For Some Places More Than Others - Agility and Organizational Culture

  • Lourenço P. SoaresEmail author
  • Ângela Freitag Brodbeck
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 802)


The adoption of agile methods for software development has proven to be an activity sensitive to the culture of the organizations seeking to adopt them. Agile projects occur in different situations: from the most ideal to those that require extensive adaptations. This study aims to explore the relationship between selected basic cultural assumptions of organizations and agile practices. Correlations identified were explored looking to offer an initial map suggesting approaches to introduce agile practices based on the cultural profile of the organization. The most notable results were that basic cultural assumptions of “Pragmatism”, “Favors communication” and “Collegial/participative” are the ones most correlated with agile practices and the practices of “co-location”, “Test Driven Development”, “Continuous Integration”, “Code refactoring”, “pair programming” and “Stand-up meeting” showed no representative correlations with basic cultural assumptions, indicating that they may be a good alternative to start an agile adoption by technical practices. One of the main contributions of this work is proposing a preliminary model that highlights the relationship between organizational culture and adoption of agile practices, suggesting areas for further research.


Organizational culture Agile methodologies Agile practices Adoption of agile practices Cultural dimensions Basic assumptions  TDD Continuous integration Stand-up meeting Co-location 


  1. 1.
    Royce, W.: Software Project Management: A Unified Framework. Addison-Wesley Professional, Reading (1998)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Parsons, D., Ryu, H., Lal, R.: The impact of methods and techniques on outcomes from agile software development projects. In: McMaster, T., Wastell, D., Ferneley, E., DeGross, Janice I. (eds.) TDIT 2007. IIFIP, vol. 235, pp. 235–249. Springer, Boston, MA (2007). Scholar
  3. 3.
    Highsmith, J.: Agile Software Development Ecosystems. Addison-Wesley, Boston (2002)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Beck, K., Beedle, M., van Bennekum, A., et al.: Manifesto for Agile Software Development. In: (2017). Accessed 15 June 2017
  5. 5.
    Begel, A., Nagappan, N.: Usage and perceptions of agile software development in an industrial context: An exploratory study. In: International Symposium on Empirical Software Engineering and Measurement, vol. 1, pp. 255–264 (2007)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Robinson, H., Sharp, H.: XP culture: Why the twelve practices both are and are not the most significant thing. In: Agile Development Conference, vol. 1, pp. 12–21 (2003)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Dubé, L., Robey, D.: Software stories: three cultural perspectives on the organizational practices of software development. Acc. Manage. Inf. Technol. 9, 223–259 (1999)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Ali, M., Brooks, L.: A situated cultural approach for cross-cultural studies in IS. J. Enterp. Inf. Manage. 22, 548–563 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Fleury, M.T., Shinyashiki, G., Stevanato, L.A.: Entre a antropologia e a psicanálise: dilemas metodológicos dos estudos sobre cultura organizacional. Revista de Administração 32, 23–37 (1997)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Schein, E.: Organizational Culture and Leadership. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco (2010)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Hofstede, G., Hofstede, G.J.: Cultures and Organizations: Software for the Mind. McGraw-Hill, New York (2004)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Schein, E.: Organizational Culture. Working paper (Sloan School of Management) (1988). 2088-88Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Taylor, P.: The Lazy Project Manager. Infinite Ideas, Oxford (2009)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Sato, D., Bassi, D., Bravo, M., et al.: Experiences tracking agile projects: an empirical study. J. Braz. Comput. Soc. 12, 45–64 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Cockburn, A.: Agile Software Development. Addison-Wesley Professional, Reading (2001)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Beck, K., Andres, C.: Extreme Programming Explained. Addison-Wesley Professional, Reading (2004)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Rumpe, B., Schröder, A.: Quantitative survey on extreme programming projects. In: International Conference on Extreme Programming and Flexible Processes in Software Engineering, vol. 3, pp. 26–30 (2002)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Forrester Research: Agile Development: Mainstream Adoption Has Changed Agility (2010)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Krebs, W.: Turning the knobs: A coaching pattern for XP through agile metrics. In: Wells, D., Williams, L. (eds.) XP/Agile Universe 2002. LNCS, vol. 2418, pp. 60–69. Springer, Heidelberg (2002). Scholar
  20. 20.
    Williams, L., Layman, L., Krebs, W.: Extreme Programming Evaluation Framework for Object-Oriented Languages, v. 1.4. Department of Computer Science, North Carolina State University (2004)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Yin, R.: Case Study Research: Design and Methods. Sage, Thousand Oak (2008)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Severino, A.: Metodologia do trabalho científico. Cortez, São Paulo (2002)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Palmer, L., Lawler, J.: Agile methodology in offshore outsourcing. J. Bus. Case Stud. 1, 35–46 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Boehm, B., Turner, R.: Rebalancing your organization’s agility and discipline. In: Maurer, F., Wells, D. (eds.) XP/Agile Universe 2003. LNCS, vol. 2753, pp. 1–8. Springer, Heidelberg (2003). Scholar
  25. 25.
    Schmuller, J.: Statistical Analysis with Excel For Dummies. Wiley, San Francisco (2009)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Chatman, J., Jehn, K.: Assessing the relationship between industry characteristics and organizational culture: how different can you be? Acad. Manag. J. 37, 522–553 (1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Prajogo, D., McDermott, C.: The relationship between total quality management practices and organizational culture. Int. J. Oper. Prod. Manage. 25, 1101–1122 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Rising, L.: The Power of an Agile Mindset (2011)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Fowler, M.: Using an agile software process with offshore development. In: (2006). Accessed 15 June 2017

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lourenço P. Soares
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Ângela Freitag Brodbeck
    • 2
  1. 1.ThoughtWorks BrasilPorto AlegreBrazil
  2. 2.Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do SulPorto AlegreBrazil

Personalised recommendations