European Journal of Information Systems

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 332–343 | Cite as

A framework for adapting agile development methodologies

  • Lan Cao
  • Kannan Mohan
  • Peng Xu
  • Balasubramaniam Ramesh
Original Article


Agile development methodologies such as Extreme Programming are becoming increasingly popular due to their focus on managing time to market constraints and the ability to accommodate changes during the software development life cycle. However, such methodologies need to be adapted to suit the needs of different contexts. Past literature has paid little attention to examine the adaptation of agile methodologies. Using adaptive structuration theory as a lens to analyze data from a multisite case study, we examine how the structure of agile methods, projects, and organizations affect the adaptation of agile methodologies. We describe the various sources of structure that affect appropriation of agile practices, the set of appropriated practices and their characteristics, and their link to process outcomes. Based on our findings, we provide prescriptions for adapting agile development methodologies. We also discuss how adapted agile practices can address several challenges faced by agile development teams.


agile development process adaptation adaptive structuration theory process tailoring Extreme Programming (XP) 


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lan Cao
    • 1
  • Kannan Mohan
    • 2
  • Peng Xu
    • 3
  • Balasubramaniam Ramesh
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Information Technology and Decision SciencesCollege of Business and Public Administration, Old Dominion University NortfolkU.S.A.
  2. 2.Department of Statistics and Computer Information SystemsZicklin School of Business, Baruch College, City University of New YorkNew YorkU.S.A.
  3. 3.Department of Management Science and Information SystemsCollege of Management, University of Massachusetts BostonBostonU.S.A.
  4. 4.Board of Advisors Professor of Computer Information Systems, J. Mack Robinson College of Business, Georgia State UniversityAtlantaU.S.A.

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