The Effect of Organizational Structure on the Adoption of Agile Methodologies_A Case Study
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This exploratory case study used observations and interviews to investigate how the structure of an organization impacts its ability to adopt agile software development methodologies. It also aimed to identify the agile practices that are perceived as helpful or unhelpful by the individuals practicing them. It examined an organization’s attempt to adopt agile methodologies for the first time in a new software product development project. Twelve employees from different teams working on this project participated in the study. . The participants were asked about their perception of the agile process. They were also asked to identify the various teams with which they regularly interact and to provide examples of the helpful and unhelpful patterns of behavior they exhibit. The findings suggest that the structure of the organization was a major limiting factor that affected its ability to adopt agile methodologies. Agile practices rely on the level of flexibility that an organization can demonstrate. However, the organization attempted to adopt agile practices without redefining the project members’ roles, work processes, or departmental affiliations. Participants perceived many aspects of the agile methods negatively, and various symptoms of a misfit between the existing organizational structure and the requirements of agile methods were observed, including poor communication and multiple conflicts between the different project teams, which caused the project to go over time and over budget. Furthermore, it was observed that the teams struggled to follow the agile practices and found various ways to alter and work around them to fit the existing structure, rather than adhering to them and welcoming the new practices. Several potential areas for future research are identified, including: using longitudinal case studies to examine organizations and the relationships between their members before and after adopting agile methodologies, in order to identify and attribute any observed behavioral patterns to the appropriate cause; examining organizations in which the structure was altered to accommodate agile methodologies; and examining how organizations define the roles of highly specialized employees who possess very specific abilities and must be shared across different development projects.
Cite this work
Walaa Elshabrawy (2012). The Effect of Organizational Structure on the Adoption of Agile Methodologies_A Case Study. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/6953