Challenges in Transitioning to an Agile Way of Working

Riitta Hekkala, Mari-Klara Stein, Matti Rossi, Kari Smolander

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review

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This longitudinal study examined how an information systems development team transitioned to an agile way of working. We describe the main events of a large, inter-organizational project, where agile methods and practices were applied for the first time. The organizations involved had a long tradition in heavy, waterfall style projects, and many of those past projects had severe challenges. We examine how the agile way of working was understood by particular groups (project team, management and suppliers), as well as how these understandings changed over time. The lack of experience with agile development, no common view on ‘agility’ and its key principles and practices were obvious challenges for the transition. Our study suggests that complex agile projects need to have very clear goals and management has to be able to communicate these, while preserving the autonomy of teams and individual team members.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9780998133102
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoE publication typeA4 Conference publication
EventAnnual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences - Waikoloa Village, United States
Duration: 4 Jan 20177 Jan 2017
Conference number: 50


ConferenceAnnual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
Abbreviated titleHICSS
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityWaikoloa Village
Internet address


  • agile way of working
  • information system project
  • qualitative case study


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