Agile Projects in a non-agile Environment: What is your experience?

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By The Agile Research Network | 23 July 2014

Authors: The Agile Research Network

Laura Plonka, Helen Sharp, Leonor Barroca and Dina Salah (The Open University, UK)

Peggy Gregory and Katie Taylor (University of Central Lancashire, UK)

" This paper presents findings from a case study of a multinational organisaton that adopted Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM) in one of their offices, along with a summary of the challenges they faced and suggestions from published literature about how to overcome them.   Their main challenge was that their projects were approved, budgeted and monitored by their Headquarters using a traditional waterfall approach. As a consequence they were running agile projects in a non-agile environment.  The three main aspects of this challenge were:  

1) Differences in organisational cultures;

2) Managing the transition to agile;

3) Reporting progress and demonstrating control.  

Recommendations from the literature for each of these challenges include

1) Negotiating new approaches to knowledge management and knowledge sharing;

2) Supporting an acceptance and understanding of agile through aligning processes, education, ownership, un- derstanding change, emphasizing values and winning the confidence of executive management;

3) Proposals for reporting formats, managing the burden of reporting, and reporting just enough. "

Share your experience

We are interested in your experiences with agile in non-agile environments.

  • What challenges does your organisation face?
  • How have you overcome these challenges?

Please fill in our questionnaire at