Title

Investigating the Target Environment for Agile Methods

Abstract

Agile methods are systems development methodologies that are commonly tailored to fit the contingencies of a project. We used this property to investigate the environmental factors which affect the use of agile methods. Initially we developed a theoretical model of the target environment for agile methods, then tested the model using data from a multi-case study of nine software development projects. We gathered data on agile method tailoring to calculate an agile method usage value. We then investigated the relationship between project environment factors and agile method usage using non-parametric data analysis. Our results indicate that specific environmental factors correlate with effective use of an agile method. These factors include the extent to which the project was undergoing constant change and the organisational culture factors of feedback and learning, teamwork, empowerment of people, collaboration, leadership, loyalty, and a results-oriented culture that values entrepreneurship, innovation and risk taking.

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