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Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

Agile Practices, Promises of Rigor, and Information Systems Quality

Agile Practices, Promises of Rigor, and Information Systems Quality
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Author(s): Sue Kong (Rutgers University, USA), Kenneth E. Kendall (Rutgers University Camden, USA) and Julie E. Kendal (Rutgers University Camden, USA)
Copyright: 2006
Pages: 3
Source title: Emerging Trends and Challenges in Information Technology Management
Source Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-019-6.ch289
ISBN13: 9781616921286
EISBN13: 9781466665361


It has been widely recognized that the plan-based, process-centric and formal systems development methodologies (e.g. Systems Development Life Cycle) are well suited for predictable environments, but lacking in environments with substantial uncertainty (Boehm, 2002, 2003a, 2003b, 2004a, 2004b). In order to cope with uncertainty, practitioners (Beck, 1999; Beck and Fowler, 2001; Cockburn, 2002 and 2004; Schwaber and Beedle, 2002) introduced agile approaches, which are people-centric, less formal, iterative and adaptive. Debates have been raised around agile approaches, especially on the quality effects of agile approaches. Specifically, some researchers believe that agile approaches cannot achieve persistent high systems quality because the constant adaptation will introduce design flaws and coding errors (Paulk, 2001 and 2002). Conversely, other researchers argue that agile methodology increases quality of information systems due to its customer centric and adaptive approach (Armitage, 2004, Huo, Verner, Zhu and Ali Babar, 2004; Opperthauser, 2003). The inconclusive debates around the quality effect of agile approaches have caused great confusion and misunderstanding. The scrutiny of this issue, the impact of agile approaches on quality of the information systems, thus becomes emergent to the research community. However, to our best knowledge, the contemporary literature has largely neglected systematic study of this research question. This paper will examine the impact of agile approaches on the quality of information systems theoretically and empirically. Specifically, we will employ a survey study among information systems personnel to verify our hypothesis drawn from theoretical study. This research will expand our knowledge and inform practitioners.

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