Understanding agility in software development through a complex adaptive systems perspective
Agile software development methods have emerged in recent years and have become increasingly
popular since the start of the century. While much research claims to study agile methods, the
meaning of agility itself in software development is yet to be fully understood. Agility is viewed by
some as the antithesis of plan, structure discipline and bureaucracy. This study aims to develop a
better understanding of agility, using the key concepts of Complex Adaptive Systems as a theoretical
lens. The study explores agility from several different angles, including autonomous team, stability
and uncertainty, and team learning. A multiple case study research method was employed. The
findings of the study emphasize that agility is manifested as stability and discipline, which are just as
desirable as flexibility, and context sharing is of the same value and importance as knowledge
sharing. In addition, the collective nature of learning is underlined.
Wang, Xiaofeng and Conboy, Kieran, "Understanding agility in software development through a complex adaptive systems perspective" (2009). ECIS 2009 Proceedings. 429.
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