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On the Agile Mindset of an Effective Team – An Industrial Opinion Survey

Authors:
Abstract In this paper we present the results of an opinion
survey among 52 agile practitioners who evaluated the
importance of 26 selected elements of the agile mindset to the
effectiveness of an agile team. In total, we have identified 70
unique agile mindset elements based on 11 literature sources
and 5 interviews with industry experts. 7 elements belonged to
the “support for business goals” category, 20 to the
“relationships within the team” category, 24 to the “individual
features” category, and 19 to the “organization of work”
category. Our survey shows the relative importance of the
selected 26 agile mindset elements according to our respondents
which is not fully consistent with the principles behind the Agile
Manifesto.
I. INTRODUCTION
gile Manifesto [1] together with the principles behind
the Agile Manifesto [2] founded a set of driving values
and key principles for the agile software development. Agile
practitioners emphasize that effective performance of an
agile team requires not only a given set of procedures,
techniques and rituals, but, above all, a particular attitude,
way of thinking and behavior of both the individuals and the
entire team a so called ‘agile mindset’ [3, 4].
Working in agile teams requires many non-technical and
social competencies related to communication, organization,
business, improvement and many more [5]. These are not the
typical strong competencies among software engineers [6],
which is why they require support of Scrum Masters,
mentors and coaches to develop deep understanding of the
fundamentals of Agile. Agile mindset, by addressing all of
these competence areas and by suggesting important factors
to the effective teamwork, supports practitioners in mastering
Agile in their projects [4]. Altogether, developing the proper
agile mindset contributes to the increasing success of agile
software projects [7].
The principles behind the Agile Manifesto themselves [2]
recommend such attitudes and behaviors as focus on
customer satisfaction, openness to change, face-to-face
communication, sustainable development, simplicity, self-
organization and improvement by frequent reflection. The
This work was partially supported by the DS Funds of ETI Faculty,
Gdansk University of Technology.
agile methods such as Scrum [8], Kanban [9], SAFe [10] and
other elaborate these principles further on, however the
evolution of the IT industry since the Agile Manifesto calls
for deeper and more current insight into the concept of
‘being and working agile’. In our research, we assume the
definition of ‘an agile mindset’ as a set of one’s attitudes,
behaviors and ways of thinking that enhance their and their
team’s effectiveness in working following the agile values
and principles to the benefit of the customers.
This research aims at studying the elements of the agile
mindset and their importance to the effectiveness of an agile
team. We have formulated the following research questions:
(RQ1) What agile mindset should the members of an agile
team have? (RQ2) What is the importance of the particular
agile mindset elements to the effectiveness of an agile team?
(RQ3) What are the most important elements of the agile
mindset to the effectiveness of an agile team?
The main contribution of this paper is the broad
identification of the elements of agile mindset and the partial
evaluation of their importance to the effectiveness of an agile
team based on an industrial opinion survey. This extends the
reviewed literature with deeper understanding of the concept
of ‘agile mindset’ and the relative importance of its elements.
The paper is structured as follows. Section II presents our
research method of identification, selection and evaluation of
the agile mindset elements. Section III reports the results of
the identification phase based on the literature review and
the interviews with experts. Section IV presents the selection
of the agile mindset elements for further evaluation. Section
V reports the results of the survey together with the analysis
of confounding variables and the comparison to the
principles behind the Agile Manifesto. Section VI discusses
the threats to the validity of this research, followed by the
discussion in Section VII and conclusions in Section VIII.
II. RESEARCH METHOD
Our research comprised three steps: (1) identification of
the elements of an agile mindset and their categorization, (2)
selection of the agile mindset elements for evaluation, (3)
evaluation of the relative importance of the selected agile
mindset elements to the effectiveness of an agile team.
A
On the Agile Mindset of an Effective Team An Industrial Opinion
Survey
Jakub Miler
Gdansk University of Technology
Faculty of Electronics, Telecommunications
and Informatics
11/12 Narutowicza St., 80-233, Gdansk, Poland
Email: jakub.miler@eti.pg.edu.pl
Paulina Gaida
Omida Finance Sp. z o.o.
Grunwaldzka 472B St.,
80-309 Gdańsk, Poland
Email: paulina.gaida@gmail.com
Proceedings of the Federated Conference on
Computer Science and Information Systems pp. 841–849
DOI: 10.15439/2019F198
ISSN 2300-5963 ACSIS, Vol. 18
IEEE Catalog Number: CFP1985N-ART c
2019, PTI 841
The first step involved the review of current literature and
the interviews with experts from industry. The literature
review covered mainly grey literature (books, blogs, portals),
as the scientific databases such as Scopus or Web of Science
provided very few results. We have focused on Internet
sources reporting on industrial practice or written by agile
practitioners and published by renowned publishers or
portals. In total, we analyzed 11 literature sources.
To identify the agile mindset elements more thoroughly,
we have carried out 5 structured interviews with industry
experts with 2 to 5 years of experience in agile teams. They
mostly worked as developers and Scrum Masters with
various agile methods. The characteristics of the interviewed
experts are given in Table I. Experience is given in years.
TABLE I.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE INTERVIEWED EXPERTS
ID
Position
Exp.
A
developer
3
Scrum
B
developer, tester
2
Kanban
C
developer
2
Scrum
D
Scrum Master, Agile Coach
5
Scrum, Kanban, XP
E
Scrum Master
3
Scrum, Kanban,
Scrumban
The interviews were carried out in late May early June
2018 in a form of face to face meetings. Experts A to C were
not provided the interview questions in advance, which
resulted in limited answers. Thus, experts D and E were sent
the questions before the interview, which allowed them to
think over their answers and generally resulted in more
original insight into the subject matter. We have followed the
given interview guide:
I. Preliminary questions:
1. For how long have you been working in agile teams?
2. What methodology are you using in your projects
(Scrum, Kanban, XP - Extreme Programming,
others)?
3. What is your role in the team (developer, tester,
Scrum Master, etc.)?
II. General questions about the philosophy of agility:
1. What is agility for you?
2. What does "agile mindset" mean for you?
III. Questions about agile mindset elements (at least 3
elements from each question):
1. Which beliefs do you think are necessary to have the
agile mindset?
2. What are the most important values for a person with
the agile mindset?
3. What principles should be followed by a person with
the agile mindset?
IV. Questions about the importance of agile mindset
elements (at least 5 elements from each question):
1. What are the most important attitudes, rules and
behaviors at the interpersonal level in an agile team?
2. What are the most important attitudes, rules and
behaviors in the work organization of an agile team?
3. What are the most important attitudes, rules and
behaviors when dealing with customers in an agile
team?
V. Questions about the impact of agile mindset on work
efficiency:
1. What attitudes, behaviors and beliefs have the
greatest impact on the efficiency of agile teams
(name at least 5)?
2. Has your team worked inefficiently for reasons
related to the agile mindset? What were these
reasons?
3. Do you think it is necessary to have the agile mindset
to work effectively in an agile team? Why?
Categorization of the identified agile mindset elements
was done a posteriori based on keyword analysis in the
results of the literature review. The same categorization was
used for the interview results. The final list of identified agile
mindset elements was elaborated by summing the sets of
elements in the literature review results and interview results
in each category, followed by merging the duplicates. We
have noted the number of times each element was mentioned
in the literature and the interviews (i.e. number of sources
and number of experts, respectively, see Tables II and III).
The total number of identified agile mindset elements
exceeded the capacity of a practical survey, so we had to
select a subset of elements for further evaluation. As we
aimed at one question per agile mindset element, we wanted
to select no more than 30 agile mindset elements based on
their frequency in sources (which is not importance). We
have decided to include the elements found in at least 6 out
of 11 literature sources or given by at least 2 out of 5
experts. These thresholds assume the majority of literature
sources and some minimal agreement of the experts. Such
thresholds favor the elements given by the experts, but this
was our deliberate decision. Finally, such criteria resulted in
26 agile mindset elements selected for further evaluation.
Other elements may be investigated in a separate study.
To evaluate the relative importance of the selected agile
mindset elements to the effectiveness of an agile team, we
have run a survey among agile practitioners in the IT
industry. The survey was built on-line with Google Forms
and distributed via e-mail, Facebook, forums etc.
Respondents were asked to give their opinion on the degree
to which a particular agile mindset element enhances the
effectiveness of an agile team in the Likert-type 6 level scale
of 0 to 5, where 0 meant “no impact” and 5 meant “key
impact. The answers were optional which accounted for the
cases of respondents indecision or insufficient knowledge.
The survey was organized by agile mindset categories.
Additionally, we asked about the respondents’ experience
and their role in agile teams. Although basic Likert scale is
ordinal, we used the Likert-type interval scale with assigned
values of 0 to 5 in the survey and the data analysis [11].
842 PROCEEDINGS OF THE FEDCSIS. LEIPZIG, 2019
III. IDENTIFICATION OF AGILE MINDSET ELEMENTS
A. Literature review
Using generic search engises such as Google, we have
found the following literature on the topic of agile mindset:
1. “Agile Project Management: Managing for Success”, a
book by James A. Crowder and Shelli Friess [12],
2. The Agile Enterprise: Building and Running Agile
Organizations”, a book by Mario E. Moreira [13],
3. Being Agile: Your Roadmap to Successful Adoption
of Agile”, another book by Mario. E. Moreira [14],
4. The Agile Mindset Making Agile Processes Work”,
a book by Gil Broza [4],
5. Five Agile Factors: Helping Self-management to Self-
reflect”, a research paper by Christoph J. Stettina and
Werner Heijstek [15],
6. Learning Agile: Understanding Scrum, XP, Lean and
Kanban”, a book by Andrew Stellman and Jennifer
Greene [16],
7. “What Exactly is the Agile Mindset?”, an on-line article
by Susan McIntosh for InfoQ portal [17],
8. What does it mean to have an agile mindset?”, an on-
line article by Leanne Howard for AgileConnection
portal [18],
9. “It’s All About the Mindset”, an on-line article by Sayi
Parvatam for Scrum Alliance portal [19],
10. “Fixed Mindset versus Agile Mindset”, an on-line
article by V. Godugu for Scrum Alliance portal [20],
11. “Agile Is Not a Process, It’s a Mindset”, an on-line
article by Lisa Rich for AgileConnection portal [21].
In total, we identified 58 elements of agile mindset in the
literature. Table III lists these elements grouped into
categories with the indication of relevant sources. The
identifier of each element combines the “L” prefix (standing
for the literature), the category symbol and the consecutive
number of the element in each category. The list is ordered
by descending number of sources in each category.
We have identified four categories of the agile mindset
elements: (1) support for business goals, (2) relationships
within the team, (3) individual features, (4) organization of
work. The first category, denoted by G symbol in Table III,
focuses on the product value and relations with the customer.
The second category, denoted by the T symbol, covers the
issues of collaboration and relations within the agile team.
The third category, denoted by the I symbol, tackles the
behavior and attitude of an individual in an agile team.
Finally, the fourth category, denoted by the O symbol,
involves the aspects of methods, techniques and rules.
B. Interviews with experts
The 5 interviews with experts A to E provided 16, 18, 16,
17, and 16 agile mindset elements, respectively. Repeating
elements were merged. In total, we identified 39 unique agile
mindset elements with the interviews. Table II lists these
elements grouped into categories with the indication of
relevant sources. The identifier of each element combines the
“E” prefix (standing for the experts), the category symbol
and the consecutive number of the element in each category.
The categories and their symbol are the same as in the
literature review. The list is ordered by descending number
of interviews in each category.
TABLE II.
ELEMENTS OF THE AGILE MINDSET IDENTIFIED WITH THE INTERVIEWS
ID
Element name
Source
nE
E.G1
Cooperation with the customer based on
partnership
B, C, D
3
E.G2
Attitude towards customer satisfaction and
needs
B, D
2
E.G3
Continuous delivery of a valuable product
in short intervals
A
1
E.G4
No assumption that the customer is always
right
A
1
E.T1
Mutual trust
A, B, C, D, E
5
E.T2
Sincerity
A, B, C, E
4
E.T3
Helping each other
B, C, D, E
4
E.T4
Mutual listening
A, B, C
3
E.T5
Mutual respect
A, B, D
3
E.T6
Equality in the team
B, C, D
3
E.T7
Focus on achieving common goal
A, C, E
3
E.T8
Searching for a solution to the problem
instead of finding the guilty
A, B
2
E.T9
Direct communication - face to face
conversations
B, D
2
E.T10
Team responsibility
C, E
2
E.T11
Taking into account the opinions of other
people
A
1
E.I1
Openness to change
A, B, C, D, E
5
E.I2
Positive attitude
A, B, E
3
E.I3
Continuous improvement and learning
B, C, E
3
E.I4
Being motivated
A, B
2
E.I5
Openness to criticism and feedback
A, D
2
E.I6
Openness to others
C, D
2
E.I7
Willingness to constantly acquire
knowledge
B
1
E.I8
Pragmatism
B
1
E.I9
Individual initiative
B
1
E.I10
Courage
D
1
E.I11
Commitment
D
1
E.I12
Creativity, innovation
D
1
E.I13
Being a visionary
D
1
E.I14
Understanding the need for change
E
1
E.I15
Responsibility
E
1
E.I16
Understanding the significance of
retrospectives
E
1
E.O1
Self-organization
A, C, D, E
4
E.O2
Finishing the current task before taking the
next one
A, C, E
3
E.O3
Asking questions in case of insufficient
knowledge
B, C, D
3
E.O4
Maintaining a steady pace of work
A, E
2
E.O5
Transparency in decision-making and
actions
C, E
2
E.O6
Sharing knowledge and results
C
1
E.O7
Focus on the tasks performed
D
1
E.O8
Focus on cross-functional teams
E
1
JAKUB MILER, PAULINA GAIDA: ON THE AGILE MINDSET OF AN EFFECTIVE TEAM 843
TABLE III.
ELEMENTS OF THE AGILE MINDSET IDENTIFIED IN THE LITERATURE
ID
Element name
Source
nL
L.G1
Continuous delivery of a valuable product in short intervals
[12], [13], [14], [4], [16], [17], [19]
7
L.G2
Attitude towards customer satisfaction and needs
[12], [13], [14], [16], [18]
5
L.G3
Belief that a working product is the basic measure of progress
[12], [13], [14]
3
L.G4
Continuous cooperation with the customer
[13], [14], [4]
3
L.G5
Accurate knowledge of who the customer is and what are their needs
[14]
1
L.G6
Cooperation with the customer based on partnership
[16]
1
L.T1
Mutual trust
[12], [13], [14], [4], [15], [16], [19], [20]
8
L.T2
Direct communication - face to face conversations
[12], [13], [14], [4], [15], [16], [19]
7
L.T3
Focus on achieving common goal
[12], [13], [14], [15], [18], [19]
6
L.T4
Mutual respect
[14], [4], [15], [17], [19]
5
L.T5
Helping each other
[12], [14], [15]
3
L.T6
Taking into account the opinions of other people
[13], [15]
2
L.T7
Respecting the experience and skills in all team members
[13], [14]
2
L.T8
Listening to the opinions of other people
[14], [15]
2
L.T9
Team responsibility
[14], [16]
2
L.T10
Treating team members as people, not a resource
[14], [20]
2
L.T11
Openness to others
[14], [20]
2
L.T12
Sincerity
[14], [21]
2
L.T13
A relaxed atmosphere
[19], [20]
2
L.T14
Equality in the team
[14]
1
L.T15
Sense of security
[4]
1
L.T16
Focus on people instead of on processes
[16]
1
L.T17
Not blaming each other
[16]
1
L.T18
Not covering up the failures
[18]
1
L.T19
Searching for a solution to the problem instead of finding the guilty
[18]
1
L.I1
Continuous improvement and learning
[12], [13], [14], [4], [15], [16], [17], [18], [20]
9
L.I2
Openness to change
[12], [13], [14], [4], [16], [17], [18], [20]
8
L.I3
Being motivated
[12], [13], [14], [16], [19], [20]
6
L.I4
Treating failure as an opportunity to learn, learning from mistakes
[4], [16], [17], [20], [21]
5
L.I5
Creativity, innovation
[13], [18], [19]
3
L.I6
Ability to accept failure and deal with it
[17], [18], [21]
3
L.I7
Taking risks
[4], [17]
2
L.I8
Willingness to constantly acquire knowledge
[15], [18]
2
L.I9
Positive attitude
[18], [19]
2
L.I10
Assertiveness
[14]
1
L.I11
Focus on the task being performed
[4]
1
L.I12
A sense of pride in the job
[17]
1
L.I13
Not giving up
[18]
1
L.I14
Inquisitiveness
[18]
1
L.I15
Pragmatism
[18]
1
L.O1
Self-organization
[12], [13], [14], [4], [15], [16], [19]
7
L.O2
Ability to collaborate
[12], [13], [14], [4], [16], [17], [20]
7
L.O3
Maintaining a steady pace of work
[12], [13], [14], [4], [16], [20]
6
L.O4
Sharing knowledge and results
[12], [13], [14], [18], [19], [20]
6
L.O5
Simplicity and maximization of unnecessary work, simplifying tasks
[12], [13], [14], [4], [16]
5
L.O6
Transparency in decision-making and actions
[12], [14], [4], [20], [21]
5
L.O7
Ability to make decisions together
[12], [13], [14], [15]
4
L.O8
Interdisciplinarity
[12], [13], [14]
3
L.O9
Attitude towards working in short iterations with small increments
[14], [16]
2
L.O10
Applying retrospectives to identify areas for improvement
[14], [16]
2
L.O11
Understanding the purpose and vision of the task before taking it
[4], [15]
2
L.O12
Focus on cross-functional teams
[15]
1
L.O13
Expressing feedback on the work of other people
[15]
1
L.O14
Estimating the results for a given timeframe
[16]
1
L.O15
Determining possible tasks instead of looking for excuses
[18]
1
L.O16
Asking questions in case of insufficient knowledge
[20]
1
L.O17
Focus on one task instead of many at once
[21]
1
L.O18
Finishing the current task before taking the next one
[21]
1
844 PROCEEDINGS OF THE FEDCSIS. LEIPZIG, 2019
C. Final list merged from literature and interviews
Finally, we merged the lists of agile mindset elements
identified from literature and with the interviews. The
resulting list of unique agile mindset elements comprises 70
entries, which exceeds the limitations of this paper.
However, all identified agile mindset elements were already
shown in Table II and Table III. Table IV shows the number
of agile mindset elements in each category identified in the
literature and the interviews as well as the number of unique
elements in our final list.
TABLE IV.
NUMBER OF IDENTIFIED AGILE MINDSET ELEMENTS
Category
Literature
Interviews
Unique
Support for business goals
6
4
7
Relationships within the team
19
11
20
Individual features
15
16
24
Organization of work
18
8
19
Total
58
39
70
IV. SELECTION OF AGILE MINDSET ELEMENTS
Based on the criteria presented in section II, we have
selected 26 elements of agile mindset out of 70 for further
evaluation with the opinion survey. We selected 3 elements
out of 7 in the “support for business goals” category, 10
elements out of 20 in the “relationships within the team”
category, 6 elements out of 24 in the “individual features”
category, and 7 elements out of 19 in the “organization of
work” category. We could observe that 13 elements in the
“individual features” category as well as 8 elements in the
“organization of work” category were mentioned only in one
source, be it literature or interview.
The list of elements selected for the survey is shown in
Table V. nL column presents the number of literature
sources, while nE column presents the number of experts
mentioning each element. The final unique agile mindset
elements were given new identifiers prefixed with the
category symbol only, as described in section III. The
identifiers of the merged elements from the literature (see
Table III) and the interviews (see Table II) are given in
columns IDL and IDE, respectively.
TABLE V.
ELEMENTS OF THE AGILE MINDSET SELECTED FOR THE SURVEY
ID
Element name
nL
nE
IDL
IDE
G1
Continuous delivery of a valuable
product in short intervals
7
1
L.G1
E.G3
G2
Cooperation with the customer
based on partnership
1
3
L.G6
E.G1
G3
Attitude towards customer
satisfaction and needs
5
2
L.G2
E.G2
T1
Mutual trust
8
5
L.T1
E.T1
T2
Direct communication - face to
face conversations
7
2
L.T2
E.T9
T3
Focus on achieving common goal
6
3
L.T3
E.T7
T4
Helping each other
3
4
L.T5
E.T3
T5
Sincerity
2
4
L.T12
E.T2
T6
Mutual respect
5
3
L.T4
E.T5
T7
Mutual listening
0
3
-
E.T4
T8
Equality in the team
1
3
L.T14
E.T6
T9
Searching for a solution to the
problem instead of finding the
guilty
1
2
L.T19
E.T8
T10
Team responsibility
2
2
L.T9
E.T10
I1
Continuous improvement and
learning
9
3
L.I1
E.I3
I2
Openness to change
8
5
L.I2
E.I1
I3
Being motivated
6
2
L.I3
E.I4
I4
Positive attitude
2
3
L.I9
E.I2
I5
Openness to criticism and feedback
0
2
-
E.I5
I6
Openness to others
0
2
-
E.I6
O1
Self-organization
7
4
L.O1
E.O1
O2
Maintaining a steady pace of work
6
2
L.O3
E.O4
O3
Ability to collaborate
7
0
L.O2
-
O4
Sharing knowledge and results
6
1
L.O4
E.O6
O5
Asking questions in case of
insufficient knowledge
1
3
L.O16
E.O3
O6
Finishing the current task before
taking the next one
1
3
L.O18
E.O2
O7
Transparency in decision-making
and actions
5
2
L.O6
E.O5
V. EVALUATION OF AGILE MINDSET ELEMENTS
A. Characteristics of respondents
The evaluation survey was carried out in late June and
early July 2018. The questionnaire comprised 5 sections: an
introductory section and 4 sections with the agile mindset
elements to evaluate grouped into their categories. In total,
52 respondents took part in the survey. Table VI shows the
distribution of the respondents’ experience with agile. Most
of the respondents (52%) had at least 2 years of experience.
TABLE VI.
DISTRIBUTION OF THE EXPERIENCE OF SURVEY RESPONDENTS
Experience years
n
<1
7
1-2
18
2-3
13
3-5
7
>5
7
Table VII shows the distribution of respondents’ roles in
agile teams. Most of them worked as developers (about
60%), while others worked mostly as Scrum Masters.
TABLE VII.
DISTRIBUTION OF THE ROLES OF SURVEY RESPONDENTS
Role
n
Developer
31
Scrum Master
13
Tester
3
Product Owner
2
Agile Coach
1
Analyst
1
UX Designer
1
JAKUB MILER, PAULINA GAIDA: ON THE AGILE MINDSET OF AN EFFECTIVE TEAM 845
B. Evaluation of agile mindset elements and categories
Table VIII presents the evaluation of the importance of
selected agile mindset elements to the effectiveness of an
agile team according to the respondents’ opinion. E shows
the mean evaluation of an agile mindset element in the
Likert-type scale of 0 to 5 with standard deviation; n gives
the sample size. The sample size slightly differs for some
elements due to the option to skip an element in the survey.
The elements are ordered by their decreasing evaluation.
TABLE VIII.
EVALUATION OF THE IMPORTANCE OF AGILE MINDSET ELEMENTS TO
THE TEAM EFFECTIVENESS
No.
ID
Element name
E
n
1
T9
Searching for a solution to the
problem instead of finding the guilty
4.44 (0.79)
52
2
I3
Being motivated
4.44 (0.69)
52
3
T4
Helping each other
4.40 (0.63)
52
4
T7
Mutual listening
4.37 (0.71)
51
5
T3
Focus on achieving common goal
4.29 (0.77)
52
6
I5
Openness to criticism and feedback
4.23 (0.82)
52
7
O4
Sharing knowledge and results
4.21 (0.86)
52
8
T6
Mutual respect
4.11 (0.91)
52
9
T1
Mutual trust
4.10 (0.96)
51
10
T5
Sincerity
4.09 (0.97)
52
11
I1
Continuous improvement and
learning
4.08 (1.00)
52
12
O7
Transparency in decision-making
and actions
4.08 (1.03)
52
13
O1
Self-organization
4.04 (0.88)
52
14
I2
Openness to change
4.00 (1.02)
52
15
G1
Continuous delivery of a valuable
product in short intervals
3.96 (1.04)
52
16
G3
Attitude towards customer
satisfaction and needs
3.92 (0.83)
52
17
G2
Cooperation with the customer based
on partnership
3.88 (0.97)
52
18
I6
Openness to others
3.88 (0.97)
52
19
O6
Finishing the current task before
taking the next one
3.86 (1.06)
52
20
I4
Positive attitude
3.84 (0.77)
52
21
O3
Ability to collaborate
3.81 (0.90)
52
22
O5
Asking questions in case of
insufficient knowledge
3.74 (1.06)
51
23
T2
Direct communication - face to face
conversations
3.69 (1.26)
52
24
T8
Equality in the team
3.42 (1.28)
52
25
T10
Team responsibility
3.23 (1.31)
52
26
O2
Maintaining a steady pace of work
3.04 (1.34)
52
It can be seen that the top evaluated elements reached the
evaluation of about 4.5 out of 5. 14 out of 26 elements
reached the evaluation of 4.0 and above. They can be
considered the recommended agile mindset elements in our
survey. The lowest evaluated elements obtained the score of
less than 3.5. However it should be noted that the standard
deviation of the evaluations of the last 4 elements is the
highest in all our study (about 1.3). Other elements were
evaluated with the standard deviation of 0.69 to 1.06.
We have also calculated the mean evaluation of all agile
mindset elements in particular categories which is presented
in Table IX. It can be observed that “individual features” are
evaluated as the most important category. Next is
“relationships within the team”, followed by “support for
business goal”. “Organization of work” scored the lowest
mean evaluation of all categories.
TABLE IX.
MEAN EVALUATION OF THE AGILE MINDSET CATEGORIES
Category
E
n
Support for business goals
3.92 (0.95)
156
Relationships within the team
4.02 (1.07)
518
Individual features
4.08 (0.91)
312
Organization of work
3.83 (1.09)
363
C. Analysis of confounding variables
We have analyzed the respondents’ experience and role as
confounding variables in the evaluations of agile mindset
elements. The results are presented in Table X and Table XI.
TABLE X.
EVALUATION OF AGILE MINDSET ELEMENTS BY EXPERIENCE
ID
Element name
Eexp<2
Eexp>=2
p
G1
Continuous delivery of a valuable
product in short intervals
4.08
3.82
0.362
G2
Cooperation with the customer based
on partnership
3.88
3.93
0.870
G3
Attitude towards customer satisfaction
and needs
3.88
3.85
0.914
T1
Mutual trust
4.20
4.00
0.465
T2
Direct communication - face to face
conversations
3.76
3.67
0.795
T3
Focus on achieving common goal
4.40
4.19
0.323
T4
Helping each other
4.44
4.37
0.697
T5
Sincerity
4.28
3.93
0.194
T6
Mutual respect
4.12
4.11
0.973
T7
Mutual listening
4.32
4.42
0.614
T8
Equality in the team
3.48
3.37
0.763
T9
Searching for a solution to the problem
instead of finding the guilty
4.60
4.30
0.175
T10
Team responsibility
2.96
3.48
0.158
I1
Continuous improvement and learning
4.12
4.04
0.770
I2
Openness to change
3.96
4.04
0.790
I3
Being motivated
4.56
4.33
0.246
I4
Positive attitude
4.04
4.67
0.083
I5
Openness to criticism and feedback
4.36
4.11
0.285
I6
Openness to others
4.24
3.56
0.018
O1
Self-organization
4.28
3.82
0.057
O2
Maintaining a steady pace of work
3.00
3.07
0.393
O3
Ability to collaborate
4.00
3.63
0.143
O4
Sharing knowledge and results
4.32
4.11
0.393
O5
Asking questions in case of
insufficient knowledge
3.96
3.56
0.184
O6
Finishing the current task before
taking the next one
3.92
3.93
0.981
O7
Transparency in decision-making and
actions
3.96
4.19
0.443
846 PROCEEDINGS OF THE FEDCSIS. LEIPZIG, 2019
We have used the t-Student test for independent pairs to
analyze the differences in mean evaluations depending on
experience and role. Treating our data as numerical, this test
is suitable for such analysis [11]. We assumed equal
variances of the grouped samples and the confidence level of
95% (α=0.05).
For the experience test we divided our sample into two
groups: less than 2 years of experience and 2 or more years
of experience (group sizes were 25 and 27, respectively,
which satisfies the prerequisites to the selected test). The
mean evaluations are given in Table X in the Eexp<2 and
Eexp>=2 columns, respectively, followed by the p-value of the
t-Student test.
For the role test we divided our sample into two groups:
developers and non-developers (group sizes were 31 and 21,
respectively). Other divisions were not possible due to
insufficient number of samples for the prerequisites of the
selected test. The mean evaluations are given in Table XI in
the Edev and Endev columns, respectively, followed by the
p-value of the t-Student test.
TABLE XI.
EVALUATION OF AGILE MINDSET ELEMENTS BY ROLE
ID
Element name
Edev
Endev
p
G1
Continuous delivery of a valuable
product in short intervals
3.98
3.91
0.832
G2
Cooperation with the customer based
on partnership
3.87
3.95
0.775
G3
Attitude towards customer satisfaction
and needs
3.87
3.86
0.959
T1
Mutual trust
4.00
4.25
0.371
T2
Direct communication - face to face
conversations
3.39
4.14
0.035
T3
Focus on achieving common goal
4.36
4.19
0.459
T4
Helping each other
4.42
4.38
0.833
T5
Sincerity
4.03
4.19
0.571
T6
Mutual respect
4.19
4.00
0.463
T7
Mutual listening
4.47
4.24
0.269
T8
Equality in the team
3.48
3.29
0.595
T9
Searching for a solution to the problem
instead of finding the guilty
4.52
4.33
0.426
T10
Team responsibility
3.19
3.29
0.808
I1
Continuous improvement and learning
3.94
4.29
0.222
I2
Openness to change
3.87
4.19
0.276
I3
Being motivated
4.52
4.33
0.359
I4
Positive attitude
3.84
3.86
0.934
I5
Openness to criticism and feedback
4.32
4.10
0.338
I6
Openness to others
3.94
3.81
0.655
O1
Self-organization
4.07
4.00
0.799
O2
Maintaining a steady pace of work
2.90
3.24
0.388
O3
Ability to collaborate
3.71
3.95
0.350
O4
Sharing knowledge and results
4.19
4.24
0.858
O5
Asking questions in case of
insufficient knowledge
3.83
3.62
0.489
O6
Finishing the current task before
taking the next one
3.65
4.19
0.070
O7
Transparency in decision-making and
actions
4.10
4.05
0.870
Both tests showed that the impact of both experience and
role on nearly all of the evaluations could not be considered
statistically significant with the assumed confidence level of
95% and sample size of 52. However, two agile mindset
elements stood out. The evaluation of I6 element “Openness
to others” exhibited statistically significant difference in the
evaluation depending on respondents’ experience (p in
Table X). It was evaluated much higher (4.24 compared to
3.56) by the respondents with less than 2 years of
experience. The evaluation of T2 element Direct
communication - face to face conversations exhibited
statistically significant difference in the evaluation
depending on respondents’ role (p<α in Table XI). It was
evaluated much lower (3.39 compared to 4.14) by the
developers.
D. Comparison to the principles behind Agile Manifesto
We have mapped the elements of agile mindset in our
study to the 12 principles behind the Agile Manifesto [2] and
analyzed the evaluation and relative position of the agile
mindset elements that map directly onto these principles. The
results are shown in Table XII. P# column shows the Agile
principle number.
TABLE XII.
MAPPING OF AGILE MINDSET ELEMENTS ON AGILE PRINCIPLES
No.
ID
Element name
E
P#
2
I3
Being motivated
4.44 (0.69)
5
9
T1
Mutual trust
4.10 (0.96)
5
11
I1
Continuous improvement and
learning
4.08 (1.00)
12
13
O1
Self-organization
4.04 (0.88)
11
14
I2
Openness to change
4.00 (1.02)
2
15
G1
Continuous delivery of a valuable
product in short intervals
3.96 (1.04)
1,
3, 7
16
G3
Attitude towards customer
satisfaction and needs
3.92 (0.83)
1
17
G2
Cooperation with the customer based
on partnership
3.88 (0.97)
4
23
T2
Direct communication - face to face
conversations
3.69 (1.26)
6
26
O2
Maintaining a steady pace of work
3.04 (1.34)
8
It can be seen that only the I3 agile mindset element
mapped to the 5th Agile principle was evaluated very high
(4.44, position 2). Elements mapped to most of the Agile
principles were evaluated in the middle range (4.10 to 3.88,
positions 9 to 17). However, the elements T2 and O2
mapped to 6th and 8th principle respectively were evaluated
very low (3.69 and 3.04, position 23 and 26 (last)).
Remaining 2 Agile principles mapped to the agile mindset
elements that were excluded from the survey.
VI. THREATS TO VALIDITY
A. Threats to construct and internal validity
We have identified and reduced the following threats to
the construct and internal validity of this research related to
JAKUB MILER, PAULINA GAIDA: ON THE AGILE MINDSET OF AN EFFECTIVE TEAM 847
the interviews and the survey: (a) interview moderator’s bias
and influence on experts, (b) misinterpretation of the
interview outputs, (c) learning and tiring of the survey
respondents, (d) forced answers to the survey.
We have controlled the interview moderator’s bias and
their influence on experts with the structure of the interview.
Each interview followed the same protocol (Section II). To
minimize misinterpretations, the interviews were recorded,
transcribed and thoroughly analyzed while relistening to the
recordings, if necessary. The results of each interview have
been coded separately and only then merged together.
The survey questions were not randomized to minimize
the impact of learning and tiring of the respondents due to
the limitation of the Google Forms tool. However, the survey
was conveniently divided into 5 sections and contained only
26 evaluation questions. The survey also allowed the
respondents to skip the evaluation of a particular agile
mindset element when unsure.
B. Threats to external validity
We have identified the following threats to the external
validity of the interviews and the survey: (a) low number of
interviewed experts and survey respondents, (b) insufficient
experience of interview experts and survey respondents, (c)
interview experts and survey respondents as a convenience
sample, (d) interview experts and survey respondents sample
limited to Polish IT industry.
We have interviewed 5 experts from the industry. The
interviewed experts had 2 to 5 years of experience in Agile.
We aimed at covering various roles in an agile team and
experiences with various agile methods. We engaged 2
Scrum Masters with broad experience (see Table I)
Altogether, the input from experts supplemented the list of
58 agile mindset elements from the literature by 22 new
elements (38%), which can be considered a substantial
contribution (see Table IV).
We have collected data from 52 respondents in the survey,
which definitely exceeded the typical threshold sample size
of 30 for the choice of the statistical tests [11]. 52% of the
respondents had at least 2 years of experience. 13.5% of the
respondents had more than 5 years of experience (see Table
VI). The respondents represented various roles in the agile
team, which covered diverse points of view (see Table VII).
Moreover, we have analyzed the impact of the respondents’
experience and role as the confounding variables on the
validity of our results, which showed marginal impact
(Section V.C).
Our survey sample is not statistically random it is a
convenience sample, although we invited the respondents
through various channels like personal and business contacts,
interest groups, social media, and recommendations. This
method provided for a fairly diverse group of experts and
respondents with different experience. The experts and
respondents used many agile methods such as: Scrum,
Kanban, Scrumban, Extreme Programming, SAFe.
The survey was in Polish and possibly attracted most of
the respondents among the peers of one of the authors (P.
Gaida) working in the Tricity region of Poland, so the results
it may exhibit some cultural or regional bias, which needs to
be studied further. Comparison of the perception of the
concept of agile mindset in Poland and other countries may
bring valuable insights.
We have asked our respondents only for their (self-
declared) experience in agile and their role in an agile team.
We have not collected other data such as company size, age,
industry sector or type of projects they worked on. Thus, our
study provides only preliminary insight into the conceptual
structure of the agile mindset.
VII. DISCUSSION
The top 5 evaluated agile mindset elements are:
“Searching for a solution to the problem instead of finding
the guilty”, “Being motivated”, “Helping each other”,
“Mutual listening”, and “Focus on achieving common goal”.
They belong only to two categories: “relationships within the
team” and “individual features”. This suggests that effective
agile teamwork requires a specific attitude towards the team
and other people as well as proactive and open mind of the
individuals. This corresponds with the “growth mindset”
concept from Dweck [3].
The 5 least important mindset elements in our survey are:
“Asking questions in case of insufficient knowledge”,
“Direct communication - face to face conversations”,
“Equality in the team”, “Team responsibility”, “Maintaining
a steady pace of work”. They are related to organizational
issues as well as shared responsibility and equality. This
suggests that agile mindset is not about particular detailed
practices or rituals. This is consistent with earlier findings
[21, 22, 23, 24].
We have found that less experienced respondents
evaluated the “Openness to others” mindset element much
higher than those with more than 2 years of experience. Our
working hypothesis is that it is related to learning and
gathering experience at the start of the professional career.
However, “openness” in general is crucial to being agile [2].
The developers considered “face to face communication”
less important than the non-developers. Our working
hypothesis is that they may see the meetings as (partial)
waste of time that diverts them from coding. This may also
indicate some overuse or misuse of meetings in the agile
teams of our respondents.
We were also able to map the principles behind the Agile
Manifesto [2] onto 10 evaluated elements of the agile
mindset. These elements occupied positions 2, 11, 13, 14,
15, 16, 17, 23, and 26 (last) in our ranking ordered by the
descending evaluation. This is an interesting discrepancy
between what our respondents think is important to “being
agile” and what the creators of the Agile Manifesto pointed
out as the principles of Agile. We can hypothesize that this
indicates insufficient understanding of Agile by our
848 PROCEEDINGS OF THE FEDCSIS. LEIPZIG, 2019
respondents, partial or flawed implementation of Agile in
the respondents’ teams or companies, or even a shift in prac-
tical agility from the 18 years old principles of Agile. This
may also be specific to Polish IT industry and have some
cultural background. Definitely, it calls for more research.
Our study is based on limited data on the respondents
themselves. We have clustered the data by two levels of ex-
perience (below and above 2 years) and two types of roles
(developers and non-developers). The understanding of the
agile mindset may also vary by the industry sector, company
size, company culture and maturity, type of projects, natio-
nal and regional culture and possibly more. Our initial set of
agile mindset elements may be used in such further studies.
VIII. CONCLUSIONS
We have identified 70 elements of the agile mindset from
the literature and the industry experts, which answer our
research question RQ1. We grouped the elements into 4
categories. Then, we have obtained and opinion-based
evaluation of the importance of each agile mindset element
to the effectiveness of an agile team, which answers our
research question RQ2. Finally, we have analyzed and
compared the evaluations to point out the most and least
important elements based on the opinions of our
respondents, which provides a preliminary answer to our
research question RQ3. Further and more detailed study of
the impact of agile mindset on the team effectiveness
requires careful observation of a number of different types
of projects and can be done in future research.
The detailed contribution of this paper is the identifica-
tion of the elements of agile mindset as well as a preliminary
evaluation of their importance to the effectiveness of an ag-
ile team based on an industrial opinion survey. This contrib-
utes to filling the gap in the literature related to the definition
and scope of the agile mindset and the relative importance of
its elements in the industry and education [22, 23, 24, 25].
The proposed list of agile mindset elements and their
evaluations may be used as a guidance for developers,
Scrum Masters and Agile coaches, where the possible appli-
cations include: (1) support for the Scrum Masters or
coaches in improving the understanding of Agile by the De-
velopment Teams; (2) recommendations of improving the
agile process and solving problems identified during retro-
spectives; (3) education and training both in the industry and
academia; (4) self-development of the developers, in partic-
ular those seeking to switch to Scrum Masters or coaches.
Full results of this research are available in [26]. The raw re-
sults of our survey are available in [27].
ACKNOWLEDGMENT
The authors thank all the experts and respondents who
took part in the interviews and the survey.
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JAKUB MILER, PAULINA GAIDA: ON THE AGILE MINDSET OF AN EFFECTIVE TEAM 849
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... Previous theory that focused on making AM more tangible can be seen in the work of Denning (2016), Miler and Gaida (2019), Mordi and Schoop (2020), Ozkan et al. (2020), Senapathi and Srinivasan (2013), and Van Manen and Van Vliet (2014). These primarily used qualitative studies and literature; of these, only one quantitative study (Miler and Gaida, 2019), which mixed attributes ranked by the participants, can be identified. ...
... Previous theory that focused on making AM more tangible can be seen in the work of Denning (2016), Miler and Gaida (2019), Mordi and Schoop (2020), Ozkan et al. (2020), Senapathi and Srinivasan (2013), and Van Manen and Van Vliet (2014). These primarily used qualitative studies and literature; of these, only one quantitative study (Miler and Gaida, 2019), which mixed attributes ranked by the participants, can be identified. An overview of the respective approaches is provided in Table 1. ...
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... Furthermore, the training should take the specific characteristics of financial institutions into account. Agile is about the mindset of the whole organization 4,14,28 Responsiveness to changes culture is the key element in agile development. ...
Article
FinTech companies are challenging established financial institutions' dominance by offering the same products with a superior customer experience and delivering new features faster. The adoption of agile software development partially enables this competitive advantage. In response to this challenge, banks explore how they can improve their agile processes. LHV, a mid-sized bank, uses agile practices but faces the challenge of further improvement to stay competitive with FinTech companies. In this article, we explore how LHV can improve its agile software development process. We conduct a case study at LHV where we first derive eight change proposals based on a literature review and interviews. Then, we report on how LHV implemented the change proposals and their perceived impact. Our results stress the importance of taking a coherent approach to improving agile processes by considering both business units and operations involved in the product life-cycle. It is also necessary to align organizational structures to enable team autonomy by, for instance, decentralizing decision authority. Finally, it is beneficial to adapt agile practices to their context and have an IT architecture and technology supporting the agile approach.
... Mindset change is important for agile teams because research into the agile mindset has found it is a significant concept that is an essential part of agility (Miler and Gaida, 2019;Mordi and Schoop,2020). A mindset refers to someone's attitudes or ways of thinking and therefore differs from knowledge of culture. ...
... Mordi and Schoop (2020) use literature and primary data to define the agile mindset as "a mindset based on the values and principles of the Agile Manifesto, whose main characteristics are trust, responsibility and ownership, continuous improvement, a willingness to learn, openness and a willingness to continually adapt and grow". The agile mindset comprises a wide range of features that Miler and Gaida (2019), in their survey of agile professionals and literature, group into four categories: support for business goals, relationships within the team, individual features (i.e. openness to change, continuous learning), and organisation of work. ...
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.
... Measuring the patterns in TO organizing is not per se a high-dimensional problem. Miler and Gaida only identified 50 potential items with which to assess agile mindsets in organizing work in temporary contexts [MG19]. ...
Conference Paper
Both temporary forms of organizing (TO) and artificial intelligence have recently received increased practical and scholarly attention. Their combination has not yet been subject of research or research application, nor is there a roadmap to the development of TO-specific AI applications. In relation to permanent organizations, TOs devote more time to organizing, planning, and adapting to change, but supporting organizing as a task is not yet in the scope of AI research. This article creates new links between the domains computer science and organizational theory. It reviews TOs as special vehicles for organizing endeavors, proposes relevant properties, reviews recent AI research advances, and synthesizes challenges for researching into AI-assisted organizing in TOs. A table of use cases along with proposed AI methods and required data proposes future research activities and is basis for a call for data sets, data challenges and metrics for assessing AI-assisted organizing, especially in temporary contexts.
... It includes requirements engineering practices [23], which e.g. assume continuous close cooperation with the customer [24], put more emphasis on face-to-face communication [25], and use less formal techniques like collaborative games [26]. ...
Chapter
Agile Software Development methods have become a widespread approach used by the software industry. Non-functional requirements (NFRs) are often reported to be a problematic issue for such methods. We aimed to identify (within the context of Agile projects): (1) the issues (challenges and problems) reported as affecting the implementation of NFRs; and (2) practices that facilitate the successful implementation of NFRs. We conducted a systematic literature review and processed its results to obtain a comprehensive summary. We were able to present two lists, dedicated to issues and practices, respectively. Most items from both lists, but not all, are related to the requirements engineering area. We found out that the issues reported are mostly related to the common themes of: NFR documentation techniques, NFR traceability, elicitation and communication activities. The facilitating practices mostly cover similar topics and the recommendation is to start focusing on NFRs early in the project.
... As coaches are limited resources that cannot be easily increased on demand, new ways for scaling agile knowhow, methods and tools have to be identified and implemented. The challenge is that people involved in the transition have to learn and understand the new agile mindset with their specific -values and principles [1,2] and its characteristic approaches. An inherent job of coaches is to facilitate these learning activities and the agile mindset adoption. ...
Article
Purpose The aim of the article is to define the way of understanding of agile in enterprises, to verify the factors limiting agility implementation, as well as to understand what the expectations of enterprise management towards agile implementation are. Design/methodology/approach The article uses both literature studies and empirical research. The research was conducted in 2019 in 152 companies located in Luxemburg, Croatia and Poland, which have implemented an agile approach to management. Findings In most of the surveyed organisations, agile is understood as a methodology for creating projects or applications. The most common barriers to implementing agile in the surveyed enterprises are culture too deeply rooted in traditional methodologies and the lack of funds to introduce transformations. Growth in productivity and competitiveness and reducing delivery time stand out among the most common expectations of the management of the surveyed enterprises. Originality/value The article is in line with the idea of analysing the key factors of a successful agile implementation, which can be a guideline for an enterprise to manage the adoption of agility. The article utilises original research tools, provides comparisons between countries and presents implications for practitioners and researchers.
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.
Article
Agility and agile transformation are the two side of coins. Both are co-related and business driven. Organization their operating model and cutting-edge technologies used may not adequate to get into the new era of competitive market. Now a days, apart from customer satisfaction, majority of organizational operating model are mainly driven by business values, flexibility to adopt the new norm quickly. Therefore, understanding current execution model create a business-driven orchestration model compare with defined metrices and achieve the vision is key objective of this research paper.
Book
This book constitutes the proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Lean and Agile Software Development, LASD 2021, which was held online on January 23, 2021. The conference received a total of 32 submissions, of which 10 full and 2 short papers are included in this volume. In addition, one keynote paper is also included. To live the agile mindset, the LASD conference focuses on highly relevant research outcomes and fosters their way into practice. Topics discussed in this volume range from teams under COVID-19 through women in Agile, to product road-mapping and non-functional requirements.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Effective collaboration and interaction among the development team and between the team and the customer as well as proactive attitude in initiating and implementing improvements play vital roles in the success of agile projects. The challenge is how to address these social aspects since neither the Agile Manifesto nor the Scrum Guide specify techniques that aid the human side of software development. To fill this gap, we developed a web portal which provides 8 collaborative games to be used in agile software development. The feedback received from a Scrum team, who leveraged the games in an industrial project conducted in OKE Poland, indicates that our approach improves participants’ communication, motivation, commitment, and creativity.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Agile methods are an essential resource for software engineers. The Agile movement evolved out of industry and is the common approach to software development today. Teaching Agile methods challenges students’ working attitudes, where putting Agile into practice is not possible through simply applying methods prescriptively, but by having an Agile mindset. In this paper we present and discuss our experiences over the last decade of teaching a novel intensive Agile methods week long course as part of a professional Masters of Software Engineering degree programme at the University of Oxford. We describe the typical shape of the course, discuss how students experience Agile values and management practices to foster an Agile mindset, and provide student feedback indicating a consistently positive response to our approach at teaching Agile methods to software engineering professionals. Our reported experiences and material can help other educators who want to run similar courses and adapt where required.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Previous research in the field of Agile Distributed Software Development often focused on the a synchronicity of working hours due to different time zones, as if this was the only risk when developing software in non-co-located environments. This case study reflects a near shoring setting in which this primary impediment does not exist and investigates a broader range of risks now standing out more clearly. We observed two Polish Scrum teams working for a German company, which has been successfully applying Agile Methods for over four years. We present the actual process and practices of the external teams and contrast them to the intended way of proceeding. Main result: Agile near shoring is feasible and may produce high satisfaction amongst Product Owners, but this satisfaction might be delusive if process deviations due to misunderstandings of what Agile development means go unnoticed.
Article
Full-text available
Today, the innovation and quality of the software industry’s products and services depend to a great extent on the knowledge, ability and talent applied by software engineers. At the same time, human aspects are recognized as one of the main problems associated with software development projects. More specifically, inefficiencies usually come from inadequate verification of software engineers’ competences. Another issue is the lack of an established career for software engineers, which adds difficulties to evaluate competences. With these challenges in mind, this paper presents a study conducted in the software industry to test competence gaps among software practitioners, comparing the 360-degree feedback results and self-evaluations with that of standard competence levels. The results of this research may be very valuable to organizations immersed in software development projects.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper a tool is proposed to foster reflection in agile software development teams. Based upon the qualitative model of Moe et al. [11], we contribute a quantitative questionnaire organized along five dimensions of agile teamwork analogous to the “Five Factor Model” in contemporary psychology. To test this survey tool and its alignment with existing studies, we have executed an empirical validation of the tool with 79 individuals and 8 international Scrum teams. We find that inter-team agreement on the factors is high and that the survey tool is found very useful. The instrument offers a comparable measure to agile teams and gives recommendations for each of the factors helping to understand individual as well as organizational level barriers.
Book
Being Agile is your roadmap to successfully transforming your organization to an Agile culture. Veteran agile coach Mario Moreira teaches new adopters how to implement a robust Agile framework to derive from it the maximum business benefit in terms of customer value, revenue, and employee engagement. Agile is a ubiquitous watchword in the corporate world, but only a minority of companies understand and practice what they pay lip service to. Too many content themselves with half-baked approximations such as Fragile (fragile Agile), ScrumBut (Scrum but not the practices), and Scrum Fall (mini-waterfalls in the sprints). Moreira shows maturing early adopters how to bridge the chasm between going through the motions of doing Agile and genuinely being Agile. After a high-level synopsis of Agile's values and principles, methodologies (including Scrum, Kanban, DSDM, Leam, VFQ, and XP), and roles, Moreira plunges into the nitty-gritty of how to apply the ready, implement, coach, and hone (RICH) deployment model to all phases of a project in such a way as to embody and inculcate agile values and principles at the team level and promote agile transformation across your organization's culture.
Book
Management and enables them to deal with the demands and complexities of modern, agile systems/software/hardware development teams. The book examines the project/program manager beyond the concepts of leadership and aims to connect to employees' sense of identity. The text examines human psychological concepts such as “locus of control,” which will help the manager understand their team members’ view and how best to manage their “world” contributions. The authors cover new management tools and philosophies for agile systems/software/hardware development teams, with a specific focus on how this relates to engineering and computer science. This book also includes practical case studies. Discusses management skills needed as they relate to the advances in software development practices Examines how to manage an agile development team that includes teams across geographically, ethnically, and culturally diverse backgrounds Embraces all of the aspects of modern management and leadership
The Agile Mindset -Making Agile Processes work, 3P Vantage Media
  • G Broza
G. Broza, The Agile Mindset -Making Agile Processes work, 3P Vantage Media, 2015