deeper theoretical motivation on agile and lean software development can help demonstrate how the principles of, for example, agile software development, may be transferred to these other areas, and hence, broaden the research’s relevance. This paper provides commentary intended to help push the agile and lean research agenda forward, and outlines three key critieria that future researchers should consider when conducting research on the phenomenon of agile. The paper also provides an example for the use of the criteria, and presents several initial, open research questions that could help increase the use of agile, including the use of agile and lean concepts in other IT and non-IT contexts.
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    Towards an Agile Reference Architecture Method for Information Systems
    ( 2018-01-03) Souza, Eric ; Moreira, Ana ; Wanderley, Fernando
    Agility in software architecture development has received significant attention recently, but supporting tools and methods for this architecture-agility combination are still lacking. This paper proposes RAMA (Reference Architecture Modeling in an Agile software development), a value-centric method to address this issue. RAMA uses model-driven engineering to create information system’s reference architecture aligned with the organization’s business values. RAMA’s feasibility was evaluated with a case study and a proof-of-concept tool.
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    Scrum in Practice: an Overview of Scrum Adaptations
    ( 2018-01-03) Hron, Michal ; Obwegeser, Nikolaus
    Agile software development practices have gained widespread acceptance and application across all industries. Scrum, as one of the most widely used agile methods, has been adopted in countless organizations. However, while there is an understanding that practitioners rarely apply Scrum "by the book", only little research addresses the actual adaptations and modifications that are made to fit Scrum to real world requirements: whether it is to solve methodological drawbacks, to fit the method to specific contextual constraint, or to add additional value to the method by augmentation or combination with other tools and methods. To get an overview of the proposed adaptations and their implications, this study presents a systematic review of literature reporting on challenges and motivations that lead to modifications of the Scrum method. Based on 31 relevant studies we extract seven distinct motivations for modifying Scrum, as well as six generic solution strategies to adapt the method.
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    Antecedents of Preference for Agile Methods: A Project Manager Perspective
    ( 2018-01-03) Bishop, David ; Rowland, Pam ; Noteboom, Cherie
    Using a Grounded Theory approach, this research reveals a view from a project manager’s perspective on the factors influencing preference for agile methods. Fifteen managers were interviewed and theoretical constructs developed reflecting the factors influencing their preference. Positive, negative and contingent factors emerged from the data. The core category discovered is pragmatism. Project managers exercise pragmatic assessment when expressing their preference for agile methods. Seven factors that positively influence preference are identified and discussed, along with two negative factors and two contingent factors.
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    Towards Measuring the Agility of Software Business
    ( 2018-01-03) Kinnunen, Hanna ; Luoma, Eetu
    Agile development methods have been employed across the software industry. However, it is not always clear if the used methods actually help the software firms in being more agile and if agility has a positive influence in the software firm performance. Studying these questions may turn out impossible since good measurements for assessing the overall agility of software firms do not yet exist. A need is therefore detected to measure the differences in agility between firms and finding the means to evaluate the differences in agility in reliable manner. This article examines how to measure the agility of a software firm and reports initial steps in the process of developing measurement instruments. The measurement instrument is tested against data collected from Finnish software firms and purified for further analyses.
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