Published article in Journal of IT Cases and Application Research

Intrafirm knowledge transfer of agile software practices: barriers and their relations

Lise Tordrup Heeager & Peter Axel Nielsen

Agile software practices are widely used in a great variety of organizations,

and the shift from traditional plan-driven approaches entails a redefinition
of processes in these organizations. Intrafirm knowledge transfer of agile
software practices between projects is a key concern in this redefinition.
While knowledge transfer is essential for an organization to develop or keep
its competitive advantage, it is also both difficult and time consuming, due
to a wide range of barriers. Transferring knowledge on agile practices is
even more complex due to there being a high degree of tacit knowledge.
Research on knowledge of agile practices focuses on adoption of agile
practices within a single team, thus extant research lacks focus on intrafirm
transfer. Through a case study, this article investigates the intrafirm knowledge
transfer of agile practices. With a starting point as the theory of
barriers to knowledge transfer, we modify and extend the framework to
transferring knowledge of agile practices. This framework is subsequently
applied for interpreting and analyzing the case study data. The analysis
shows how these barriers (e.g., the organizational culture, time and
resources, knowledge strategy, and motivation and willingness) are related
and that they cannot be understood in isolation. The barriers and their
relations are brought together in a conceptual model and its relevance is

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