Moa Lidman & Linnéa Berg: Finalists “Thesis of the Year” 2023
In the Swedish Project Academy’s annual essay competition, there have been 19 submissions for the 2023 prize, originating from no less than eight different educational institutions. This makes the work of the competition jury exciting and instructive, but also challenging as all the essays are of high quality. This year’s contribution, by Moa Lidman and Linnéa Berg, titled “Guidance on the Agile Transformation Journey: The Role of Agile Coaches,” didn’t quite secure the winning position. However, Mats Ragnarsson from Wenell still wanted to highlight the work that had been done, as it was incredibly close, with the jury also struggling to select a winner. Below, you can listen to the interview they conducted together and also find the essay.
Download the essay by pressing here.
While agile methods are old news amongst teams and within the field of software development, the interest of entire organisations to become agile is growing. In the process of adopting agile methods, there are several commonly known success factors and challenges for organisations to take into consideration which would ease the transformation. Previous studies on success factors and challenges during the agile transformation have been focused on the experience of the organisation or the human resource aspect of agile. The majority of existing theory on the topic has outlined the agile transformation based on single organisational case studies, or in quantifying manors. It is however known that agile coaches carry some significance for successful transformations but the research area is lagging in the understanding of their particular role for organisational agile. This study focuses on the experience of the agile coach of success factors and challenges and their role in assisting the organisations during the agile transformation. Through a qualitative interpretivist approach, this thesis sat out to understand the agile coaches perception of success factors and challenges and consequently their role in agile transformations. By semi-structured interviews, data was collected and later analysed thematically to find meanings and patterns among the agile coaches of their perception and contribution to successful transformations.
By studying the agile transformation from the perspective of agile coaches, this thesis (1) contributes to broadening the research area with more knowledge about the agile coach as a profession, (2) nuancing the picture of success factors and challenges linked to agile transformations through the new perspective of agile coaches, and to (3) provide new insight to this yet, underexplored area of agile coaches within the research field of organisational agile.
Keywords: Agile transformation(s), agile transformation process, change management, organis(z)ations, agile adoption challenges, agile transition framework, agile coaches.