Communications of the Association for Information Systems


Control and flexibility may appear an unlikely pair. However, we propose that effective flexible software development processes must still provide clear control mechanisms to manage the progress and quality of the resulting software products. This paper presents a conceptual study to understand the types of control found in flexible software development processes, termed controlled-flexible approaches. Control theory is used as a lens to study the control mechanisms found in plan-driven and flexible processes. We extend current thinking to include emergent outcome controls and clan controls for team coordination in our taxonomy of control mechanisms. Several popular flexible processes are analyzed for control mechanisms. We conclude with a brief discussion of future research directions.