Academy of Strategic Management Journal (Print ISSN: 1544-1458; Online ISSN: 1939-6104)


The Adoption of the Agile-Stage-Gate Model under Contextual Conditions of Startups

Author(s): Techawit Hirisatja, Panita Surachaikulwattana, Boonrat Lohwongwatana

One of the new product development methods that has been proved with empirical evidence of its effectiveness is the agile-stage-gate model. A lot of research presented positive outcomes of the implementation of the agile-stage-gate model in well-established firms, throughout the new product development cycle, particularly in the stages of creation of the business case, development, and testing of the new product. However, in the context of the technology-based startups that faces with contradictory pressure of flexibility and predictability and challenges of resource constraints and high uncertainty, the agile-stage-gate model adoption needs investigation. To understand the implementation process of the agile-stage-gate method in a startup setting, this research drew on a qualitative longitudinal case study of a successful technology-based startup company in Thailand. At this selected startup, there were both successful and unsuccessful team projects that used the agile-stage-gate method in their product development process. In this research, the focal units of analysis were these team projects. Multiple comparative case studies were conducted in order to understand actions underlying the successful implementation and thus develop the processual model of the agile-stage-gate method implementation in startups. Based on the findings, the results show the similarity and contrast in terms of the agile-stage-gate implementation in startups versus well-established firms with the additional newly presented of the perpetual balance checking and team alignment components to deal with the startup context. The proposed model, the dual-pressure balancing model for new product development in startup, enhances the practical implication and guidance for startups to use the agile-stage-gate model effectively.

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