Article

Multi-Level Agile Project Management Challenges: A Self-Organizing Team Perspective

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Abstract

Agile software development advocates self-organizing teams that display high levels of autonomy. Self-organizing agile teams are meant to share project management activities such as estimation, planning, and requirements elicitation with managers and customers. While prior literature has explored some individual management-related issues, little is known about how the high involvement of self-organizing agile teams influences everyday project management activities. Through a Grounded Theory study involving 21 agile practitioners across six software companies implementing scrum and XP, we identified a set of eight project management challenges as experienced by and as a result of self-organizing agile teams at multiple levels. These include delayed/changing requirements and eliciting senior management sponsorship at the project level; achieving cross-functionality and effective estimations at the team level; asserting autonomy and self-assignment at the individual level, and lack of acceptance criteria and dependencies at the task level. A mapping between the emergent challenges and standard project management activities is also presented. The article also shares practical implications and guidelines for agile teams, their managers, and customers for overcoming some of these challenges.

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... Such SP changes may have a negative impact on the team, e.g., additional effort may be required to re-plan the sprint, the sprint plan may become unreliable, or the team may lose the customers' trust (Rubin, 2012;Cohn, 2006). Nevertheless, the team might have a policy or norm that allows SP to be changed after the sprint plan is finalized (Hoda and Murugesan, 2016;Masood et al., 2022;Pasuksmit et al., 2021). Yet, it is unknown whether SP changes after sprint planning are common and their sizes are significant or not. ...
... Motivation: Grounded Theory studies pointed out that the practitioners may re-estimate the SP when the information is changed (Hoda and Murugesan, 2016;Bick et al., 2018;Masood et al., 2022). However, it is unclear whether this association is significant. ...
... The impact may be larger if the sprint plan is already be committed to the customer (Cohn, 2006) or the sprint execution is already commenced (Rubin, 2012). Some work items may be forced to complete within the sprint despite the increased SP (Hoda and Murugesan, 2016). Yet, such a practice may negatively impact the quality of code and software (Cohn, 2006). ...
Preprint
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Story Points (SP) are an effort unit that is used to represent the relative effort of a work item. In Agile software development, SP allows a devel- opment team to estimate their delivery capacity and facilitate the sprint plan- ning activities. Although Agile embraces changes, SP changes after the sprint planning may negatively impact the sprint plan. To minimize the impact, there is a need to better understand the SP changes and an automated approach to predict the SP changes. Hence, to better understand the SP changes, we examine the prevalence, accuracy, and impact of information changes on SP changes. Through the analyses based on 19,349 work items spread across seven open-source projects, we find that on average, 10% of the work items have SP changes. These work items typically have SP value increased by 58%-100% rel- ative to the initial SP value when they were assigned to a sprint. We also find that the unchanged SP reflect the development time better than the changed SP. Our qualitative analysis shows that the work items with changed SP of- ten have the information changes relating to updating the scope of work. Our empirical results suggest that SP and the scope of work should be reviewed prior or during sprint planning to achieve a reliable sprint plan. Yet, it could be a tedious task to review all work items in the product (or sprint) backlog. Therefore, we develop a classifier to predict whether a work item will have SP changes after being assigned to a sprint. Our classifier achieves an AUC of 0.69-0.8, which is significantly better than the baselines. Our results suggest that to better manage and prepare for the unreliability in SP estimation, the team can leverage our insights and the classifier during the sprint planning. To facilitate future studies, we provide the replication package and the datasets, which are available online.
... Every approach is different from the other and projects are also different; therefore, understanding the differences in the characteristics of project management approaches would help software companies select the most suitable approach. These characteristics may also differ at varying levels of project management such as company, project, team and individual levels of operations to address complexities at every stage [24]. ...
... This approach is plan-driven and is considered for those projects where requirements are well defined, and goals are very clear before starting the project [27]. Wysocki [24] stated that initial planning reduces project risk and uncertainty, improves efficiency and increases understanding between different stakeholders. In addition, initial planning is strictly followed and does not allow changes even if further changes are made to project requirements [25]. ...
... It has been more than two decades that companies have been shifting from traditional (waterfall, RAD, spiral) to more flexible approaches [24,31]. Agile software development is a well-recognized and accepted approach for developing and managing software. ...
Conference Paper
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Project management sets the foundation of software development and is considered a critical area as it has a direct relationship with project success. In recent years, project management has rapidly evolved into a more structured and sophisticated methodology which is vital not only to meet the growing stakeholder expectations and technology improvements but also a mandatory requirement for the software industry to achieve competitive advantage and maintain business survival. Software project management approaches have evolved from traditional to agile to global with a shift in their inherent characteristics at different levels of operations and this shift poses a challenge for companies in choosing the appropriate approach based on their project needs. Current literature lacks attention in understanding the evolutionary characteristics of the varying project management approaches at the different operational levels. This study investigates the project management approaches at the individual, project, team and company levels to examine how these approaches vary in terms of characteristics in traditional, agile, and global software development contexts. Improved understanding of the evolution of project management approaches and their underlying characteristics will enable project management professionals and software developers to make appropriate decisions to achieve project success. Keywords-Project management, software project management. IT project management, evolution of project management, multilevel project management, levels of project management
... Motivation: Prior studies reported that effort may be reestimated when the information is changed [5,23]. However, in Agile, the information can be conveyed through various channels, e.g., documentation, in-person, discussion threads [3,19,46]. ...
... A description of a function to be developed can be documented in a lower-level backlog item like a development task [34]. The documentation we consider can be recorded on a physical paper or in a task management system (e.g., JIRA) [19,23,24,31,41]. We do not refer the documentation to textual descriptions related to source code (e.g., code comments) [12,52], software development process [11], user manuals, and informal communication (e.g., discussion thread, chat) [19,46]. ...
... We asked how often the respondent re-estimates a task when the documented information was changed in comparison to the information from other sources [3,19,46]. We also considered whether the information was changed before or after the work had started as this may be a factor that influences a decision of reestimation [23,37,50]. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Effort estimation is an integral part of activities planning in Agile iterative development. An Agile team estimates the effort of a task based on the available information which is usually conveyed through documentation. However, as documentation has a lower priority in Agile, little is known about how documentation effort can be optimized while achieving accurate estimation. Hence, to help practitioners achieve just-enough documentation for effort estimation, we investigated the different types of documented information that practitioners considered useful for effort estimation. We conducted a survey study with 121 Agile practitioners across 25 countries. Our survey results showed that (1) despite the lower priority of documentation in Agile practices, 98% of the respondents considered documented information moderately to extremely important when estimating effort, (2) 73% of them reported that they would re-estimate a task when the documented information was changed, and (3) functional requirements, user stories, definition of done, UI wireframes, acceptance criteria, and task dependencies were ranked as the most useful types of documented information for effort estimation. Nevertheless, many respondents reported that these useful types of documented information were occasionally changing or missing. Based on our study results, we provide recommendations for agile practitioners on how effort estimation can be improved by focusing on just-enough documentation.
... Similarly, agile methods such as Scrum and Extreme Programming embed the value of respect, which refers to the development team's right to receive authority and responsibility over their work. Agile teams tend to apply this empowerment and autonomy through self-organization, self-management, and self-assignment, theoretically essential features of agile teams [19]. Agile team members have the freedom to self-assign tasks to themselves. ...
... On the contrary, in agile software development, teams have the freedom to choose their own tasks, theoretically enabling self-assignment, a key practice of agile software development [7], [19]. However, in practice, task allocation in agile teams happens through different strategies: managerdriven, team-driven, manager-assisted, team-assisted, or individual-driven [25]. ...
... In practice, developers consider different factors when they self-assign tasks [26], [27]. It gets challenging when team members regularly pick easier tasks or tasks outside their expertise [19]. Team members need to balance between the freedom of choice with responsibility to sustain autonomy [20], [29]. ...
Preprint
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Self-assignment, where software developers choose their own tasks, is a common practice in agile teams. However, it is not known why developers select certain tasks. It is important for managers to be aware of these reasons to ensure sustainable self-assignment practices. We investigated developers' preferences while they are choosing tasks for themselves. We collected data from 42 participants working in 25 different software companies. We applied Grounded Theory procedures to study and analyse factors for self-assigning tasks, which we grouped into three categories: task-based, developer-based, and opinion-based. We found that developers have individual preferences and not all factors are important to every developer. Managers share some common and varying perspectives around the identified factors. Most managers want developers to give higher priority to certain factors. Developers often need to balance between task priority and their own individual preferences, and managers facilitate this through a variety of strategies. More risk-averse managers encourage expertise-based self-assignment to ensure tasks are completed quickly. Managers who are risk-balancing encourage developers to choose tasks that provide learning opportunities only when there is little risk of delays or reduced quality. Finally, growth-seeking managers regularly encourage team members to pick tasks outside their comfort zone to encourage growth opportunities. Our findings will help managers to understand what developers consider when self-assigning tasks and help them empower their teams to practice self-assignment in a sustainable manner.
... It is challenging to achieve an accurate estimation. The estimated Story Points may be changed to keep reflecting the work item [4,8,12]. However, the change of Story Points after the sprint was planned may cause a waste of effort in sprint planning. ...
... Hence, the original sprint plan may be invalidated and more effort is required to re-plan the sprint [20, p.70]. Otherwise, some work items may be forced to complete within the original timeline despite the increased effort [12]. ...
... Yet, such approaches rely on the available information, which is usually conveyed through documentation [? ]. Indeed, a recent study found that the information that is available during the estimation (e.g., acceptance criteria) may be incomplete or inadequate [12]. Additionally, several studies also pointed out that the documented information often has quality issues, i.e., incorrect, incomplete, outdated, and changing [1,12,15,28]. ...
... 10.1 Working energetically and demonstrating ambition is especially beneficial for performance outcomes in SMTs. 10.2 Pursuing self-development is beneficial for performance behaviors and outcomes as well as for affective and health outcomes in SMTs self-managing organizations (Andrés et al., 2015;Banai et al., 2000;Duimering & Robinson, 2007;Hoda & Murugesan, 2016;Hoda et al., 2012). In contrast, blaming individual team members who made decisions with the intent of solving a conflict, instead of taking responsibility as a team, impeded constructive conflict management (Yazid et al., 2018). ...
... Mediated by felt safety, learning goal orientation predicted moderately higher leadership emergence. Furthermore, lack of team member interest in engaging in tasks outside one's specialization area threatened cross-functionality and team performance (Hoda & Murugesan, 2016). Research on this topic is in general still sparse, though findings regarding agility and organizational learning have suggested that individual behaviors to pursue self-development are important as well (Sherehiy & Karwowski, 2014). ...
... Relationship orientation variance may be beneficial because the team is diverse enough to regulate itself regarding task-and relationship focus, without entering into disputes due to too great differences. Diversity of expert skills and functional backgrounds was relevant for SMT and organizational performance in several studies, confirming the claim for cross-functional teams in agile work environments (e.g., Cohen et al., 1996;Hoda & Murugesan, 2016;Wageman, 1997). Depending on the type and amount of diversity, as well as its context, therefore, team diversity can either benefit or hinder SMT performance. ...
Article
Full-text available
Self-managing teams are popular but they can only benefit team performance if their members are competent to navigate within self-managing systems. Based on a systematic literature search on self-managing, self-directing, and self-leading teams, we reviewed 84 studies related to KSAOs and traits in self-managing teams. Grounded on existing models of team effectiveness and individual KSAOs, we integrated all findings into one KSAO model and showed the relations of single KSAOs with team performance. The results resembled other KSAO frameworks but were more comprehensive and provided practical application and future research guidance, for example, studying team compositions of individual KSAOs.
... However, in agile projects, the people element has had a dynamic and complex structure, which requires a continuously evolving solution, regardless of the project leadership's socio -cultural, gender and personality factors. With a rise in the migration to agile project methodologies in a globally transitioning business world (Saruchera, 2021), this study joins the ongoing discussions on agile project leadership (e.g., Hoda & Murugesan, 2016;Almeida & Simões, 2021;Sithambaram et al., 2021). The study, however, takes a self -reflection stance in proposing a framework for continuous personal development in key leadership competence necessary for effective agile project leadership. ...
... Various other researchers have profiled elements such as application of appropriate project leadership styles (De Poel et al., 2014;Yang et al., 2011); dynamic project team leadership (De Poel et al., 2014;Hoda & Murugesan, 2016;Natvig & Stark, 2016); stress and conflict management (Berg & Karlsen, 2013;Du Plessis, 2014;Moradi et al., 2020); and the management of organizational dynamics and politics (Bruch & Ghoshal, 2003;Ferris et al., 1999;Martin et al., 2005;Highsmith, 2009;Abbasi & Ruf, 2020). ...
... The ultimate goal for effective project teams is to achieve the intended project objectives for the benefit of the project stakeholders. However, team composition is the most fundamental aspect for teams in projects, given that project teams are often faced with time constraints (Byrd & Luthy, 2010;Hoda & Murugesan, 2016). As a result, team size, diversity, and personality are critical in project team development. ...
Chapter
The agile revolution and increasing cross-functionality nature of project teams imply an increasing need for effective and results-orientated project leadership. Irrespective of one's role in a project, there is a need for self-examination and self-reflection regarding how members relate during the various phases of project implementation. This chapter focuses on a theoretical review of the various elements necessary for effective agile project leadership. Through a synthesis of both old and more recent literature, the chapter identifies and conceptualizes ten determinant factors of effective agile project leadership and proposes a self-reflection framework for each of the ten project leadership competency areas. The chapter concludes by proposing a personal agile project leadership development plan (PAPLDP) template with an agility component that can be adopted for improvement and growth. This chapter challenges project managers and/or project team leaders to define their own value-based leadership competence and continuously reflect, evaluate, and improve themselves.
... Agile practices recently received significant attention in the literature on project management [1], [2], [3], especially because they allow firms to flexibly react to environmental changes and reduce overall time-to-market [4], [5]. Agile practices are usually conducted by small, autonomous project teams [6] that work in iterative planning and execution cycles and regularly present minimum viable products [2]. In general, agile practices stand out due to their strong focus on customer value. ...
... Previous studies suggest that agile practices positively relate to performance outcomes [8], [9], [10]. Compared to traditional project management practices, agile practices (e.g., Scrum) count on a team's internal collaboration rather than the plan-driven execution of tasks given by the project manager [6], [11]. In particular, agile practices promote teams' internal collaboration processes, which could be a decisive driver of agile projects' success [12]. ...
... Yet, empirical evidence on agile practices' consequences for a project team's collaboration processes is still limited [2], [13]. Previous research used qualitative approaches (e.g., case studies or grounded theory methodology) and considered only one or a few agile software teams [6], [14], [15]. One exception is Lindsjørn et al. [16], who investigated teamwork quality (TWQ) in agile software teams and showed that TWQ positively relates to team performance, confirming findings in other teamwork studies [17], [18], [19]. ...
Article
Seit über 15 Jahren untersucht das Forschungsteam MPM im Rahmen der MPM-Benchmarking-Studien Erfolgsfaktoren und Best Practices im Multiprojektmanagement (MPM). Fokus der 9. MPM-Studie 2020 mit über 120 Unternehmen war die Fragestellung, wie Unternehmen ihr Projektportfolio effektiv an Veränderungen anpassen und langfristig erfolgreich ausrichten können. Die Ergebnisse zeigen, dass Triple-A PPM – die integrierte Verbindung agiler, adaptiver und ambidexterer Fähigkeiten – auf strategischer, kultureller und prozessualer Ebene eine nachhaltig erfolgreiche Ausrichtung ermöglicht. Dies beinhaltet eine regelmäßige Strategieüberprüfung, Mitarbeiterstärkung und effiziente Entscheidungsprozesse – organisationale Kompetenzen, die durch Promotoren gefördert werden. Klassische Erfolgsfaktoren, wie die Einzelprojektreife, Strategieklarheit und Prozessformalisierung, bleiben weiterhin wichtig und bilden die Basis für ein erfolgreiches Portfolio.
... Agile practices recently received significant attention in the literature on project management [1], [2], [3], especially because they allow firms to flexibly react to environmental changes and reduce overall time-to-market [4], [5]. Agile practices are usually conducted by small, autonomous project teams [6] that work in iterative planning and execution cycles and regularly present minimum viable products [2]. In general, agile practices stand out due to their strong focus on customer value. ...
... Previous studies suggest that agile practices positively relate to performance outcomes [8], [9], [10]. Compared to traditional project management practices, agile practices (e.g., Scrum) count on a team's internal collaboration rather than the plan-driven execution of tasks given by the project manager [6], [11]. In particular, agile practices promote teams' internal collaboration processes, which could be a decisive driver of agile projects' success [12]. ...
... Yet, empirical evidence on agile practices' consequences for a project team's collaboration processes is still limited [2], [13]. Previous research used qualitative approaches (e.g., case studies or grounded theory methodology) and considered only one or a few agile software teams [6], [14], [15]. One exception is Lindsjørn et al. [16], who investigated teamwork quality (TWQ) in agile software teams and showed that TWQ positively relates to team performance, confirming findings in other teamwork studies [17], [18], [19]. ...
Article
Agile practices present one approach for firms to adapt to an increasingly dynamic and competitive environment. Although prior studies have investigated performance outcomes of agile projects, agile practices’ consequences on a project team's collaborative processes have not yet been thoroughly analyzed. It also remains unclear whether practices on a higher organizational level, such as project portfolio management (PPM), support or constrain agile practices’ benefits, especially if a firm simultaneously conducts traditionally managed and agile projects. Therefore, this article investigates the role of agile practices for a project's teamwork quality (TWQ) and project success and examines the influence of organizational contingencies. Specifically, we conceptually and empirically analyze the moderating impact of PPM practices on the relationship between agile practices, TWQ, and project success. A multi-informant analysis of 378 projects nested in 100 portfolios shows that agile practices positively relate to project success through TWQ. We find that traditional PPM practices such as business case existence, strategic clarity, and operational control constrain this relationship. Our article contributes to the literature on project teams and portfolio management by providing empirical insights on the interaction between project and portfolio management practices.
... Motivation: Prior studies reported that effort may be reestimated when the information is changed [5,23]. However, in Agile, the information can be conveyed through various channels, e.g., documentation, in-person, discussion threads [3,19,46]. ...
... A description of a function to be developed can be documented in a lower-level backlog item like a development task [34]. The documentation we consider can be recorded on a physical paper or in a task management system (e.g., JIRA) [19,23,24,31,41]. We do not refer the documentation to textual descriptions related to source code (e.g., code comments) [12,52], software development process [11], user manuals, and informal communication (e.g., discussion thread, chat) [19,46]. ...
... We asked how often the respondent re-estimates a task when the documented information was changed in comparison to the information from other sources [3,19,46]. We also considered whether the information was changed before or after the work had started as this may be a factor that influences a decision of reestimation [23,37,50]. ...
... The last two decades have seen an ongoing expansion of agile practices from the software industry to many industries [1][2][3][4][5][6]. Originating as an approach to making software teams more flexible and responsive to change [7][8][9][10], agile practices are now adopted at many public and private sector organizations beyond the software sector [11][12][13]. As the pandemic unfolds and digital innovations continuously disrupt ever more industries, replacing product-based with service-based business models, organizations of all kinds are increasingly required to adopt new digital ways of working [13,14]. ...
... Prior research has largely focused on agile adoption within product-developing software teams [2,4,[8][9][10]15], with scant attention to the influence of customers thereon. This is an important oversight because customers can compromise agile adoption, particularly in commissioned software projects that are common in the IT service sector [10,[19][20][21]. ...
... Unlike in conventional product development, commissioned software teams need to align their work practices to the customer, who typically prefers fixed bid contracts with the upfront-specified budget, scope, and time -which contradicts the iterative and incremental nature of agile practices [10,[22][23][24]. Although agile practices emphasize self-organization and customer collaboration [7][8][9][10], we lack a deep understanding of how commissioned software teams selforganize and collaborate with customers during agile adoption. Hence, we ask: How do customers influence agile adoption within commissioned software teams? ...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the ongoing expansion of agile practices beyond software firms, agile adoption remains risky, challenging, and poorly understood. Although agile practices emphasize self-organization and customer collaboration, we know little about how customers influence agile adoption within self-organizing teams. Here, we analyze how a commissioned software team engaged in customer collaboration during agile adoption at a Danish IT service provider. Our case study shows that the software team's transition to self-organized teamwork practices, agile planning routines, and active customer engagement was mutually dependent on the customer's trust in the software team and flexible collaborative routines. As a result, we advance a theoretical perspective of customer influence on agile adoption within commissioned software teams, implying that both software teams and customers need to navigate a contradictory tension between self-organization and collaboration to become agile together.
... Request permissions from permissions@acm.org. the team has made a reasonable commitment, the team analyzes the documented information to estimate effort (e.g., story points) for each work item and selects the work items to work in the sprint [19,35,38,44]. Hence, planning the sprint based on stable and reliable documented information would enable the team to achieve reliable sprint planning [8,44]. ...
... Based on the Agile manifesto that comprehensive documentation has lower priority than working software [14], it is possible that the team may not foster adequate or up-to-date information in documentation when it is needed for effort estimation and sprint planning [19,25,38,51]. Indeed, a recent survey reported that most of the participated agile developers considered that documented information is important when estimating effort and reestimation would be performed when the documented information was changed [38]. ...
... A recent survey study also reported that 97% of the participated agile developers used documentation to assist effort estimation and considered that documented information is moderately to extremely important when estimating effort [38]. However, due to the nature of agile, the documented information may be changed even after effort estimation is finalized (i.e., after the sprint planning is finished) [19,35] and re-estimation is often performed when the documented information is changed [38]. Intuitively, the documentation change could indicate that the work item is not stable [5], which might lead to a misunderstanding during effort estimation and sprint planning. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In agile iterative development, an agile team needs to analyze documented information for effort estimation and sprint planning. While documentation can be changed, the documentation changes after sprint planning may invalidate the estimated effort and sprint plan. Hence, to help the team be aware of the potential documentation changes, we developed DocWarn to estimate the probability that a work item will have documentation changes. We developed three variations of DocWarn, which are based on the characteristics extracted from the work items (DocWarn-C), the natural language text (DocWarn-T), and both inputs (DocWarn-H). Based on nine open-source projects that work in sprints and actively maintain documentation, DocWarn can predict the documentation changes with an average AUC of 0.75 and an average F1-Score of 0.36, which are significantly higher than the baselines. We also found that the most influential characteristics of a work item for determining the future documentation changes are the past tendency of the developers and the length of description text. Based on the qualitative assessment, we found that 40%-68% of the correctly predicted documentation changes were related to scope modification. With the prediction of DocWarn, the team will be better aware of the potential documentation changes during sprint planning, allowing the team to manage the uncertainty and reduce the risk of unreliable effort estimation and sprint planning.
... However, agile project teams advocate selforganising teams displaying high levels of autonomy, but Several challenges emerge when these self-organising teams closely work with routinized activities of projects such as estimation, planning and elicitation (Venkatesh et al. 2020). Several benefits are offered by the agile projects including faster deployments, adaptability and best fit alignment with the firm's and customer needs, but still the adoption and implementation of these projects is challenging (Hoda and Murugesan 2016;Sjödin et al. 2020). ...
... Generally, the agile manifesto is not properly understood and practices were conducted without understanding the real purpose (Sithambaram et al. 2021). There are challenges of coordination among the team members which restricts to implement agile projects (Hoda and Murugesan 2016). In context to requirements engineering, agile projects may need to be extended to accommodate additional testing activities. ...
Article
Full-text available
Globally, COVID-19 pandemic has affected more than 214 countries across the world, creating uncertainty and affecting every institution and individual. The organisations recognise the need of agile projects that may offer several benefits including faster deployments, adaptability and best fit alignment to fulfill the customer needs. Implementing agile projects is the key to survive in the post pandemic situation, but emerging economies have limited scope for implementation. The present study determines the critical factors that restricts implementation of agile projects in emerging economies. The critical factors are identified from literature and validated by experts. The validated critical factors are further assessed to identify the cause-and-effect relationship using Fuzzy Decision-Making Trial and Laboratory (F-DEMATEL) method. The results of the study posit ‘Skepticism towards the new way of working’ is the most significant causal factor affecting other factors. This study is an attempt to help project managers to consider the significant factors for agile project implementation in post pandemic situation. The project managers may be benefitted from this study by considering these factors to manage challenges for agile project implementation in emerging economies. This study contributes to assess the influencing and the influenced challenging factors for agile project implementation.
... In GSD projects, low involvement of remotely located client, incomplete or poorly specified requirements and indirect communication between offshore developers and onsite customers usually result into misinterpreted requirements which often lead to confusion and rework [1,12]. Single communication link between onshore and offshore teams sometimes causes communication bottleneck [1]. ...
... Insufficient competence transfer, process, culture, and language training for vendor team can induce rework [1]. Impractical deadlines force offshore members to finish work without focusing on quality [12]. It results in burnt out of offshore team members, high attrition rate of offshore members, reduced productivity and loss of tacit knowledge [1,13]. ...
... Agile software development approaches are currently used widely in co-located, distributed, and large-scale systems development projects (Stavru, 2014;Version One, 2019), and more recently in fully virtual projects due to the Covid-19 pandemic (da Camara et al., 2020;Handke et al., 2020). Within these environments agile development optimally occurs in self-organising teams that are autonomous, crossfunctional, and self-improving (Hoda and Murugesan, 2016). Newcomers to any software development environment face challenges in becoming fully integrated and productive team members. ...
... . It is perhaps not surprising that self-study is encouraged in a university setting, but self-improvement is also present in successful agile teams (Hoda and Murugesan, 2016). This might be contentious in other settings, but it was a technique noted by Buchan et al. (2019) ...
Article
Context: A stable team is deemed optimal for agile software development project success; however, all teams change membership over time. Newcomers joining an agile project team must rapidly assimilate into the organisational and project environment. They must do this while learning how to contribute effectively and without seriously interrupting project progress. Objective: This paper addresses how newcomers integrate into an established agile project team and how agile practices assist with onboarding. Method: A single, qualitative case study approach was used, investigating a co-located agile project team in a large IT department who regularly onboard inexperienced newcomers. Analysis was abductive, consisting of inductive coding and theming using categories from an existing onboarding theory. Results: We describe the team's onboarding practices and adjustments and present an agile onboarding model that encompasses onboarding activities, individual adjustments, and workplace adjustments. Conclusions: A mixture of general and specific agile onboarding practices contribute to successful onboarding in an agile team. We provide practical guidelines to improve onboarding practice in agile teams. Our major new contribution is an extended model of onboarding for agile teams.
... We challenge the assumption that centralized control is harmful to agile projects (Vidgen and Wang, 2009). In the debate on agility, direct external intervention infers the autonomy of an innovation team and thus impedes the team's ability to be self-organizing (Hoda and Murugesan, 2016). However, our results indicate a positive relationship between top management's interactive control and innovation project performance regardless of the chosen project management method. ...
... This, in turn, is directly related to the development of individual creativity needed for innovation (Moulang, 2015). The existence of significant moderation effects of agility for diagnostic control and boundary systems also contradicts the critical opinion of direct external interventions (Hoda and Murugesan, 2016). The moderating effect indicates that the use of both controls is conducive to innovation projects. ...
Article
Full-text available
Recent developments indicate a fast-growing relevance of the agile project methodology in innovation. Besides the benefits, agile projects also pose several challenges. Organizations need to come up with an answer to cope with the inherent risks of agile projects. The adaption of management control mechanisms is key to foster the benefits of agile. However, the ongoing debate on the benefits of control systems for innovation and the harm of control systems for achieving agility creates a nexus. Further research on how to adapt existing mechanisms is required to obtain a better understanding and provide guidance for organizations. Building on Simon's levers-of-control (LOC), this study specifies the consequences of different control levers applied by top managers on the outcome of innovation projects considering the respective project agility and the agility of the projects' environment. We follow the calls of existing research on the nexus of control and agility and adumbrate which control levers can positively influence the outcome of agile and non-agile innovation projects. Using survey data of 316 project managers and product owners across different industries, this study reveals that the impact of control on innovation project performance depends on the design of control systems and the emphasis on different control levers used by top managers. Furthermore, the findings reveal a moderation effect of agility in this context. The combination of the LOC and agile project management for innovation projects contributes to the literature on innovation management, project management, and management control.
... Effective time management is essential, especially in a business sector characterised high in time demand (Allen, 2005;Dahm et al., 2015;Hila et al., 2017). Sectors high in time demand, such as the event management sector, are often identifiable by their use of deadlines and task dependency (completion of one task is needed for another to begin) (Allen, 2005;Hoda & Murugesan, 2016). The applicability of the time management environment (TiME) scale has only been tested on non-time-demanding sectors such as aircraft maintenance facilities, ...
... The more time-dependent the tasks the more important the efficacy of time management (Akthar, 2016;Burt et al., 2010;Kaufman et al., 1991). Jobs high in time demand are often identifiable by the use of strict and continuous deadlines or high in task dependency, where one task's commencement depends on the completion of the other (Hoda & Murugesan, 2016). organisation and allocating this scarce resource. ...
... Les méthodes adoptées se traduisent dans bien des cas comme de nouveaux modes de fonctionnement. Ainsi, le fait de ne pas appliquer tous les principes dictés dans un référentiel peut engendrer des dysfonctionnements lorsque plusieurs équipes doivent collaborer (Hoda & Murugesan, 2016a). D'autre part, les pratiques véhiculées dans les différentes méthodes peuvent engendrer des difficultés de compréhension. ...
Thesis
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Cette thèse a pour objectif d’expliquer la manière dont les grandes organisations généralisent les méthodes agiles à l’ensemble de leurs projets SI. Compte tenu des potentiels bénéfices à la clé, la tendance n’est plus d’expérimenter ce mode de fonctionnement mais plutôt de le généraliser à tous les projets. Or, la généralisation requiert des efforts importants en raison du fait que les méthodes agiles génèrent plusieurs changements au niveau des rôles, des processus et de la culture. Dans cette optique, nous nous sommes appuyées sur un design de recherche qualitatif reposant sur une analyse processuelle de quatre études de cas complexes. Nous parvenons ainsi à identifier les ingrédients favorisant des dynamiques de généralisation planifiées et émergentes
... This can be explained in light of the negative effects which are produced by an excess of team autonomy on the employees' willingness to monitor each other and to cooperate to achieve better organizational performance (Langfred, 2004). The challenges which are triggered by the assignment of a greater freedom to team membersincluding the desire of employees to assert and maintain their autonomy and the decreased willingness to accept interdependencies related to the accomplishment of individual tasks (Hoda and Murugesan, 2016) are thought to lead to ambiguous relationships between team autonomy and organizational climate (Li et al., 2017). From this standpoint, the indirect implications of team autonomy on work engagement should be contextualized to the degree of interdependency among individual tasks and to the level of empowerment perceived by employees, which has been argued to deeply affect organizational dynamics and performance (Langfred, 2005;Maynard et al., 2012). ...
Article
Purpose. Team autonomy involves empowering employees to achieve a greater control over organizational dynamics. Such an empowerment may augment the employees’ vigour, dedication, and absorption at work. However, there is limited evidence on the contents of the relationship between team autonomy and work engagement. The article fills in this gap, shedding light on the manifold implications of team autonomy on employees’ work engagement. Methodology. A serial mediation analysis was designed to collect evidence on the effects of team autonomy on employees’ work engagement. Drawing on Self-Determination Theory, Social Comparison Theory, and Social Facilitation Theory, team member-supervisor exchanges and organizational climate were contemplated in the analysis as mediating variables. An Ordinary Least Square regression-based model relying on 5,000 bootstrap samples was implemented. The study focused on a large sample of Europeans employed in the manufacturing sector (n = 4,588). Findings. Team autonomy had tiny, but statistically significant effects on employees’ work engagement. Better relationships between team members and supervisors positively mediated the effects of team autonomy on work engagement. Conversely, the organizational climate did not have a significant mediating role. Nevertheless, a statistically significant serial mediation effect linked team autonomy and work engagement via team member-supervisor exchanges and organizational climate. Practical implications. Team autonomy contributes to increase the employees’ vigour, dedication, and absorption at work. The enhancement of team member-supervisor relationships fosters the work engagement of team members who experience a greater team at work. The effects of team autonomy on organizational climate are ambiguous and mediated by an improvement of the relationships between team members and supervisors. Originality/value. The article originally investigates the implications of team autonomy on work engagement, emphasizing the importance of social exchanges at work to realize the full potential of team autonomy.
... Self-organizing teams face permanently new challenges in performing day-to-day project management activities [24]. One of the challenges of agility is to effectively measure team performance. ...
Article
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The current changes in the business environment, which are accompa-nied by strong technological developments, have led to the acceleration of change and the constant need to adapt to the market. At present, companies have to cope with a number of changes, both in terms of the implementation of new technolo-gies, changes in the content and scope of work of employees and in the overall approach to management. An agile approach to leadership and the creation of self-managed teams is a trend that has gained in popularity in recent years. Many researches already point to the fact that agile teams increase the flexibility of the organization and contribute to higher employee satisfaction with work. However, the transition from the classic rigid approach to employee management to agile is challenging and many organizations approach it only cautiously. The main goal of the study was to analyze the level of implementation of self-organized teams and the level of employee participation in planning their work tasks in Slovak companies and to examine the differences based on the size of the organization. When collecting data, we focused on 50 companies while obtaining information from the HR department on employee management. We found out that up to 74% of Slovak companies do not plan to implement agile principles within their teams. An interesting fact is that more SMEs than large companies are interested in this trend. Survey has also shown that only 8% organizations enable employees to plan tasks independently. Especially in large companies, scheduling tasks with a supervisor is very important. Slovakia, as an industrial country, is significantly affected by technological changes, but the adaptation of technologies without ap-propriate changes in management may not lead to the expected results in the con-text of future competitiveness.
... Also, the proposed framework is validated through a questionnaire. In [28], Hoda et al. have suggested a framework for multi-level project management to achieve the "self-organized team" principle. The framework levels are (task-individual-team-project) and represent the role involved at each level. ...
Article
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Recently, most software projects became naturally Distributed Agile Development (DAD) projects. The main benefits of DAD projects are cost-saving and being close to markets due to their distributed nature, such as in large-scale Scrum (LeSS). Developing LeSS projects leads to the emergence of challenges in risk management, especially the team collaboration challenges, where there is no standardized process for teams to communicate collaboratively. Team collaboration and the knowledge sharing is a vital resource for a large Scrum team's success. Hence, finding a dynamic technique that facilitates team collaboration in the LeSS environment is necessary. This paper proposes a risk management framework for LeSS using outer metadata requests. The proposed framework manages the outer requests amongst the distributed team. Therefore, it avoids missing team collaboration, risks, and threats to project completion. It also contributes to exchanging team skills and experience. The proposed framework is evaluated by applying it to two different case studies for large-scale Scrum projects. The evaluation results are given. The evaluation proved the effectiveness of the proposed framework. Keywords-Distributed agile development; knowledge sharing; risk management; large scale scrum; metadata outer request management
... Task to member allocation decision can control cost, time, and quality concerns of software projects [6]. Task allocation is performed based on the ability and availability; that decision is taken by the project manager or Scrum master [7]. Task allocation becomes a more critical activity due to limited understanding of the factors that affect the consequences of task allocation. ...
Article
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Distributed agile software development is implemented to tackle the increasing competition and changing requirements of the software industry. It inspires the development of emergent software applications and supports user satisfaction with fast delivery to market at low cost. Distributed software development presents a complex distributed team structure of the software industry having various workplaces. Distributed agile software development requires effective and well-organized decisions during task allocation. Task allocation is a challenging activity across the spectrum of committed software developers in a distributed environment. Effective task allocation under the pressure of achieving project objectives is a complex management problem in distributed agile software development. Task allocation process is proposed to support effective task allocation in distributed agile software development. Firstly, we identify different aspects of the task allocation context to explore the basic requirements of decision-making in DASD. Based on the information related to the identified aspects, different types of process activities are defined; those should be fulfilled to support the task allocation decisions. Task allocation process during software project planning requires comprehensive information about various factors that influence decision-making. The proposed task allocation process is evaluated based on the process activities. None of the current state-of-the-art research works focus on an approach for task allocation that completely fulfills all activities related to high-level processes or low-level processes. We fill this gap by identifying, classifying, sequencing, and proposing these activities that can be used to realize a methodical approach for a generic task allocation process in a distributed agile software development setup.
... Application of a multi-agent approach to the allocation of human resources [7][8][9] is aimed at solving problems when planning several projects with limited resources in conditions of uncertainty [10]. ...
Conference Paper
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The implementation of projects in a multi-project environment imposes additional restrictions on human resource management processes. In order to monitor the provision of human resources to projects in a multi-project environment, a method for analyzing the involvement of human resources in a portfolio of projects is proposed, which is based on the use of a logical-combinatorial approach. The use of positional diagrams allows you to analyze the distribution of resources between portfolio projects and determine the degree of involvement of performers in the project. Metrics that are used in the analysis of a project portfolio have been determined. They are involvement of stakeholders in the project portfolio; involvement of stakeholders in the project; interest of stakeholders in project management; interest of stakeholders in human resource management of the project; stakeholder loyalty indicator. Since various stakeholders are involved in the implementation of a portfolio of projects, when ensuring the redistribution of resources in the portfolio, it is necessary to take into account the level of involvement of resources in the projects of certain stakeholders. A method for the analysis of stakeholder-oriented resource redistribution is proposed, which allows taking into account the interests of stakeholders and identifying a potential conflict in the redistribution of project portfolio resources.
... This conceptual model is built around the same set of virtual work characteristics and remote work challenges in the context of the fully remote agile software development team. Agile software development teams are self-organized and several studies have addressed issues and challenges around the same (Hoda et al., 2013;Hoda & Murugesan, 2016). The proposed conceptual model also examines how coordination is impacted around the features of selforganized agile teams like autonomy and effective communication. ...
Article
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Coordination is an important facet of agile software development and is widely used by self-organizing agile teams. While agile manifesto emphasizes face-to-face conversation in co-located setup however post the Covid-19 pandemic, IT companies have adopted remote working as new normal and agile teams have become fully remote agile teams from co-located and distributed agile teams. The current study builds a conceptual model around coordination effectiveness by examining challenges such as work from home interference, procrastination, and ineffective communication among team members working in fully remote agile software development teams
... Self-organizing teams face permanently new challenges in performing day-to-day project management activities [24]. One of the challenges of agility is to effectively measure team performance. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
The current changes in the business environment, which are accompanied by strong technological developments, have led to the acceleration of change and the constant need to adapt to the market. At present, companies have to cope with a number of changes, both in terms of the implementation of new technologies , changes in the content and scope of work of employees and in the overall approach to management. An agile approach to leadership and the creation of self-managed teams is a trend that has gained in popularity in recent years. Many researches already point to the fact that agile teams increase the flexibility of the organization and contribute to higher employee satisfaction with work. However, the transition from the classic rigid approach to employee management to agile is challenging and many organizations approach it only cautiously. The main goal of the study was to analyze the level of implementation of self-organized teams and the level of employee participation in planning their work tasks in Slovak companies and to examine the differences based on the size of the organization. When collecting data, we focused on 50 companies while obtaining information from the HR department on employee management. We found out that up to 74% of Slovak companies do not plan to implement agile principles within their teams. An interesting fact is that more SMEs than large companies are interested in this trend. Survey has also shown that only 8% organizations enable employees to plan tasks independently. Especially in large companies, scheduling tasks with a supervisor is very important. Slovakia, as an industrial country, is significantly affected by technological changes, but the adaptation of technologies without appropriate changes in management may not lead to the expected results in the context of future competitiveness.
... A broader geographic setting, and the utilisation of additional methods of data collection, to attain comprehensive findings was further proposed. A study by Hoda and Murugesan (2016) identified eight agile software PMgmt challenges advocating self-organising teams. Further analysis on mitigation strategies were suggested. ...
Article
The demand for success in agile projects requires serious attention in addressing its issues and challenges, besides merely implementing suitable agile methods. A comprehensive number of factors have been discussed in the literature, but it does not reflect the crucial challenges confronted by the Information Technology industry. This study utilises a Grounded Theory approach, to capture 38 unique issues and challenges faced by 42 participating industry practitioners, through several rounds of interviews. The issues and challenges, simplified as factors, were grouped into Organisation, People, Process and Technical categories. The proposed mitigation methods were also captured, and mapped into a framework, to be used as a guide to manage agile-hybrid projects. Most factors were related to the process and people categories. Key issues were in the areas of executive support, misalignment of agile methods with the business objectives, deficient understanding of agile principles, lack of teamwork and inadequate skillset of the project stakeholders.
... And third, we provide valuable theoretical as well as practical insights by showing how team autonomy and trust relate to work engagement and performance of agile teams. organizing teams with high levels of autonomy [1,9]. With the increased use of teams in software development, there is a growing recognition of factors that influence the performance of teams in this context. ...
Chapter
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To have engaged and high-performing agile teams are what most organizations strive for. At the same time, there is little research on the drivers of team work engagement in the software context. Team autonomy and trust are crucial for agile teams and are suggested as potential boosters of team work engagement and performance. In this study, we apply the Job Demands-Resources model to examine the role of autonomy and trust and their impact on work engagement and team performance in agile teams. We analyze quantitative survey data from 236 team members in 43 agile teams to examine how team autonomy and trust relate to team work engagement and how engagement mediates the relationship between these factors and performance. Our results show that while both autonomy and trust are positively related to team work engagement, team trust plays a more critical role than team autonomy. Teams with high team trust showed higher engagement, which enhanced team performance. Our results highlight the importance of social factors such as trust in creating conditions for high performance in agile teams through its effect on team work engagement.
... Agile project teams aim to be self-directing (i.e. self-organizing or autonomous) rather than directed and coordinated by a designated leader (Hoda and Murugesan 2016), and leadership tends to be shared among the team members (Moe et al. 2009b). Rather than relying on a leader, agile teams evaluate and plan changes to their performance in retrospective sessions, self-assign tasks based on a prioritized product backlog, and synchronize and combine individual contributions using software tools and task boards (Project Management Institute and Agile Alliance 2017). ...
Article
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Teamwork is crucial in software development, particularly in agile development teams which are cross-functional and where team members work intensively together to develop a cohesive software solution. Effective teamwork is not easy; prior studies indicate challenges with communication, learning, prioritization, and leadership. Nevertheless, there is much advice available for teams, from agile methods, practitioner literature, and general studies on teamwork to a growing body of empirical studies on teamwork in the specific context of agile software development. This article presents the agile teamwork effectiveness model (ATEM) for colocated agile development teams. The model is based on evidence from focus groups, case studies, and multi-vocal literature and is a revision of a general team effectiveness model. Our model of agile teamwork effectiveness is composed of shared leadership, team orientation, redundancy, adaptability, and peer feedback. Coordinating mechanisms are needed to facilitate these components. The coordinating mechanisms are shared mental models, communication, and mutual trust. We critically examine the model and discuss extensions for very small, multi-team, distributed, and safety-critical development contexts. The model is intended for researchers, team members, coaches, and leaders in the agile community.
... Since when managing projects in a multi-project environment, the requirements for the resources included in the multi-project pool may differ depending on the specifics of the project and the tasks to be solved, it is advisable to consider them as heterogeneous resources. Amol Singh [15], F. Li, Z. Xu, H. Li [16], R. Hoda, L. K. Murugesan [17], W. Song, H. Xi, D. Kang, J. Zhang [18] note the need to take into account the environment of the project when choosing a centralized or decentralized scenario to sustainability management. ...
Article
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The paper examines the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on human resource management processes in project-oriented companies. It is proposed to use formal transformations on groups of performers. The use of formal transformations will reduce the influence of the subjective factor and improve the quality of sustainability management decisions made when forming a project team. The formalization of the selection process of applicants and the distribution of work among the performers have been considered. The existing methods of forming a project team with functional redundancy are approximate. Methodological support for the process of forming a project team with functional redundancy, based on a logical-combinatorial approach, and allowing to form project teams under given constraints, is proposed. A method of forming a functionally redundant project team based on formal transformations of groups of performers has been developed. The use of the apparatus of symbolic sequences for the formation of a project team with functional redundancy is proposed. An example of using the proposed method when forming a command with functional redundancy is considered. It is shown that the use of this methodological support makes it possible to select the composition of the project team with the minimum number and the minimum value of the characteristic.
... The team's formation in multiproject environment leads to the need to ensure a balance between the resources of projects included in the resource pool of a multiproject environment [17][18][19][20]. ...
Conference Paper
The issues of applying the combinatorial approach in the formation of project teams are considered. A model of the team formation process based on the combinatorial approach to modelling of the formation and functioning of teams has been built.
... e adoption of large-scale implementation of software project may cause project management challenges [51] despite of issues the adoption rate of agile at large scale is increasing rapidly [52,53]. e survey on management of software development projects is conducted in Oslo, Norway, March 2015. ...
Article
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Agile software development has large success rate due to its benefits and promising nature but natively where the size of the project is small. Requirement engineering (RE) is crucial as in each software development life cycle, “Requirements” play a vital role. Though agile provides values to customer’s business needs, changing requirement, and interaction, we also have to face impediments in agile, many of which are related to requirement challenges. This article aims to find out the challenges being faced during requirement engineering of agile projects. Many research studies have been conducted on requirement challenges which are somehow biased, no suggestions are given to improve the agile development process, and the research does not highlight large-scale agile development challenges. Hence, this article covers all the challenges discussed above and presents a comprehensive overview of agile models from requirement engineering perspective. The findings and results can be very helpful for software industry to improve development process as well as for researchers who want to work further in this direction.
... The use of flexible project management methodologies has led to the need to solve a number of tasks caused by the self-organization of teams [4][5]: ...
Article
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A synthesis of literature studies covering the determinants of agile project management methods, risk management processes as well as factors influencing the shaping of project success and failure clearly indicates that in most publications on risk in agile managed projects, the human factor is heavily underestimated at the expense of often excessive favoring of procedures. Meanwhile, after analyzing the risk factors that arise in agile-managed IT projects, it became apparent that in addition to aspects such as technology, hardware, system, or even project schedule and cost, the project team is highlighted, which is also the second concept with the GPM P5 Standard for Sustainability in Project Management. Thus, the purpose of this article is to develop a model for risk management in IT projects. As a result of the empirical research carried out by means of an expert interview (108 experts) and a questionnaire survey (123 respondents), a risk management model was developed and six original risk management areas were identified, describing 73.92% of all risk factors that may occur during the implementation of an IT project. Furthermore, empirical studies confirm that basic processes such as risk factor identification, impact assessment, and key risk factor management are used by managers and/or team leaders during the implementation of IT projects.
Article
The correct allocation of human resources is of utmost importance for any kind of enterprise and organization. Many approaches have been defined so far to support team formation leveraging on different techniques, from knowledge engineering to operational research and computational intelligence. Unfortunately, these approaches are often specifically thought for large organizations owning the right set of technological assets and human resources able to manage and use these approaches. In this work, we propose an original approach to team formation, namely the KnowMIS-Team approach, specifically designed for knowledge-intensive small and medium enterprises. This is a lightweight hybrid approach that combines three different techniques: a knowledge-driven technique for finding the most competent team for a given project based on a lightweight semantic model of knowledge, skills and attitudes; a top-down, leader-selected approach wherein the competent members selected in the previous phase can propose their candidate teams; a bottom-up fuzzy consensus-based mechanism in which the employees of the organization can express their preferences on the candidate teams. A conceptual architecture of an intelligent system implementing the approach is also presented. The KnowMIS-Team approach is the overall result of many years of experience in team formation and management for a research center and embeds all the best practices therein adopted, and it has been experimented in the same center and in other university spin-offs for many years, contributing to the realization of successful projects.
Article
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Internet of Things (IoT) projects are special kind of Research and Development (R&D) projects. Team agility plays an important role in determining the agility of IoT project organizations. Thus the paper aims to evaluate the team agility level of IoT projects using multi-grade fuzzy and Importance Performance Analysis (IPA).The team agility index is computed using multi-grade fuzzy for the case IoT project is 7.63 which is between the ranges (6-8) which specifies as ‘Highly Agile’. The IPA is applied to identify the weaker attributes to improve the team agility of case IoT project. The framework can be used on a periodic basis to help IoT project managers to improve continuously their team agility level.
Preprint
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ABSTRACT Human resources play a vital role in software project success. Competent human resources selection is a crucial success factor for an organization. Decisions of human resource allocation are generally made according to the project manager's understanding and intuition. However, as software projects become more complex there in a growing need for methods that assist decision-makers for the best possible deployment of human resources. Several techniques have been proposed for human resource allocation in consideration of reducing project duration and project cost. In this paper, we have conducted a Systematic Literature Review to describe the current techniques and algorithms proposed for human resource allocation. Total of 23 studies were selected as the primary study that underwent SLR. We have observed that the in HR allocation techniques were implemented through mathematical modelling and metaheuristic algorithms. Genetic Algorithm and Fuzzy linguistic which is type of metaheuristic is most used algorithms for HR allocation technique implementation and linear, dynamic, and integer programming are most used technique from mathematical modelling approaches. For evaluation of SLR results, an empirical survey has been conducted for data collection from the Pakistan-based software organizations. Findings of our survey demonstrate that positive communication, training and workshops, use of automated tools, room for everyone's point of view, and top management support are critical best practices. We believe that the results of our research work will guide practitioners to solve their issues regarding HR allocation. Identified best practices will help them to improve their process of team building. Based on findings of SLR and survey we proposed HR Allocation model to help practitioners in team building.
Chapter
GitHub is the most common code hosting and repository service for open-source software (OSS) projects. Thanks to the great variety of features, researchers benefit from GitHub to solve a wide range of OSS development challenges. In this context, the authors thought that was important to conduct a literature review on studies that used GitHub data. To reach these studies, they conducted this literature review based on a GitHub dataset source study instead of a keyword-based search in digital libraries. Since GHTorrent is the most widely known GitHub dataset according to the literature, they considered the studies that cite this dataset for the systematic literature review. In this study, they reviewed the selected 172 studies according to some criteria that used the dataset as a data source. They classified them within the scope of OSS development challenges thanks to the information they extract from the metadata of studies. They put forward some issues about the dataset and they offered the focused and attention-grabbing fields and open challenges that we encourage the researchers to study on them.
Chapter
GitHub is the most common code hosting and repository service for open-source software (OSS) projects. Thanks to the great variety of features, researchers benefit from GitHub to solve a wide range of OSS development challenges. In this context, the authors thought that was important to conduct a literature review on studies that used GitHub data. To reach these studies, they conducted this literature review based on a GitHub dataset source study instead of a keyword-based search in digital libraries. Since GHTorrent is the most widely known GitHub dataset according to the literature, they considered the studies that cite this dataset for the systematic literature review. In this study, they reviewed the selected 172 studies according to some criteria that used the dataset as a data source. They classified them within the scope of OSS development challenges thanks to the information they extract from the metadata of studies. They put forward some issues about the dataset and they offered the focused and attention-grabbing fields and open challenges that we encourage the researchers to study on them.
Article
Purpose Software process tailoring (SPT) plays a critical role in contemporary software development. Because SPT determines how a software project proceeds, its effectiveness should be investigated. Specifically, SPT is a collaborative yet highly conflictual process, and the existing literature has paid little or no attention to how team members coordinate and to how power distance (PD) influences coordination under this conflictual situation for the purpose of fostering SPT effectiveness. Design/methodology/approach A propositional research method is utilized by reviewing the extant literature regarding SPT, team coordination and PD. Accordingly, several propositions are developed to theorize the contributive and moderating effects of team coordinative capabilities and PD on SPT effectiveness. Findings This study advances the understanding of the underlying mechanisms of the four distinct coordination capabilities in performing SPT, which will help software firms comprehend the moderating effects of PD on the relationships among coordinative capabilities and SPT effectiveness. Originality/value This study extends coordination theory and reveals four coordination capabilities that nurture SPT effectiveness. Moreover, this study demonstrates how power plays a role in the coordination of a team through the collaborative yet divergent SPT decision process to yield an integrative tailoring solution. In particular, we take a fresh viewpoint of PD considering the member-member relationship in exploring its moderating effects in the SPT context.
Conference Paper
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The survival and development of society depend on one-time processes, ie projects, as unrepeatable processes aimed at achieving the goal, as opposed to routine jobs, which are repeated and process-oriented. Every day it is more and more evident that project management grows into a completely independent, unique and very popular profession. The constant development of methods, techniques and tools and the improvement of achievements in the field of project management makes this discipline recognizable and independent. Significant specific features that characterize some projects, especially software development projects, have conditioned the need to create new approaches, procedures or methodologies. Traditional approaches are not suitable, primarily because development projects are most often started without firm and unchanging specifications and because frequent changes are required, which also requires a different and more flexible approach. Accordingly, the paper will present SCRUM as an approach to agile methodology, which facilitates strategic project management and enables more efficient and effective improvement of organizational agility in a complex business environment.
Thesis
In the context of the fourth industrial revolution, many large established organizations and enterprises are conducting an agile transformation. The agile culture requires autonomous teams for the sustainable adoption of agile approaches and methods. Building on personal and professional responsibility chains rather than on hierarchy, this autonomy mindset has a huge impact on required governance structures affecting in particular accountability and quality management. Established agile frameworks, like SAFe® or Scrum, do not address the challenges related to reorganizing compliance structures accordingly.This doctoral thesis proposes the EFIS framework as a novel holistic approach to complementing existing agile frameworks. EFIS builds on loosely coupled building blocks that facilitate agile adoption. At the very heart of them is systematic team empowerment to foster product-specific mastery of teams that ultimately leads to team autonomy through the assumption of responsibility as part of shared responsibility. EFIS’ key building blocks for team empowerment for both responsible collaboration and technical mastery are agile Team Work Quality (aTWQ) and Technical Team Maturity (TTM). The Product Quality Risk (PQR) building block supports teams in systematically focusing on product risks. This is complemented by Level of Done (LoD) helping them to integrate spe-cifically regulation and governance requirements.In order to leverage its fast adoption and scaling on a large enterprise level, the thesis proposes the Self-Service Kit (SSK) approach as a fundamental part of EFIS that by itself fosters autonomy and asynchrony with knowledge scaling. Teams act as prosumers, most time they consume the offered SSK’s. However, some individuals or teams develop new knowledge during their product-specific work. As a kind of mastery, they can share this by extending or building SSK’s.By design, the EFIS framework works like a flywheel for agile trans-formation: teams grow in their maturity and mastery, mastery leads to autonomy, autonomy leads to self-responsible decisions and actions, actions lead to insights, and insights lead to learnings that can be scaled and make other teams more mature. EFIS’ building blocks are systematically provided to teams for example based on regular aTWQ team maturity evaluation, which forms an integral part of the agile transition facilitation and governance process of the company’s IT. EFIS is also modular and open to integrating domain- and technology-specific elements and build-ing blocks to adapt to the product teams’ demands.Using a methodological approach that combines Design Science with Action Research, the entire EFIS framework has been developed, deployed, and validated in different legal entities and business domains of a German automotive OEM over the last five years. At this stage, it has become an instrument for the company’s agile transition towards a more nimble enterprise.
Chapter
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The influence of culture on the behavior of organizations is already unquestionable today. However, researchers are still trying to identify the relationships between culture and business behavior, as well as to differentiate countries based on cultural specificities. Many of the models and theories used are constantly criticized, especially in terms of methodological as well as lack of data or the unsustainability of the model in terms of time. In our research, unlike other research in the field of culture, we follow on Hajal's model, a line that culturally divides Europe into two parts. Hajnal line is based on data from the pre-industrial era, while in our research we are based on data for 2017. In the research, we tested 31 European countries, using secondary data of the European innovation index, human development (HDI) and GDP per capita. Using cluster analysis and correlation analysis, we have come to conclusions that highlight the importance of examining the Hajnal line today and highlight the similarities that manifest themselves not only from an anthropological point of view but also from a corporate point of view.
Thesis
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La presente investigación doctoral se centra en la exploración y relevamiento de los diversos estilos de gestión observables en PyMEs del sector software de Argentina, a fin de profundizar la comprensión de aquellos que se basan en dinámicas más participativas, democratizadas u horizontalizadas; esto es, con una mayor distribución del poder para la toma de decisiones. El objetivo general consistió en indagar sobre la potencialidad de las configuraciones organizacionales con esquemas decisorios más horizontales, participativos o democráticos para lograr un funcionamiento estable y eficaz. Dicho objetivo pudo alcanzarse sobre la base de dos pilares investigativos: la revisión documental de una amplia gama de fuentes disciplinares (provenientes de la Administración, la Economía y la Ciencia Política), y un trabajo de campo en el que se entrevistaron interlocutores competentes de 17 organizaciones de la industria del software en Argentina. Como primer resultado, se configuró un esquema teórico lógicamente integrado, del que se deriva una explicación para la viabilidad y sustentabilidad temporal observadas en configuraciones organizacionales con gestión horizontal. En segundo término, a partir del trabajo de campo —de naturaleza mixta— se obtuvo información cualitativa codificable que, mediante su transformación hacia categorías ordinales, proporcionó el insumo necesario para la construcción de una escala sumatoria, estadísticamente validada, que provee referencias mensurables para el concepto de “horizontalidad de la gestión”. Con ello, fue posible mapear a las empresas argentinas de software relevadas en el espacio biaxial “Propiedad (Plano Laboral) – Gestión”, lo que a su vez develó una constelación de cinco perfiles de horizontalidad que ilustraron los rasgos de gestión más representativos que los diversos dominios decisorios de las organizaciones estudiadas presentaron. Finalmente, como resultado de este análisis, fue posible discernir que la cooperativa de trabajo y la horizontalidad de la gestión son nociones entrelazadas, aunque no necesariamente equivalentes; al respecto pueden darse casos cuyo esquema de gestión se encuentre lo suficientemente próximo a las configuraciones tradicionales como para generar desde una perspectiva teórica una dinámica de “disonancia cooperativa”. Palabras clave: gestión, horizontalidad, democracia económica, industria del software. This doctoral research focuses on the exploration and survey of the diverse management styles observable in Argentine SMEs within the software industry, in order to deepen the understanding of those styles which are based on more participatory, democratized or horizontalized dynamics; that is, with a greater distribution of decision-making power. The general objective centers on the examination of the potential displayed by organizational configurations with more horizontal, participatory or democratic decision-making schemes —for the Argentine software sector—, in order to achieve a stable and efficient functioning. This objective could be achieved on the basis of two investigative pillars: the documentary review, encompassing a wide range of disciplinary sources (Management, Economics and Political Science), and a field research in which interviews to prominent members from 17 Argentine software organizations were conducted. As a first result, a logically integrated theoretical scheme was obtained, from which a robust explanation for the viability and temporal sustainability observed in organizational configurations with horizontal management is derived. Secondly, from a mixed-nature field work, codifiable qualitative information was obtained, which —through its transformation into ordinal categories— dispensed the necessary input for the construction of a statistically validated summation scale that provides measurable references for the concept of “management horizontality”. Thereof, it was possible to map the surveyed Argentine software companies into the biaxial space "Property (Labor Viewpoint) - Management", which in turn revealed a constellation of five horizontality profiles. These profiles illustrated the most representative management traits present on the various decision-making domains belonging to the studied organizations. Finally, as a derivation of this analysis, it was possible to discern that worker cooperative and management horizontality are intertwined, though not (necessarily) equivalent, notions. In this regard, there may be cases where the management scheme is close enough to the traditional configurations, so as to generate —at least theoretically— a dynamics of “cooperative dissonance”. Keywords: management, horizontality, economic democracy, software industry.
Chapter
With projects becoming more complex and multifaceted than before, there arises a need for agile efficient project management. This chapter seeks to define project management efficiency. The chapter explores the five variables that influence project management efficiency. It also delves into the importance of project management efficiency. Finally, the chapter breaks down the challenges to project management efficiency and gives solutions to counter the challenges. The variables explained in this chapter are project scope, cost, time, resources, and quality. As evidenced here, each variable has a role in enhancing efficiency in managing projects. The benefits of efficiently managed projects examined are quality control, customer satisfaction, risk identification and evaluation, consistent communication, and on-schedule project delivery. The challenges expounded in the chapter are inadequate skillset, undefined goals, impossible deadlines, scope creep, resource deprivation, and poor communication.
Chapter
Rapidly increasing of requirements of business pushed researchers to define new approaches and methodologies to meet marketing needs. Agile methodology has been created and replaced the traditional-driven development methods that focus on soliciting, documenting a complete set of requirements, and take a long time comparing to market change. On the other hand, customers need to be closer to the development process and collaborate with team development. Despite agile advantages, introducing new tools, coordination, and collaboration concepts, some challenges still need to be discussed and improved. These challenges relate to achieve balanced IT service development process in the organization. As a result, new trends have been created to facilitate new changes in software development. This chapter will study agile methodologies and different challenges with suggested solutions generated from agile philosophy itself.
Article
Scrum, recognized today as the most popular agile development methodology, has been used in a wide range of settings and for varying purposes, in-and outside of the traditional software development context. The use of Scrum in non-traditional settings and for different needs led to a considerable corpus of academic literature that investigates, presents, and discusses modifications to the original method, aimed to make it fit such novel forms of application. Based on a large-scale review of extant literature, this study systematically analyses why and how Scrum was reportedly modified in different instances and contributes with a synthesis that can serve as a basis for a more systematic approach to future research and practice. We explicate nine common modification objectives for change (e.g., attaining high performance, non-standard contexts, distributed development) mapped against seven generic modification strategies (e.g., method guidance, new procedures, or artifacts). Building on our extensive literature analysis we highlight research gaps and identify promising areas for future research.
Article
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The importance of communication for the successful development of new projects, particularly within the R&D laboratory setting, has been well documented. Yet researchers have seldom examined the relationship between patterns of communication and cross-functional cooperation in the development and management of new programs. In this article Mary Beth and Jeffrey Pinto report on the results of a research study that assessed the relationship of two aspects of project team communication (formal versus informal modes and reason for communication) with the level of cross-functional cooperation actually achieved within a hospital project team charged with developing a new program. A total of 262 team members were surveyed from 72 hospital project teams. The results demonstrated that high cooperation teams differed from low cooperation teams both in terms of their increased use of informal methods for communication as well as their reasons for communicating. Finally, cross-functional cooperation was found to be a strong predictor of certain project outcomes.
Article
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Self-organizing teams have been recognized and studied in various forms-as autonomous groups in socio-technical systems, enablers of organizational theories, agents of knowledge management, and as examples of complex-adaptive systems. Over the last decade, self-organizing teams have taken center stage in software engineering when they were incorporated as a hallmark of Agile methods. Despite the long and rich history of self-organizing teams and their recent popularity with Agile methods, there has been little research on the topic within software wngineering. Particularly, there is a dearth of research on how Agile teams organize themselves in practice. Through a Grounded Theory research involving 58 Agile practitioners from 23 software organizations in New Zealand and India over a period of four years, we identified informal, implicit, transient, and spontaneous roles that make Agile teams self-organizing. These roles-Mentor, Coordinator, Translator, Champion, Promoter, and Terminator-are focused toward providing initial guidance and encouraging continued adherence to Agile methods, effectively managing customer expectations and coordinating customer collaboration, securing and sustaining senior management support, and identifying and removing team members threatening the self-organizing ability of the team. Understanding these roles will help software development teams and their managers better comprehend and execute their roles and responsibilities as a self-organizing team.
Article
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Abstract This thesis reports on research performed over a ten-year period, interviewing project teams, par- ticipating directly on projects, and reviewing proposals and case studies. The research addressed three questions relating to people and software development methodologies (Q1through Q3), and produced six results (R1through,R6). Q1. Do we need yet another software development methodology, or can we expect a conver-
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Small to medium enterprises (SMEs) make a key contribution to the economy in terms of employment, innovation and growth. Project management can play a significant role in facilitating this contribution, but SMEs require less bureaucratic forms of project management than those used by larger, traditional organizations. We are undertaking this research to identify the nature of project management required by SMEs, and the results of the qualitative stage of our research are reported in this paper. We interviewed people from companies of the three sizes of SME, micro, small and medium, from a range of industries and from four countries. SMEs use project management both to manage operations, to deliver tailored or bespoke products to customers, and manage innovation and growth. We found similar project management approaches used for both purposes. The main differences occurred by size of company and country. Both Ireland and Sweden looked for more laissez-faire management styles, while people in Austria and Romania were willing to accept more autocratic styles. People in Sweden wanted more structure than people in Ireland. Also laissez-faire styles of management were more appropriate in micro and small companies, whereas more democratic or autocratic styles were needed in medium-sized companies. All three sizes of company wanted less bureaucratic versions of project management than traditional forms, but medium-sized companies, where people fulfil more specialist roles, need more structure than small and micro companies.
Article
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In this article, we address the following research questions:(1)What is project autonomy, how can it be measured, and how much autonomy is given in NPD projects?(2)Does project autonomy increase with project innovativeness?(3)Is project autonomy positively related to success of NPD projects?(4)Does the positive relationship between project autonomy and project success increase with innovativeness of NDP projects?Theses hypotheses are tested using a sample of 104 highly innovative NPD projects, gathered in the first wave of the research project INNOVATION COMPASS. The results show that instruments which are advocated in the mainstream innovation and venture management literature are more frequently used with increasing innovativeness. However, they do not increase success of NPD projects, even not for highly innovative ones. Instruments derived from the organizational behavior tradition are not used more often with increasing innovativeness, but they do significantly improve NPD project success, particularly for very innovative ones. We conclude: Firms should not easily follow fashions, which are derived from prominent case studies. Rather, they should also take into account possible negative consequences of the recommendations. Researchers should lay more stress in discussing and empirically analyzing negative effects of popular recommendations.
Article
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Ever since the agile manifesto was created in 2001, the research community has devoted a great deal of attention to agile software development. This article examines publications and citations to illustrate how the research on agile has progressed in the 10 years following the articulation of the manifesto. Specifically, we delineate the conceptual structure underlying agile scholarship by performing an analysis of authors who have made notable contributions to the field. Further, we summarize prior research and introduce contributions in this special issue on agile software development. We conclude by discussing directions for future research and urging agile researchers to embrace a theory-based approach in their scholarship.
Article
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Software Engineering researchers are constantly looking to improve the quantity and quality of their research findings through the use of an appropriate research methodology. Over the last decade, there has been a sustained increase in the number of researchers exploring the human and social aspects of Software Engineering, many of whom have used Grounded Theory. We have used Grounded Theory as a qualitative research method to study 40 Agile practitioners across 16 software organizations in New Zealand and India and explore how these Agile teams self-organize. We use our study to demonstrate the application of Grounded Theory to Software Engineering. In doing so, we present (a) a detailed description of the Grounded Theory methodology in general and its application in our research in particular; (b) discuss the major challenges we encountered while performing Grounded Theory’s various activities and our strategies for overcoming these challenges; and (c) we present a sample of our data and results to illustrate the artifacts and outcomes of Grounded Theory research. KeywordsEmpirical research–Software engineering–Grounded theory–Agile software development–Self-organizing
Conference Paper
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As both distributed software development (DSD) and agile development practices become more popular, the problem of task coordination in an agile DSD environment becomes more pertinent. Even though task allocation has been a subject of study for many years, the team dynamics in an agile DSD environment makes the nature of task coordination distinctly different from that in other disciplines. This paper proposes a solution to the problem of remote task allocation and coordination in an agile DSD environment. It combines current practices in software project management, such as object-oriented process modeling and critical-path analysis, and methodologies from other fields, such as workflow management and management science. It also describes NextMove, a Java/Eclipse-based distributed tool that would assist project managers in making day-to-day task allocation decisions, increasing transparency throughout the project, as well as complementing other modes of communication in a DSD environment
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The basic work unit in innovative software organizations is the team rather than the individual. Such teams consist of "a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, set of performance goals, and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable". Work teams have many advantages, such as increased productivity, innovation, and employee satisfaction. However, their implementation doesn't always result in organizational success. It isn't enough to put individuals together and expect that they'll automatically know how to work effectively as a team. Lack of redundancy and conflict between team and individual autonomy are key issues when transforming from traditional command-and-control management to collaborative self-managing teams.
Article
Full-text available
The importance of communication for the successful development of new projects, particularly within the R&D laboratory setting, has been well documented. Yet researchers have seldom examined the relationship between patterns of communication and cross-functional cooperation in the development and management of new programs. In this article Mary Beth and Jeffrey Pinto report on the results of a research study that assessed the relationship of two aspects of project team communication (formal versus informal modes and reason for communication) with the level of cross-functional cooperation actually achieved within a hospital project team charged with developing a new program. A total of 262 team members were surveyed from 72 hospital project teams. The results demonstrated that high cooperation teams differed from low cooperation teams both in terms of their increased use of informal methods for communication as well as their reasons for communicating. Finally, cross-functional cooperation was found to be a strong predictor of certain project outcomes.
Conference Paper
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Self-organizing Agile teams need a supportive environment to emerge and flourish. Through a Grounded Theory study of 58 Agile practitioners across 23 different software organizations in New Zealand and India, we found that senior management support is a critical environmental factor influencing self-organizing Agile teams. We describe the influence of senior management, and show how their support can create and sustain a supportive environment for self-organizing Agile teams.
Conference Paper
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The scrum software development process has recently gained much popularity as an agile method primarily focusing on project management. Scrum has been derived as a set of principles of good management of software projects, from experienced practitioners. In this paper, we discuss the elements of Scrum in relation to a proposed theory of the "big five" components for effectiveness in small teams. We also discuss the theory of scrum in relation to these components, and in relation to a case study of a start-up Scrum team.
Conference Paper
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The need for organizational learning support is common among all software development companies but is not addressed by agile software methods practitioners. The typical Experience Factory approach to address organizational learning in software companies often stresses structured and explicit knowledge as well as controlled learning mechanisms. In contrast, the Communities of Practice approach relies more on tacit knowledge and self-organization. To bridge the gap between these two conflicting approaches, this paper proposes a suite of lightweight knowledge sharing tools by which software organizations are given the flexibility to control how structured and controlled their learning processes are. Initial results from early evaluations of the proposed tools are also given.
Article
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Traditional organizations with heavy internal competition, rigid functional silos and undue compartmentalization exhibit sub-optimal performance by inhibiting critical knowledge flows. Cross-functional teaming attempts to solve this problem by building organizational connections across functional silos. However, merely bringing members of formerly isolated departments together produces only marginal increases in performance. Any synergistic collaboration is likely to arise serendipitously and unpredictably. We propose a systematic approach for combining the principles of knowledge management and cross-functional teaming in ways that purposefully enhance knowledge flows and result in significant improvements in organizational performance as measured by cost, time and quality.
Conference Paper
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Evangelists for Agile methods strongly encourage all projects to follow every practice of their chosen method. Based on a Grounded Theory study involving 40 participants at 16 organizations, and corroborated by 4 independent case studies, we argue that development methods and practices must be adapted to fit their contexts. Understanding Agility in context will help development teams, their managers, and Agile coaches to adapt development processes to fit their projects' contexts.
Article
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The initial definition of XP resulted in many people interpreting the on-site customer to be a single person. We have conducted extensive qualitative research studying XP teams, and one of our research questions was “who is the customer”? We found that, rather than a single person, a customer team always exists. In this paper we outline the different roles that were typically on the team, which range from the recognized “Acceptance Tester” role to the less recognized roles of “Political Advisor” and “Super-Secretary”. ©2009 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from the IEEE.
Article
Agile software development is designed to achieve collaborative software development. A supporting pillar of collaboration is effective coordination, which is necessary to manage dependencies in projects. Understanding the dependencies arising in agile software development projects can help practitioners choose appropriate coordinative practices from the large number of practices provided by the various agile methods. To achieve this understanding, this article analyses dependencies in three typical cases of co-located agile software development and presents the dependencies as a taxonomy with decision rules for allocating dependencies into categories. Findings show that knowledge, process, and resource dependencies are present, with knowledge dependencies predominant. In addition, there are agile practices with a coordinative function that address multiple dependencies in these agile software development projects. These practices would be a good choice for coordinating a project and supporting collaboration in agile software projects.
Article
Facilitating change is more effective than attempting to prevent it. Learn to trust in your ability to respond to unpredictable events; it's more important than trusting in your ability to plan for disaster. In the past 12–18 months, a wide range of publications—Software Development, IEEE Software, Cutter IT Journal, Software Testing and Quality Engineering, and even The Economist—has published articles on what Martin Fowler calls the New Methodology (see www.martinfowler.com/articles/newMethodology.html), reflecting a growing interest in these new approaches to software development (Extreme Programming, Crystal Methodologies, SCRUM, Adaptive Software Development, Feature-Driven Development and Dynamic Systems Development Methodology among them). In addition to these "named" methodologies, scores of organizations have developed their own "lighter" approach to building software. Formation of the Agile Alliance On February 11–13, 2001, at The Lodge at Snowbird ski resort in the Wasatch mountains of Utah, 17 people met to talk, ski, relax and try to find common ground. What emerged was the Agile Software Development Alliance. A bigger gathering of organizational anarchists would be hard to find, so what emerged from this meeting was symbolic—a Manifesto for Agile Software Development—signed by all participants. Although the Manifesto provides some specifics, a deeper theme drives many Alliance members. At the close of the two-day meeting, Extreme Programming mentor Bob Martin joked that he was about to make a "mushy" statement. Though tinged with humor, Bob's sentiments were shared by the group—we all enjoyed working with people who shared compatible goals and values based on mutual trust and respect, promoting collaborative, people-focused organizational models, and building the types of professional communities in which we would want to work. The agile methodology movement is not anti-methodology; in fact, many of us want to restore credibility to the word. We also want to restore a balance: We embrace modeling, but not merely to file some diagram in a dusty corporate repository. We embrace documentation, but not to waste reams of paper in never-maintained and rarely-used tomes. We plan, but recognize the limits of planning in a turbulent environment. Those who brand proponents of XP, SCRUM or any of the other agile methodologies as "hackers" are ignorant of both the methodologies and the original definition of the term (a "hacker" was first defined as a programmer who enjoys solving complex programming problems, rather than someone who practices ad hoc development or destruction).
Article
Context Practitioners and researchers often claim that agile methods have moved into the mainstream for the last few years. To support this claim they refer to recent industrial surveys which tend to report high rates of agile method usage. However many of these industrial surveys are conducted by agile consultants, tool vendors, professional societies and independent technology and market research organizations. This raises some important concerns about the possible conflict of interest and the overall trustworthiness of these studies. Objective In response to the above concerns, a secondary study was carried out. Its objective was to examine industrial surveys published in 2011 and 2012, determine the extent to which we could trust their reported high rates of agile method usage and provide recommendations on how quality of research could be imporved in the future. Method Following a rigorous search procedure, nine industrial surveys on agile method usage published in 2011 and 2012 were extracted from both academia and industry. Their thoroughness in reporting and trustworthiness were evaluated using a newly proposed assessment framework based on Guba's four attributes of trustworthiness (truth value, applicability, consistency and neutrality) and a number of methods for assessing survey research in related fields as information, communication and management studies. Results The careful examination of the reviewed surveys shows that most of the studies have insufficient thoroughness in reporting and (subsequently) low trustworthiness. Only one (out of nine) study is considered as a scientific contribution in determining the current 2011/2012 rate of agile method usage. Conclusions The obtained results support our initial considerations about the trustworthiness of recent industrial surveys on agile method usage and suggest a number of recommendations for increasing the quality and value of future survey research in this regard.
Article
Agile software development provides a way to organise the complex task of multi-participant software development while accommodating constant project change. Agile software development is well accepted in the practitioner community but there is little understanding of how such projects achieve effective coordination, which is known to be critical in successful software projects. A theoretical model of coordination in the agile software development context is presented based on empirical data from three cases of co-located agile software development. Many practices in these projects act as coordination mechanisms, which together form a coordination strategy. Coordination strategy in this context has three components: synchronisation, structure, and boundary spanning. Coordination effectiveness has two components: implicit and explicit. The theoretical model of coordination in agile software development projects proposes that an agile coordination strategy increases coordination effectiveness. This model has application for practitioners who want to select appropriate practices from agile methods to ensure they achieve coordination coverage in their project. For the field of information systems development, this theory contributes to knowledge of coordination and coordination effectiveness in the context of agile software development.
Article
Grounded Theory is still regarded with skepticism as a research methodology by many academics so this paper has been specifically constructed using recent research to illustrate the rigour of the Grounded Theory Methodology. An investigation into 'best practice amongst European Project Managers used the Grounded Theory Methodology to analyse interview data. This paper reports on that practical application of the Grounded Theory Methodology and contributes to the growing literature on the use of Grounded Theory as a research methodology. The three individual data analysis methods of Open-Coding, Constant Comparison, and Memorising are shown in operation and can be seen producing the findings. These findings are then operated on with the Grounded Theory method of Theoretical Coding and some deeply influential conclusions come out of this data analysis. The whole Grounded Theory methodology can be seen in operation and the concepts and categories can be seen emerging from the data. The contribution to the discipline of computing will be published elsewhere in technical journals but the research method is the main aim of this paper in this conference.
Article
The book, The Mythical Man-Month, Addison-Wesley, 1975 (excerpted in Datamation, December 1974), gathers some of the published data about software engineering and mixes it with the assertion of a lot of personal opinions. In this presentation, the author will list some of the assertions and invite dispute or support from the audience. This is intended as a public discussion of the published book, not a regular paper.
Article
In response to increased complexity of work tasks, flatter organizational structures, and changing environmental conditions, organizational work teams must increasingly coordinate efforts across their boundaries and actively manage key relationships external to the team itself. Despite evidence of the importance of these processes—referred to as team boundary spanning—for both team and organizational success, significant gaps exist in our understanding of the nature of team boundary spanning, how and when these behaviors are carried out by teams, and the resulting impacts of team boundary spanning beyond that of enhanced team performance. Therefore, this article seeks to advance knowledge in this area by offering a taxonomy of team boundary spanning actions, reviewing the existing stream of team boundary spanning literature across multiple levels of analysis, and integrating this body of work with findings and perspectives from other boundary spanning research areas so as to stimulate fruitful avenues for future research.
Article
PRAISE FOR MANAGING AGILE PROJECTS"In the hands of another, this class of material could become incoherent, but Sanjiv has enough intellectual power to ground his subject...Fans of APM and those who prefer new ideas as a catalyst for their management approach should find Managing Agile Projects rewarding."Wes Balakian, Chairman and Executive Advisor, PMI eBusiness SIG"I only wish I had read this book when I started my career in software product management, or even better yet, when I was given my first project to manage. In addition to providing an excellent handbook for managing with agile software development methodologies, Managing Agile Projects offers a guide to more effective project management in many business settings."John P. Barnes, former Vice President of Product Management at Emergis, Inc."The agile software development movement evolved from a half-dozen methodologies-Scrum, Adaptive, XP, Crystal-that while different, embodied a consistent set of values and similar practices. The agile project management movement is following the same path-strength through a blend of consistency and diversity. Sanjiv's book, Managing Agile Projects, adds both-consistency and diversity-to the concepts and practices of agile project management. His book is rich in ideas and practical advice. It is a wonderful addition to the growing literature about 'alternative' styles of project management."Jim Highsmith Sr. V.P. and Director Agile Software Development and Project Management Practice Fellow, Business Technology Council Cutter Consortium LLC, Arlington, MA"Here is an innovative approach to the management of agile projects, examining traditional project management practices that do not align well with new agile methodologies. Augustine's alternative approaches in regard to personnel, organization, and change make this a valuable resource for project managers as well as for the customer/product owner."Sydney H. Jammes, Retired C.I.A. Economist"Project management has almost become a new paradigm for getting work done in most corporations around the world. This book provides a long overdue synthesis of the diverse strategies and practices in project management. The holistic and organic approach in the book combines the people factor and task complexity elements nicely and delivers an easy-to-read narrative that should be a must-read for every manager."Tojo Thatchenkery, Professor of Organizational Learning, George Mason University"In our work with Sanjiv Augustine in New Zealand and Australia, he has always impressed me with his practical, lucid approach to the project management idea for our times-agile project management. This book captures the essence of that approach."Martyn Jones, Managing Director, Software Education Associates, Ltd."Rejoice! Sanjiv Augustine eloquently lays out a practical and elegant organic project management model for being innovative and delivering business value while maintaining a high quality of life. And in the process, he gives the world a proven alternative to mechanistic and rigid project management practices that have stifled software development and killed creativity. A brilliant piece of work."Doug DeCarlo, author, "eXtreme Project Management: Using Leadership, Principles and Tools to Deliver Value in the Face of Volatility""Sanjiv Augustine's informative new book, Managing Agile Projects, takes the mystery out of bringing about the successful completion of information technology projects. His innovative, clear, and sensible approach to the management of agile projects is a must-read for all members of the implementation team, from users to developers and from consultants to managers. This work is a major contribution to the field of project management."Martha C. Edmondson, Chief Financial Officer, African Development Foundation"This book significantly builds on and extends agile thinking."Jeff De Luca, creator of Feature Driven Development, www.nebulon.com"Sanjiv brings real world, interesting experiences to his topic and conveys the essentials of project management in the new era in a way that is both entertaining and enlightening. Busting the jargon and slicing through the marketing-speak, this book is an essential tool for anyone involved in development projects today."Shane Hastie, Chief Knowledge Engineer, Software Education Associates, Ltd."Managing Agile Projects extends the values and principles of more development-centric agile methodologies to project management, something essential to the creation and evolution of the truly agile organization. An excellent addition to the agile literature!"Steve Hayes, Professional Services Manager, Internet Business Systems"Agile Project Management, as outlined here, is a key component to building a software development organization that can effectively respond to changing market needs in a timely manner. "Madhu Garlanka, Senior Manager, eBusiness Application Development, Nextel Communications"Agile methods created by 'radicals' have matured into tools in common use in many organizations. Now that teams are using these methods on high-profile projects, executives are starting to ask, 'How can we manage these agile processes?' This book builds upon scientific research of complex adaptive systems to present a handbook for project managers and executives faced with the challenge of monitoring and controlling agile projects."Kevin J.J. Aguanno, PMP®, MAPM IBM Certified Senior Project Manager IBM Global Services, IBM Canada, Ltd."I read this book and immediately shared it with a manager of an XP team. It's got great ideas on how to manage agile teams using a 'light touch.'"William Wake, Independent Consultant"Agile Project Management, as outlined here, is a key component to building a software development organization that can effectively respond to changing market needs in a timely manner."-Madhu Garlanka, Sr. Manager, eBusiness Application Development, Nextel Communications"In the hands of another, this class of material could become incoherent, but Sanjiv has enough intellectual power to ground his subject....Fans of APM and those who prefer new ideas as a catalyst for their management approach should find Managing Agile Projects rewarding."-Wes Balakian, Chairman and Executive Advisor, PMI eBusiness SIGYour Hands-On, "In-the-Trenches" Guide to Successfully Leading Agile ProjectsAgile methods promise to infuse development with unprecedented flexibility, speed, and value-and these promises are attracting IT organizations worldwide. However, agile methods often fail to clearly define the manager's role, and many managers have been reluctant to buy in. Now, expert project manager Sanjiv Augustine introduces a proven management framework that addresses everything from team building to project control. Sanjiv bridges the disconnect between the assumptions and techniques of traditional and agile management, demonstrating why agility is better aligned with today's project realities, and how to simplify your transition: Customizing agile methods to your unique environment implementing full-life-cycle agility: from planning and coding to maintenance and knowledge transfer Learning how agile methods can scale to succeed in even the largest projects through a case study Managing the flow of customer value from one creative stage to the next Defining a high-value role for the manager in agile project environments Refocusing on outcomes-not rigid plans, processes, or controls Structuring and building adaptive, self-organizing "organic teams" Forming a guiding vision that aligns your team behind a common purpose Empowering your team with the information it needs to succeedWhether you're a technical or business manager, Managing Agile Projects gives you all the tools you need to implement agility in your environment-and reap its full benefits.© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.
Book
The Second Edition of this classic work, first published in 1981 and an international bestseller, explores the differences in thinking and social action that exist among members of more than 50 modern nations. Geert Hofstede argues that people carry "mental programs" which are developed in the family in early childhood and reinforced in schools and organizations, and that these programs contain components of national culture. They are expressed most clearly in the different values that predominate among people from different countries. Geert Hofstede has completely rewritten, revised and updated Cultures Consequences for the twenty-first century, he has broadened the book's cross-disciplinary appeal, expanded the coverage of countries examined from 40 to more than 50, reformulated his arguments and a large amount of new literature has been included. The book is structured around five major dimensions: power distance; uncertainty avoidance; individualism versus collectivism; masculinity versus femininity; and long term versus short-term orientation. --Publisher.
Article
This study explores how autonomy at the individual and the group levels directly affect group cohesiveness, and how they indirectly influence group effectiveness. Hypotheses suggesting that individual and group autonomy will be oppositely related to cohesiveness are supported in data collected from a large sample of work groups in two separate organizations. Also supported are hypotheses suggesting a group cohesiveness/group performance orientation interaction as a mediator of the relationships between autonomy at both levels and group effectiveness. The findings highlight the importance of considering autonomy at both individual and group levels simultaneously when designing work groups that incorporate autonomy. Copyright © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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This study investigated how autonomy, interdependence, and team development, along with process and contextual support variables, were related to the effectiveness of teams of “knowledge workers.” The sample included 231 knowledge workers from 27 work teams. Team members completed surveys measuring the design, process, and contextual factors. Effectiveness measures included multiple key stakeholder evaluations of team performance and self-report measures of attitudinal outcomes. The results suggest that interactions among design, process, and contextual support factors have important implications for team effectiveness. In particular, the positive relationship between team autonomy and team job motivation was reduced as teams worked under more interdependent conditions. This interaction effect also varied across the types of autonomy (e.g., planning-related, product-related, and people-related) the team was given. Results also demonstrated that the relationship between job motivation and team process behaviors (helping, sharing, and innovating) was more positive in teams who were developmental mature. Process behaviors were positively related to effectiveness, but those relationships became more positive in the presence of certain contextual factors (high-quality goals and efficient information transmission), and less positive in the presence of others (feedback and time pressure). Future research needs and practical implications of these results are discussed.
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The use of teams that incorporate autonomy in their designs continues to be an important element of many organizations. However, prior research has emphasized projects with mostly routine tasks and has assumed that autonomy resides primarily with a team leader. We investigate how two aspects of team autonomy are related to teamwork quality, a multifaceted indicator of team collaboration (Hoegl & Gemuenden, 2001). Specifically, we hypothesize that team-external influence over operational project decisions is negatively related to teamwork quality, while team-internal equality of influence over project decisions is positively related to teamwork quality. Testing our hypotheses on responses from 430 team members and team leaders pertaining to 145 software development teams, results support both predictions. Acknowledging the possible benefits of certain types of external influence (e.g., constructive feedback), the findings demonstrate that team-external managers of innovative projects should generally refrain from interfering in team-internal operational decisions. Likewise, the study shows that all team members should share decision authority, recognizing that their contributions to team discussion and decision making may well differ given differences in experience and expertise. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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Software process improvement (SPI) aims to understand the software process as it is used within an organisation and thus drive the implementation of changes to that process to achieve specific goals such as increasing development speed, achieving higher product quality or reducing costs. Accordingly, SPI researchers must be equipped with the methodologies and tools to enable them to look within organisations and understand the state of practice with respect to software process and process improvement initiatives, in addition to investigating the relevant literature. Having examined a number of potentially suitable research methodologies, we have chosen Grounded Theory as a suitable approach to determine what was happening in actual practice in relation to software process and SPI, using the indigenous Irish software product industry as a test-bed. The outcome of this study is a theory, grounded in the field data, that explains when and why SPI is undertaken by the software industry. The objective of this paper is to describe both the selection and usage of grounded theory in this study and evaluate its effectiveness as a research methodology for software process researchers. Accordingly, this paper will focus on the selection and usage of grounded theory, rather than results of the SPI study itself.
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Collaboration-intensive Agile practices are dependent on the development team understanding the customer’s perspective and requirements. Through a Grounded Theory study of Agile teams in New Zealand and India, we discovered that a gap between the teams’ technical language and the customers’ business language poses a threat to effective team-customer collaboration. We describe this language gap and the ‘Translator’ role that emerges to bridge it.
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First American Corelogic had adopted agile processes in 2005, but not all teams were operating successfully. The biggest challenges were experienced by the off-shore and distributed teams. This experience report discusses these challenges and how the distributed team adapted agile principles and roles to reach optimal team velocity and productivity.
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Group estimation of user stories is an important part of extreme programming (XP), used for both planning releases and iterations. Research has shown that although group estimation in many cases is superior to individual estimation, there is still room for improvement. For instance, group estimation performance can be reduced by dominant personalities and anchoring effects. Through the analysis of 101 user story estimates, made by an XP team for release planning, we investigate whether the introduction of the planning poker estimation process improved the estimation ability of the team. The results show that planning poker improved the team's estimation performance in most cases, but that it increased estimation error in the extreme cases
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The effect of cultural differences is often overlooked or neglected when analysing attractive, cost-effective options for software development. This papers aims to highlight people issues that arise out of cultural differences between interacting software development teams, particularly between Indians and non-Indians. The author's intent is to merely bring out the differences and not to provide solutions or recommendations or to identify root causes for the behavior. This is an experience paper, mostly based on observations and sharing of personal experiences from various colleagues and coworkers.
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Software development methodologies are constantly evolving due to changing technologies and new demands from users. Today's dynamic business environment has given rise to emergent organizations that continuously adapt their structures, strategies, and policies to suit the new environment [12]. Such organizations need information systems that constantly evolve to meet their changing requirements---but the traditional, plan-driven software development methodologies lack the flexibility to dynamically adjust the development process.