Bottom line: Critical success factors are the few key areas where satisfactory results will enable the business and managers to achieve their goals. Agile success factors can be classified into five main categories: organizational, people, process, project and technical. Agile principles were introduced in the early 90’s to overcome problems of the waterfall methodology. The word agile means the ability to move easily and quickly. Although agile principles have many detractors (The Death of Agile, Agile Ruined My Life, Agile is Dead), it is still widely applied.

How they did it: The researchers looked at success factors that were published in research papers, articles, and technical reports related to actual agile projects. Furthermore, these success factors are decomposed into a set of sub success factors.

Narrowing down the success factors

What they found: After surveying the literature, the authors summarized the main success factors and sub-factors that they found in the table below.

Final words: Like any principles, when applied with common sense and not only for trend-following/consulting-bs/salesy purposes, it can work (I mean the answer is always, it depends). The basis is to embrace change and be aware of what’s happening around you to figure out what changed and how you can adapt to it. In doing so, the organization is able to provide value in increments, which are adjusted and built over time.

Principles are not a panacea, it will not solve everything. As we saw in What Makes Good Models and How to Use Them principles (models) require explanation, they tell us only what something is more or less like. When unconsciously used models result in paradoxes or conflicts, it becomes necessary to expose and then examine unconscious assumptions. A successful model must have limited scope and must work with simple analogies.

Read more: Ramadan, Nagy & Rizk, Nancy. (2015). Multi-Dimensional Success Factors of Agile Software Development Projects. International Journal of Computer Applications (IJCA), ISSN 0975–8887, USA. 118. 23–30.