Agile practices, Innovation projects, Systematic literature review, Software development, Hybrid approach


The preference for agile practices to manage projects comes from the software development field. Based on similarities between software and innovation projects, this article aims to present the academic approach of agile practices on innovation projects management. A systematic review of literature was adopted. The results were grouped into three topics according to the relationship between agile practice and innovation: (1) agile practices adopted in projects focused on innovation; (2) innovation as result of agile practices adopted to manage projects; and (3) innovative combinations of agile practices to manage software projects. The agile practices application in innovation projects not associated with software development were only 17% of the analyzed articles. The main contribution of this study is the evidence that the application of agile practices in projects provides similar benefits if its output is a software development or not. However, some adjustments are usually necessary, sized according to project´s output. They are bigger as the project´s delivery moves from digital concept to physical products such as hardware or manufacturing. The engagement and autonomy of project’s team are essential components in the process of adaptation to project´s needs. When agile practices are adopted, the literature also recommends waiting for a maturation period before performing efficiency and effectiveness measurements. Contributions of this article include a better understanding of the different relationships between innovation and application of agile practices.


Metrics Loading ...

Author Biographies

Ricardo Luis Zanfelicce, Universidade Nove de Julho


Maria Helena Costa Resnitzky, Universidade Nove de Julho


Augusto Cezar Romerio de Andrade, Universidade Nove de Julho


Renato Penha, Universidade Nove de Julho


Luciano Ferreiro da Silva, Universidade Nove de Julho



Abrahamsson, P.; Hanhineva, A.; Hulkko, H.; Ihme, T.; Jäälinoja, J.; Korkala, M.; & Salo, O. (2004). Mobile-D: an agile approach for mobile application development. In Companion to the 19th annual ACM SIGPLAN conference on Object-oriented programming systems, languages, and applications (pp. 174-175).

Abrahamsson, P., Salo, O., Ronkainen, J., & Warsta, J. (2017). Agile software development methods: Review and analysis. arXiv preprint arXiv:1709.08439. Retrieved from

Ahmad-Khan, Z. (2014). Scrumban-adaptive agile development process. Helsinki: Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. Retrieved from

Aldave, A.; Vara, J. M.; Granada, D.; & Marcos, E. (2019). Leveraging creativity in requirements elicitation within agile software development: a systematic literature review. Journal of Systems and Software, 157, 110396.

Apilo, T.; Taskinen, T.; & Salkari, I. (2007). Johda innovaatioita. Alma Talent. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.

Augustine, S.; Payne, B.; Sencindiver, F.; & Woodcock, S. (2005). Agile project management: Steering from the edges. Comm. ACM 48(12) 85–89.

Beck, K. (2000). Extreme Programming Explained: Embrace Change. Addison-Wesley professional

Brown, S. L.; & Eisenhardt, K. M. (1995). Product development: Past research, present findings, and future directions. Academy of management review, 20(2), 343-378.

Cao, L., Mohan, K., Xu, P., & Ramesh, B. (2004, January). How extreme does extreme programming have to be? Adapting XP practices to large-scale projects. In 37th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 2004. Proceedings of the (pp. 10-pp). IEEE.

Cegarra-Navarro, J. G.; Soto-Acosta, P.; & Wensley, A. K. (2016). Structured knowledge processes and firm performance: The role of organizational agility. Journal of Business Research, 69(5), 1544-1549.

Cho, J. & Lee, J. (2013). Development of a new technology product evaluation model for assessing commercialization opportunities using Delphi method and fuzzy AHP approach. Expert Systems with Applications, 40: 5314–5330.

Coad, P.; LeFebvre, E.; & De Luca, J. (2000). Java Modeling In Color With UML: Enterprise Components and Process, Prentice Hall.

Cockburn, A., & Highsmith, J. (2001). Agile software development, the people factor. Computer, 34(11), 131-133.

Coenen, T.; & Robijt, S. (2016). Heading for a FALL: A Framework for Agile Living Lab Projects. Technology Innovation Management Review, 7(1):37–43. Retrieved from

Conboy, K. (2009). Agility from first principles: Reconstructing the concept of agility in information systems development. Information systems research, 20(3), 329-354.

Concas, G.; Marchesi, M.; Destefanis, G.; & Tonelli, R. (2012). An empirical study of software metrics for assessing the phases of an agile project. International Journal of Software Engineering and Knowledge Engineering, 22(04), 525-548.

Conforto, E.C.; & Amaral, D.C. (2010). Evaluating an agile method for planning and controlling innovative projects. Project Management Journal, 41(2), 73-80.

Cooper, R. (1987), Winning at New Products, Kogan Page, London.

Cooper, R.G. (1983). A process model for industrial new product development. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, (1), 2-11.

Cooper, R.G.; & Sommer, A. F. (2016). The agile–stage‐gate hybrid model: A promising new approach and a new research opportunity. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 33(5), 513-526.

Cooper, R. G. (2019). The drivers of success in new-product development. Industrial Marketing Management, 76, 36-47.

Cordero, R. (1991). Managing for speed to avoid product obsolescence: A survey of techniques. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 8(4), 283-294.

Denning, S. (2016). How Useful Is Christensen's Theory of Disruptive Innovation? Forbes Retrieved, 30.

Digital.AI.TEAM (2020). 14ª Pesquisa Anual sobre o Estado Agile™. Retrieved from acessada em 14/06/2020.

Dikert, K.; Paasivaara, M.; & Lassenius, C. (2016). Challenges and success factors for large-scale agile transformations: A systematic literature review. Journal of Systems and Software, 119, 87-108.

Dönmez, D.; & Grote, G. (2018). Two sides of the same coin–how agile software development teams approach uncertainty as threats and opportunities. Information and Software Technology, 93, 94-111.

Eklund, U., & Bosch, J. (2012). Applying agile development in mass-produced embedded systems. In International Conference on Agile Software Development (pp. 31-46). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

https://10.1007/978- 3- 642- 30350- 0_3.

Gamboa, J. C. (2014). Aumento de la productividad en la gestión de proyectos, utilizando una metodología ágil aplicada en una fábrica de software en la ciudad de Guayaquil. Revista Tecnológica - ESPOL, 27(2). Retrieved from

Gonzalez, W. (2014). Applying agile project management to predevelopment stages of innovation. International Journal of Innovation and Technology Management, 11(04), 1450020.

Gothelf, J.; & Seiden, J. (2013). Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience. Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly Media Inc.

Green, D. (2016). Scrum. Novice to ninja. EUA: SitePoint Pty Ltd. ISBN: 978 0 994346919.

Gurd, B.; & Ifandoudas, P. (2014). Moving towards agility: the contribution of a modified balanced scorecard system. Measuring Business Excellence.

Hage, J. T. (1999). Organizational innovation and organizational change. Annual review of sociology, 25(1), 597-622.

Hall, P.H.; & Hall, P. (1994). Innovation, economics and evolution: theoretical perspectives on changing technology in economic systems. Harvester Wheatsheaf.

Hannola, L.; Friman, J.; and Niemimuukko, J. (2013). Application of agile methods in the innovation process. International Journal of Business Innovation and Research, 7, 1:84–98.

Harkema, S. (2003). A complex adaptive perspective on learning within innovation projects. The Learning Organization: An International Journal, 10(6), 340-346.

Hartson, R., & Pyla, P. S. (2012). The UX Book: Process and guidelines for ensuring a quality user experience. Elsevier.

Highsmith, J. (2004). The agile revolution. J. Highsmith, Agile Project Management.

Iivari, J.; & Iivari, N. (2011). The relationship between organizational culture and the deployment of agile methods. Information and software technology, 53(5), 509-520.

Kane, D. W., Hohman, M. M., Cerami, E. G., McCormick, M. W., Kuhlmman, K. F., & Byrd, J. A. (2006). Agile methods in biomedical software development: a multi-site experience report. BMC bioinformatics, 7(1), 1-12.

Kettunen, P. (2009). Adopting key lessons from agile manufacturing to agile software product Development: A comparative study. Technovation, 29, 6/7: 408–422.

Kiron, D., Palmer, D., Phillips, A. N., & Kruschwitz, N. (2012). Social business: what are companies really doing? MIT Sloan management review, 53(4), 1.

Kitchenham, B. (2004). Procedures for performing systematic reviews. Keele, UK, Keele University, 33(2004), 1-26.

Koen, P.; Ajamian, G.; Burkart, R.; Clamen, A.; Davidson, J.; D'Amore, R.; & Karol, R. (2001). Providing clarity and a common language to the “fuzzy front end”. Research-Technology Management, 44(2), 46-55.

Könnölä, K., Suomi, S., Mäkilä, T., Rantala, V., & Lehtonen, T. (2017). Can embedded space system development benefit from agile practices?. EURASIP Journal on Embedded Systems, 2017(1), 1-16.

Könnölä, K.; Suomi, S.; Mäkilä, T.; Jokela, T,; Rantala, V.; & Lehtonen, T. (2016). Agile methods in embedded system development: Multiple-case study of three industrial cases. Journal of Systems and Software. 118, 134–150.

Laanti, M.; Salo, O.; & Abrahamsson, P. (2011). Agile methods rapidly replacing traditional methods at Nokia: A survey of opinions on agile transformation. Information and Software Technology, 53(3), 276-290.

Ladas, C. (2009). Scrumban - Essays on kanban systems for lean software development. EUA: Modus Cooperandi Press.

Lindberg, T., Meinel, C., & Wagner, R. (2011). Design thinking: A fruitful concept for it development?. In Design thinking (pp. 3-18). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

https :// -0_1

Meyer, M.H.; & Marion, T.J. (2010). Innovating for effectiveness: Lessons from design firms. Research-Technology Management, 53(5), 21-28.

Moe, N.B.; & Dingsøyr, T. (2017). Emerging research themes and updated research agenda for large-scale agile development: a summary of the 5th international workshop at XP2017. In Proceedings of the XP2017 Scientific Workshops (pp. 1-4).

Ordysinski, T. (2013). “Kanban based information management in organizations”. In: Polish Association for Knowledge Management, pp. 76-85. Retrieved from

Palmer, S.R.; & Felsing, J.M. (2002). A Practical Guide to Feature-Driven Development. Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River.

Pavitt, K. (1990). What we know about the strategic management of technology. California management review, 32(3), 17-26.

Pollock, A.; & Berge, E. (2018). How to do a systematic review. International Journal of Stroke, 13(2), 138-156.

Poppendieck, M.; & Poppendieck, T. (2003) Lean Software Development: An Agile Toolkit, Addison-Wesley, Upper Saddle River.

Rahman, M.S.; Rivera, E.; Khomh, F.; Guéhéneuc, Y.G.; & Lehnert, B. (2019). Machine learning software engineering in practice: An industrial case study. arXiv preprint arXiv:1906.07154.

Ravichandran, T. (2018). Exploring the relationships between IT competence, innovation capacity and organizational agility. The Journal of Strategic Information Systems, 27(1), 22-42.

Ries, E. (2011). The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses. New York: Crown Business.

Salmelin, B. (2020). Open Innovation 2.0 supporting structural knowledge. In Intellectual Capital in the Digital Economy (pp. 7-18). Routledge.

Schumpeter, J.A. (1997). Teoria do desenvolvimento econômico: uma investigação sobre lucros, capital, crédito, juro e o ciclo econômico. São Paulo: Editora Nova Cultural.

Schwaber, K. (2004). Agile project management with Scrum. Microsoft press.

Schwaber, K., & Beedle, M. (2002). Agile software development with Scrum (Vol. 1). Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall.

Schwaber, K.; Sutherland, J. (2017). The Scrum guide. Retrieved from

Schumpeter, J.A. (1934). The Theory of Economic Development: An Inquiry into Profits, Capital, Credit, Interest and the Business Cycle. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.

Silva, D. S., Ghezzi, A., Aguiar, R. B., Cortimiglia, M. N., & ten Caten, C. S. (2020). Lean Startup, Agile Methodologies and Customer Development for business model innovation: A systematic review and research agenda. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research.

Sohaib, O., Solanki, H., Dhaliwa, N., Hussain, W., & Asif, M. (2019). Integrating design thinking into extreme programming. Journal of Ambient Intelligence and Humanized Computing, 10(6), 2485-2492.

Takeuchi, H., & Nonaka, I. (1986). The new new product development game. Harvard business review, 64(1), 137-146.

Tura, N.; Hannola, L.; & Pynnönen, M. (2017). Agile methods for boosting the commercialization process of new technology. International Journal of Innovation and Technology Management, 14(03), 1750013.

Valero-Pastor, J.M.; Carvajal-Prieto, M.; & García-Avilés, J.A. (2019). Flujos de trabajo para el periodismo postindustrial: métodos y programas para una comunicación organizacional más ágil y transversal. El profesional de la información, 28(5).

Von Hippel, E. (1986). Lead users: a source of novel product concepts. Management science, 32(7), 791-805.




How to Cite

Zanfelicce, R. L., Resnitzky, M. H. C., Andrade, A. C. R. de, Penha, R., & Silva, L. F. da. (2022). THE USE OF AGILE PRACTICES IN INNOVATION PROJECTS: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE. Brazilian Journal of Management and Innovation (Revista Brasileira De Gestão E Inovação), 9(3), 124–148.