Sustaining Agility: Organizational Change, Factors and Theoretical Lenses

Barroca, Leonor; Sharp, Helen; Deshpande, Advait; Gregory, Peggy and Papadeas, Stavros (2023). Sustaining Agility: Organizational Change, Factors and Theoretical Lenses. In: Agile Processes in Software Engineering and Extreme Programming (Stettina, C.J.; Garbajosa, J. and Kruchten, P. eds.), Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing, Springer, Cham, pp. 115–131.



Agile organizations have to deal regularly with change and at the same time adapt to sustain agility. In this paper, we present an initial study to identify factors considered when changes need to be made to sustain agility. We used a novel data collection approach, critical decision method (CDM), and investigated three theoretical lenses, paradox theory, situation awareness and shared mental models, to explore the kind of practical consequences they help to uncover. This paper presents the findings of this initial study together with reflections on the data collection method and the three theoretical lenses. Three key dimensions relevant to sustaining agility emerge from the use of these theoretical lenses: teams vs organization; understanding the environment vs the impact of change internally; and understanding “now” vs looking into the future.

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