Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 34 Number 3 2017 pp. 633-663

An Agile Methodology for the Disaster Recovery of Information Systems Under Catastrophic Scenarios

Baham, Corey, Hirschheim, Rudy, Calderon, Andres A, and Kisekka, Victoria


We explore the use of an agile methodology for improving the recovery of complex systems under catastrophic scenarios. Our adaptation of Kanban presents a novel, agile approach to overcoming the unique challenges that organizations face during disaster recovery. An action research study approach is employed to test the implementation of Kanban during a complex scenario at a large enterprise. The findings suggest that an adaptive and flexible methodology is required for an efficient disaster recovery in confronting unintended and cascading consequences. This research offers several contributions. First, to our knowledge, this is the first study to detail an approach for disaster recovery using an agile methodology. Second, this study uses a new combination of classic, canonical, and dialogical action research approaches to conduct the first empirical test of the effectiveness of an agile approach during an actual disaster recovery event. Third, in response to this Special Issue, the aforementioned research approach discusses the relationships between information systems researchers and research clients, demonstrating how action research can lead to improved organizational situations.

Key words and phrases: action research, agile project management, catastrophic scenario planning, IS disaster recovery, Kanban