Agile methods have become an appealing alternative for companies striving to improve their performance, but the methods were originally designed for small and individual teams. This creates unique challenges when introducing agile at scale, when development teams must synchronize their activities, and there might be a need to interface with other organizational units. In this paper we present a systematic literature review on how agile methods and lean software development has been adopted at scale, focusing on reported challenges and success factors. We conducted a systematic literature review of industrial large-scale agile transformations. Our keyword search found 1875 papers. We included 52 publications describing 42 industrial cases presenting the process of taking large-scale agile development into use. 90% of the included papers were experience reports, indicating a lack of sound academic research on the topic. We identified 35 reported challenges grouped into nine categories, and 29 success factors, grouped into eleven categories. The most salient success factor categories were management support, choosing and customizing the agile model, training and coaching, and mindset and alignment.
Kim Dikert, Maria Paasivaara, Casper Lassenius (Aalto University): Challenges and Success Factors for Large-Scale Agile Transformations: A Systematic Literature Review