Agile Methods on Large Projects in Large Organizations

Agile methods have taken software development by storm but have been primarily applied to projects in what is referred to as the "agile sweet spot," which consists of small collocated teams working on small, non-critical, green field, in-house software projects with stable architectures and simple governance rules. These methods are being used more and more on large projects, but little documentation is available in the academic literature. This article investigates the adoption and adaptation of agile methods for use on large projects in large organizations. The empirical study is based first on case studies, followed by a survey to validate and enrich the case study results. The results are somewhat paradoxical in that some features are common to almost all observations, whereas others show extreme variability. The common features include use of Scrum methodology and agile coaches, as well as the non-respect of the agile principle of emergent architecture.
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