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AN AGILE WAY OF WORKING IN A GREATER CONTEXT: A case study at an IT organization within a manufacturing industrial organization
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Project Innovations and Entrepreneurship. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Project Innovations and Entrepreneurship. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this study is to gain an understanding of an agile way of working at an IT organization in a context of a surrounding and otherwise manufacturing industrial organization, when it comes to software development projects. Thus the study aims to answer whether to what extent agile methodologies are manifested at an IT organization, what is demanded of the IT organization in order to follow agile values and principles, and whether it is possible to develop software according to agile values and principles in an IT organization in the above mentioned context.

The study has been carried out as a case study at a case company where an IT organization, within a larger organization, was investigated. The study consisted of a pre-study, a literature review and an empirical study followed by analysis of the gathered data.

The pre-study aimed to give the authors relevant insights into the case company as well as to the available academic literature. During the pre-study eight initial interviews were conducted, at the case company, among project managers, methodology experts and group managers. The pre-study was used in order to define and refine the scope of this study. From this the authors investigated literature relevant to their findings in the pre-study and to the scope. The literature review was used to formulate the theoretical framework of this study. The theoretical framework is mainly based on academic journals complemented by various publications and books. The empirical study was conducted by investigations of four software development projects, at the case company. Here nine interviews were conducted among the project managers, customers of the projects, and with managers of the IT organization. The empirical study have then been analyzed using the theoretical framework in order to form the conclusions of this report.

The theory presents benefits, drawbacks and demands when it comes to agile methodologies in software development. The importance of support from the IT department, and from the customer, to a project is especially highlighted in literature.

The empirical study presents findings of both agile and non-agile projects operating in the above mentioned organization. Several advantages and drawbacks have been identified regarding agile projects in the organization. Also hinders for an agile way of working, in the form or organizational demands, extensive processes, limited support and customer commitment have also been seen.

While benefits regarding agile projects can be identified, in the context of an IT organization functioning within a larger industrial manufacturing organization, several drawbacks and hinders are also prominent. The analysis show agile values and principles manifested in the IT organization agile practices are harder to identify. It is also seen that an organization should strive for agility on several organizational levels in order to support an agile way of working. Regarding the surrounding organization an agile way of working is seen to be possible. Furthermore several benefits are identified, for a customer, when it comes to agile projects. However agile methodologies are also seen to be demanding when it comes to time, commitment and external support. Putting this in the context of an IT organization developing business support systems for a surrounding organization the benefits, while still prominent, can be further discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 98 p.
Keyword [en]
Agile, Agile management, Agile organization, Agile customer, Agile project parameters
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-109312ISRN: LIU-IEI-TEK-A--14/01902--SEOAI: diva2:737266
External cooperation
Scania CV AB
Subject / course
Industrial Management
Available from: 2015-05-18 Created: 2014-08-12 Last updated: 2015-05-18Bibliographically approved

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