Working in uncertain environments fundamentally changes how we organize work. Using agile methodologies for IT projects helps teams to better meet user needs and ensure flexibility in uncertain environments. But using agile methods increases interactions with fellow team members and external stakeholders such as customers. These interactions are either embedded in agile practices or occur unplanned in the work context, which both cause interruptions in the workplace. While those can be helpful in terms of task completion, meeting user needs, and increased process flexibility, interruptions hinder employees in being efficient and productive. We thus conducted a Grounded Theory study analyzing four cases to understand the nature and consequences of interruptions in agile ISD teams and how the team manages these interruptions. We find that IT project teams formalize interruptions to reduce negative consequence, channel interruptions during their daily routines based on expertise and workload, and use digital tools both to reduce the number of interruptions and also to prioritize incoming interruptions. Our analysis suggests that IT project teams use practices embedded in the agile method to exploit the positive aspects of interruptions and find ways to reduce the negative.
Wiesche, Manuel, "Toward a Model of Managing Interruptions in Agile IT Projects" (2018). International Research Workshop on IT Project Management 2018. 10.