Challenges of adopting agile methods in a public organization


  • Jouko Nuottila University of Oulu
  • Kirsi Aaltonen University of Oulu
  • Jaakko Kujala University of Oulu



agile methods, adoption of agile methods, agile challenges, agile barriers, agile project management, software project management


Agile development methods are widely used among business enterprises. Since the introduction of the Agile Manifesto in 2001, several agile methods have been implemented, first in single-team set-ups and later in larger multi-team set-ups for complex Information Technology (IT) system development. However, the adoption of agile methods has been slow in the public sector. This is also reflected in the academic literature, as there are only a few studies discussing agile adoption in public organizations. This paper contributes to research on the use of agile practices specifically in the context of public organizations, and sheds light on the challenges a public organization may face while adopting these practices. The aim of this paper is to identify and categorize the challenges that may hinder efficient adoption and use of agile methods in public IT projects that include private software vendors. This research is based on a case study of a large governmental office. As a result, this paper presents several categories of identified challenges, the root causes of these challenges, and a discussion of the characteristics of these challenges for the public sector.




How to Cite

Nuottila, J. ., Aaltonen, K. ., & Kujala, J. . (2022). Challenges of adopting agile methods in a public organization. International Journal of Information Systems and Project Management, 4(3), 65–85.