Exploring the Sources of Enterprise Agility in Software Organizations
Author(s)Srinivasan, Jayakanth; Lundqvist, Kristina; Norstöm, Christer
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Organizations involved in the design, development and sustainment of software systems have to manage the tension between creating new products and services, while at the same time maintaining their existing portfolio. This paper explores the sources of enterprise agility in software firms, wherein agility is defined as the ability of the organization to sense changes in its environment (both internal and external), and effectively respond to these changes. Using engaged scholarship as the overarching paradigm, we report on the findings of a process study that uses semi-structured interviews, observation, and archival firm & project information for data gathering, and grounded theory methods and comparative case analysis for data analysis and theory generation. The analysis highlights the importance of the four organizational enablers of: stakeholder alignment, employee empowerment, group & organizational learning, and governance mechanisms, as necessary but not sufficient precursors to obtaining enterprise agility. Furthermore, we provide illustrative case examples of the three mechanisms: Continuous Improvement, Creating Systems of Innovation, and Leveraging Globally available Capabilities, that software organizations use to gain enterprise agility.
software organizations, enterprise agility, engineering systems, engaged scholarship, mixed-methods
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