Agile Project – An Oxymoron? Proposing an Unproject Leadership Model for Complex Space

  • Juha Rikkilä
  • Xiaofeng Wang
  • Pekka Abrahamsson
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing book series (LNBIP, volume 167)

Abstract

Without doubt much of the success in developing software solutions are due to proper project management, supported by many prominent and dedicated organizations and professionals. During the recent years the volatility and uncertainty in software development have, however, undermined the success. The agile and lean software development approaches have also brought up a profound difference between dealing with ordinary problems and wicked problems, but have failed to provide the management with solid theoretical background helping them to take proper decisions. Generally, the complexity theory is often referred to, but only at a superficial level. This paper attempts to explore what it means to build a leadership approach for software development that is based actually on complexity theory. We propose a novel approach called the unproject leadership model. The proposed model translates and maps the specific complexity concepts to the software development domain, consolidating them with the contributions already achieved by the lean and agile literature. As a result, the proposed model reverses many of the core project management practices. There are severe ramifications to large parts of contemporary organization management: converting leadership into interaction between people, flattening hierarchies and removing formal structures, abandoning top-down rules and plans. An initial validation of the proposed model is presented as well as the future directions are outlined.

Keywords

Software development complexity project management leadership emergence unproject 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juha Rikkilä
    • 1
  • Xiaofeng Wang
    • 1
  • Pekka Abrahamsson
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Computer Science FreeUniversity of Bozen-BolzanoBolzanoItaly

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