Agility in information systems development has recently received a considerable amount of attention. It is seen as a radical response to the difficulties organisations face when following a rigid traditional software development approach in the context of constantly evolving requirements in an increasingly competitive business environment. Although practiced in industry for years, agility is still an elusive concept and researchers have only just started to conceptualise it. This paper reviews literature on how software engineering accounts for agility by delineating agile and traditional methodologies. Motivations for agile methodologies, given by information systems literature are reviewed and attempts of conceptualising agility are presented. The theoretical underpinnings used by researchers to conceptualise agility are found to be very diverse and range from military, manufacturing, complex adaptive systems theory to information technology innovations and organisational learning. Finally a novel way of investigating agility is briefly presented by linking it to the new sociotechnical view on systems development.
How to Cite:
Keplinger, W., 2007. Agility in information systems development: characterisation, motivation and conceptualisation. iSCHANNEL, 2(1), pp.25–28.