Agile Design Science Research

Kieran Conboy, Rob Gleasure, Eoin Cullina

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


As design science has matured, prescriptive frameworks and best practices have been advanced to assist researchers and lay out the academic standards for the paradigm. We argue that the problem-solving model underlying much of this progress has limited the ability of researchers to produce creative artefacts. To address this, we propose an amended Agile Design Science Research Methodology (ADSRM). ADSRM draws upon breakthroughs made in industry by those adopting ‘agile’ perspectives on IT development. This agile perspective balances procedural rigour with the need to consider empirically-driven problem/solution coevolution, allowing development to hone in on the most meaningful and unanticipated of problems. ADSRM proposes amendments to several existing DSR best practices, as well as two entirely new components to be modelled in the design process, namely a problem backlog and a hardening sprint. The value of these additions is illustrated in two exemplar cases.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew Horizons in Design Science : Broadening the Research Agenda
EditorsBrian Donnellan, Debra VanderMeer, Jim Kenneally, Robert Winter, Marcus Rothenberger, Markus Helfert
Number of pages13
Place of PublicationCham
Publication date2015
ISBN (Print)9783319187136
ISBN (Electronic)9783319187143
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes
EventThe 10th International Conference on Design Science Research in Information Systems and Technology. DESRIST 2015 - Clontarf Castle, Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 20 May 201522 May 2015
Conference number: 10


ConferenceThe 10th International Conference on Design Science Research in Information Systems and Technology. DESRIST 2015
LocationClontarf Castle
Internet address
SeriesLecture Notes in Computer Science


  • Design science
  • Agile
  • Software development

Cite this

Conboy, K., Gleasure, R., & Cullina, E. (2015). Agile Design Science Research. In B. Donnellan, D. VanderMeer, J. Kenneally, R. Winter, M. Rothenberger, & M. Helfert (Eds.), New Horizons in Design Science: Broadening the Research Agenda (Vol. 9073, pp. 168-180). Cham: Springer. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, No. 9073