Campus Units

Supply Chain and Information Systems

Document Type


Publication Version

Submitted Manuscript

Publication Date


Journal or Book Title

Journal of Systems and Information Technology




Purpose: This paper investigates the extent to which newly agile organizations followed 2001’s Agile Manifesto, especially in terms of the 12 principles of the agile approach, as included in the Manifesto.

Design/methodology/approach: The authors conducted in-depth case studies of groups in three large business organizations that had recently adopted agile. Two researchers spent one day at each site, attending daily standups and conducting interviews with managers, developers and customers.

Findings: Across the three organizations, developers were faithful to two agile principles: the primacy of delivering valuable software continually, and regular reflections on the process with an eye toward improvement. The developers were uniformly unfaithful to the principle that requires face-to-face communication. Each organization varied in their adherence to the remaining nine principles. Obstacles to faithful adoption included the experience of the organization with agile, the extent to which the industry was regulated, and the extent to which developers and customers were physically dispersed.

Originality/value: While past research on agile development is extensive, this paper examined perspectives on the method and its adoption through the lens of the original Agile Manifesto and its 12 principles. The principles were grouped into three broader categories – software delivery, people and process – to provide additional insights and to sharpen the analysis.


This is a manuscript of the article George, Joey F., Kevin Scheibe, Anthony M. Townsend, and Brian Mennecke. "The amorphous nature of agile: no one size fits all." Journal of Systems and Information Technology (2018). DOI: 10.1108/JSIT-11-2017-0118. Posted with permission.

Copyright Owner

Emerald Publishing Limited



File Format


Published Version