Lean & Agile Software Development


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The dynamics and uncertainty within the software market challenges successful software developing companies to be able to respond quickly to change. Contrary to traditional plan- driven methodologies, Agile and Lean are still more frequently mentioned among academics and practitioners, to facilitate the flexibility, creativity and effectiveness needed in order to survive in a chaordic industry.


This thesis will seek insights into Lean and Agile software development, through an investigation of the relation between levels of concepts’ principles, practices, tools, activities and performance metrics. The aim is through a combined academic and practitioner-based body of sources, to demonstrate how Lean and Agile are somewhat inseparable. The objective is furthermore to identify potential synergy effects of combining the concepts in different contexts.


The study is divided into three main parts: a literature review, a LinkedIn content analysis and a multiple-case study. The methodological progress of these parts is based on the current state of the field, designed with the purpose of contributing and qualifying the findings of the previous. The three parts represent different methodological approaches, described further in- depth within chapter 2.


The summarization of the three contributions this study makes, can be summarized as: 1) Lean and Agile are generally characterized as nascent research areas. Despite no common categorization, their historical origin causes Lean and Agile to have very similar and supporting principles. 2) Practitioners utilize the concepts on a non-labelling pick-and-choose basis, of which Scrum and Kanban were found to be the most popular practices. 3) Contingencies such as capabilities and organizational dogma, influences the possible synergy-effects derived from tools and performance metrics. Based on the findings, this study lastly, in chapter 7, provides managerial advises, as well as offer recommendations for future studies.

Written on March 1, 2018