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Conboy, K;Fitzgerald, B
The views of experts on the current state of agile method tailoring
WOS: 4 ()
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As stated in the conference theme, the failure of information systems and information technology projects remains stubbornly high. Agile methods have recently emerged as a new and seemingly popular alternative approach to systems development. Purveyors of these methods claim they solve many of the problems that have plagued the field for over 40 years, and there is now anecdotal evidence to suggest that these benefits are being realized and that diffusion of agile methods is rapidly increasing. However, a key factor in the fusion of any technology or method is its ability to be customized dif Innovative customization, tailoring, and fragmentation of systems development methods are viewed by many as a necessary step to avoid project failure like so many projects in the past. The ability to tailor any method is considered critically important given the complex and unique nature of each and every ISD environment, and in particular, one would logically expect that a method labeled as agile should be malleable. However, it is still unclear whether agile methods are amenable to tailoring. On one hand, purveyors of these methods advocate and often recommend tailoring. On the other hand, however, tailoring of agile methods has been described as a potential minefield due to the fact that their practices are interconnected, synergistic, and socially embedded in the development effort. This study develops a better understanding of agile method tailoring in practice through semi-structured delphi interviews with 40 ISD expert practitioners and academics. The study sought to ascertain their opinion on the tailoring of agile methods in general, and then honed in on specific critical success factors (CSFs) of tailoring, namely built-in contingency, clear rationale behind method practices, independence of method practices', and disciplined and educated tailoring of practices. Thestudyfound that these factors are largely ignored by the agile method movement except in rare instances, and concludes with a set of recommendations for agile method creators and users to ensure agile methods experience higher diffusion rates than at present.
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