Towards continuous strategy in software business
by Tanja Suomalainen; Jenni Myllykoski
International Journal of Agile Systems and Management (IJASM), Vol. 12, No. 3, 2019

Abstract: This paper examines the strategic planning in software-intensive businesses. As software-intensive businesses are going beyond agile and lean software development towards continuous deployment, it requires both continuous planning throughout the organisation and a link between strategy and software development. A better understanding of the strategic planning practices among software companies is needed to enable continuous deployment. However, the current literature does not yet address this issue. We conducted a multiple-case study involving three companies by interviewing 24 people in various roles and at different organisational levels. This study reveals an emerging need for continuous strategy in all cases. With a continuous strategy, we refer to the view that strategic planning can be an ongoing process without a predefined planning cycle. The case companies in our study were in different phases in adopting practices of continuous strategy. This paper highlights the reasons behind continuous strategy and describes the current practices of continuous strategy. Continuous strategy is especially vital for software companies dealing with turbulent business environments, but adopting the practices of continuous strategy is challenging. This study concludes that the main challenges are related to planning practices, transparency, communication and organisational structure.

Online publication date: Mon, 05-Aug-2019

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