People over process: Key challenges in agile development

K. Conboy, S. Coyle, X. Wang, Minna Pikkarainen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

126 Citations (Scopus)


There's a common perception that, although developers might experience some "teething" problems during the initial transition to agile methods, they're much happier, more engaged, and ultimately more productive with agile methods. However, this belief might not always hold true. Case studies identified many serious "people" challenges that 17 large multinational organizations experienced after using agile methods for more than three years. Challenges range from recruitment of agile staff to training, motivation, and performance evaluation. The studies produced a set of actionable recommendations on how organizations can overcome these challenges on the basis of better practices uncovered during the studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-57
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Software
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Adoption
  • agile
  • agile software development
  • developers
  • methodologies
  • people factors
  • software development
  • software engineering

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