Software is a critical component of nearly every product or service. Improvements in software can lead to substantial competitive advantages. At the same time, software and surrounding engineering teams have become increasingly complex. The adoption of continuous engineering is a recent trend to radically improve software delivery speed. However, its adoption is far from straightforward. Specifically, rethinking processes, organizational culture, ways of working, and business models requires buy-in from a diverse set of stakeholders with often conflicting objectives. Such situations are explored by organizational conflict research. This paper reports lessons learned from an ongoing research project into continuous software engineering. We explore the adoption challenges from an organizational conflict perspective. We report catalysts, symptoms, and outcomes of hidden organizational conflicts hindering the adoption process. We conclude that predictable conflicts emerge when adopting continuous engineering. Engineers, managers, and other teams can proactively prepare for and allocate resources to resolve them. Organizations can see better benefits and team outcomes with fewer impediments caused by conflicts if they are analyzed and appropriately addressed.
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