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Understanding the Perceived Relevance of Capability Measures: A Survey of Agile Software Development Practitioners
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Computer Science.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0983-8817
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Computer Science.
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Computer Science.
(English)In: Article in journal (Other academic) Submitted
Abstract [en]

Context: A significant number of studies discussed various human-aspects of software engineers over the past years. However, in the light of swift, incremental and iterative nature of Agile Software Development (ASD) practices, establishing deeper insights into capability measurement is crucial, as both individual and team capability can affect software development performance and project success.

Objective: Our study investigates how agile practitioners perceive the relevance of individual and team level measures, pertaining to professional, social and innovative aspects, for characterizing the capability of an agile team and its members.

Method: We undertook a Web-based survey using a questionnaire built based on the capability measures identified from our previous Systematic Literature Review (SLR). This questionnaire sought information about agile practitioners’ perceptions of individual and team capability measures.

Results: We received 60 usable responses, corresponding to a response rate of 17% from the original sampling frame. Our results indicate that 127 individual and 28 team capability measures were considered as relevant by majority of the practitioners. Our survey also identified seven individual and one team capability measure which have not been previously characterized by our SLR.

Conclusion: In practitioners’ opinion, an agile team member’s state of being answerable or accountable for things within one's control (responsibility) and the ability to feel or express doubt and raise objections (questioning skills), are the two measures that significantly represent the member’s capability. Overall, the findings from our study shed light on the sparsely explored field of capability measurement in ASD. Our results can be helpful to practitioners in reforming their team composition decisions.

Keywords [en]
individual capability, team capability, capability measurement, survey, agile software development
National Category
Software Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-18738OAI: oai:DiVA.org:bth-18738DiVA, id: diva2:1358561
Available from: 2019-10-07 Created: 2019-10-07 Last updated: 2019-10-17Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Which Abilities and Attitudes Matter Most?: Understanding and Investigating Capabilities in Industrial Agile Contexts
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Which Abilities and Attitudes Matter Most?: Understanding and Investigating Capabilities in Industrial Agile Contexts
2019 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Background: Over the past decades, advancements in the software industry and the prevalence of Agile Software Development (ASD) practices have increased the prominence of individual and interpersonal skills. The humancentric nature of ASD practices makes it imperative to identify and to assign a capable professional to a team. While capabilities of professionals influence team performance and lead the path to a project’s success, the area of capability measurement in ASD remains largely unexplored.

Objectives: This thesis aims to aggregate evidence from both the state of the art and practice to understand capability measurement in ASD. Further, to support research and practice towards composing agile teams, this thesis also investigates the effects of capability measures on team-level aspects (team performance and team climate) within industrial contexts.

Method: A mixed-methods approach was employed to address the thesis’ objectives. A Systematic Literature Review (SLR) and an industrial survey were conducted to identify and gather evidence in relation to individual and team capability measures, which are pertinent to ASD context. A case study and another industrial survey were carried out to provide insights and extend support towards agile team composition.

Results: Our SLR results showed that a major portion of former studies discussed capability measures in relation to affective, communication, interpersonal and personal aspects. Results from our survey also aligned with these findings, where, measures associated with the aforementioned aspects were observed to be widely known to practitioners and were also perceived by them as highly relevant in ASD contexts. Our case study conducted at a small-sized organization revealed multiple professional capability measures to be affecting team performance. Whereas, our survey conducted at a large-sized organization identified an individual’s ability to easily get along with other team members (agreeableness personality trait) to have a significant positive influence on the person’s perceived level of team climate.

Conclusion: In this thesis, the empirical evidence gathered by employing mixed-methods and examining diverse organizational contexts, contributed towards better realization of capability measurement in ASD. In order to extend support towards team composition in ASD, this thesis presents two approaches. The first approach is based on developing an agile support tool that coordinates capability assessments and team composition. The second approach is based on establishing team climate forecasting models that can provide insights about how the perceived level of climate within a team would vary based on its members’ personalities. However, in order to improve both approaches, it is certainly necessary to examine the effects of diverse capability measures.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlskrona: Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, 2019
Series
Blekinge Institute of Technology Licentiate Dissertation Series, ISSN 1650-2140 ; 13
National Category
Software Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:bth-18753 (URN)978-91-7295-386-4 (ISBN)
Presentation
2019-11-20, J1630, BTH, Karlskrona, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-10-22 Created: 2019-10-16 Last updated: 2019-12-06Bibliographically approved

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