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The impacts of agile and lean practices on project constraints: A tertiary study
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0639-4234
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
2016 (English)In: Journal of Systems and Software, ISSN 0164-1212, E-ISSN 1873-1228, Vol. 119, p. 162-183Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The growing interest in Agile and Lean software development is reflected in the increasing number of secondary studies on the benefits and limitations of Agile and Lean processes and practices. The aim of this tertiary study is to consolidate empirical evidence regarding Agile and Lean practices and their respective impacts on project constraints as defined in the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK): scope, quality, schedule, budget, resources, communication, and risk. In this tertiary study, 13 secondary studies were included for detailed analysis. Given the heterogeneity of the data, we were unable to perform a rigorous synthesis. Instead, we mapped the identified Agile and Lean practices, and their impacts on the project constraints described in PMBOK. From 13 secondary studies, we identified 13 Agile and Lean practices. Test-Driven Development (TDD) is studied in ten secondary studies, meanwhile other practices are studied in only one or two secondary studies. This tertiary study provides a consolidated view of the impacts of Agile and Lean practices. The result of this tertiary study indicates that TDD has a positive impact on external quality. However, due to insufficient data or contradictory results, we were unable to make inferences on other Agile and Lean practices. Implications for research and practice are further discussed in the paper. (C) 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2016. Vol. 119, p. 162-183
Keywords [en]
Tertiary study, Agile software development, Lean software development, Project constraints
National Category
Software Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-13050DOI: 10.1016/j.jss.2016.06.043ISI: 000381232600011OAI: oai:DiVA.org:bth-13050DiVA, id: diva2:1007155
Available from: 2016-09-30 Created: 2016-09-30 Last updated: 2018-05-28Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Introduction of Agile Practices: Strategies and Impacts
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Introduction of Agile Practices: Strategies and Impacts
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background: Software development organizations frequently face changes that require them to be flexible. The principles and practices of Agile software are often associated with improving software organizations’ flexibility. However, introducing Agile practices have its benefits and limitations. To amplify benefits and alleviate challenges, Agile adoption guidelines are being proposed to provide strategies for introducing Agile practices. One instance of such guidelines is known as Agile Maturity Models (AMMs). AMMs typically suggest that Agile practices are introduced in certain orders. However, AMMs provide contradictory strategies. Thus it is not known whether one strategy to introduce Agile practices is better than others.

Objective: The objective of this thesis is to gather and examine the evidence on the different strategies of introducing Agile practices, particularly on the order of introduction as suggested in the AMMs. The thesis seeks if one order for introducing Agile practices is better than others.

Method: Combination of empirical studies were used in this thesis. The data collection was done through a survey and semi-structured interviews. This involved analyzing the introduction of Agile practices over time, i.e. the start and/or end of Agile practices. A qualitative method like qualitative coding was used to analyze data obtained from the interviews. Different quantitative methods like inferential statistics and social network analysis were also used. Literature studies were also conducted to provide background and support for the empirical studies.

Results: The examination of the evidence indicates that there is not one strategy to introduce Agile practices that would yield better results than others. The lack of conclusive evidence could be caused by the lack of consideration on reporting the context of empirical studies, particularly on the baseline situation, i.e. situation prior to Agile introduction. A checklist is proposed to capture a baseline contextual information focusing on internal organizational aspects of a software organization: the constellation of team members’ skills and experience, management principles, existing practices and systems characteristics of the software under development. The checklist was validated  by seven experts in academia. The experts who participated in the validation perceived the checklist to be useful and relevant to research.

Conclusion:  The studies presented in this thesis can be a useful input for researchers who are conducting an empirical study in Agile software development. The checklist proposed in this thesis could be used to help researchers to improve their research design when evaluating the extent of improvements from introducing Agile practices. If researchers use the checklist, consistency across empirical studies can be improved. Consistency in reporting empirical studies is desired for comparing and aggregating evidence. In turn, this will help practitioners to make a fair assessment whether research results are relevant to their contexts and to what extent the results are helpful for them.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlskrona: Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, 2018
Series
Blekinge Institute of Technology Doctoral Dissertation Series, ISSN 1653-2090 ; 6
National Category
Computer Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-15966 (URN)978-91-7295-352-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-06-05, J1650, Campus Gräsvik, Karlskrona, 09:30 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-03-20 Created: 2018-03-20 Last updated: 2018-05-30Bibliographically approved

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Nurdiani, IndiraBörstler, JürgenFricker, Samuel A.

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