No Gain without Pain: Feelings an Emotional Practices in an Information System Project

Hekkala, Riitta
von Hellens, Liisa
Newman, Michael
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This longitudinal study examined how an information systems development team transitioned to an agile way of working. We describe the main events of a large, inter-organizational project, where agile methods and practices were applied for the first time. The organizations involved had a long tradition in heavy, waterfall style projects, and many of those past projects had severe challenges. We examine how the agile way of working was understood by particular groups (project team, management and suppliers), as well as how these understandings changed over time. The lack of experience with agile development, no common view on ‘agility’ and its key principles and practices were obvious challenges for the transition. Our study suggests that complex agile projects need to have very clear goals and management has to be able to communicate these, while preserving the autonomy of teams and individual team members.
Emotions, feelings, qualitative case study
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