Towards R&D as Innovation Experiment Systems: A Framework for Moving Beyond Agile Software Development

Helena Holmström Olsson, Jan Bosch, and Hiva Alahyari


Innovation experiment system, Continuous deployment, Agile software development


In focusing on flexibility, efficiency and speed, agile development practices have lead to a paradigm shift in how software is developed. However, while agile practices have indeed proven to be successful these are not the final step of software development. There is a “beyond agile” in which software development companies can capitalize even more on customer contributions and where customer feedback is the main driver for innovation. In this paper, we present a multiple-case study where we explore five software development companies moving from agile towards continuous deployment of software and a future in which R&D works as an ‘innovation experiment system’. Based on a qualitative interview study, we present benefits and barriers when moving towards R&D as an innovation experiment system. Also, we present a framework in which we identify key initiatives that companies deploy in order to evolve their software development practices.

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