Establishing Effective Use of Agile Practices by Distributed Teams in the Post-adoptive Period
Renders, Marcel (2016-10-19)
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Increasingly, agile methodologies are applied in distributed software development. While the amount of research has grown, little is known about the factors that affect the use of agile methodologies after the initial adoption. This research therefore investigates how organizations can improve the effective use of distributed agile practices in the post-adoptive period. Due to repeating claims that agile software development research has suffered from a lack of theory, this research draws from well-established innovation diffusion theories to develop the Agile Intervention Model (AIM). The AIM addresses how individual and organizational interventions influence individual cognition, and consequently the use of agile practices. The model was applied in a single, qualitative case study at two collaborating organizations that adopted Scrum three years ago. The empirical findings suggest that Scrum teams are motivated to use Scrum effectively, but a lack of change in the organization inhibits them from doing that. Primarily the hybrid Water-Scrum-Fall and dependencies with specialized back-end teams are important factors that inhibit teams to use Scrum effectively. At the team-level, the use of Scrum can mostly improve by correctly applying Scrum roles, investing time in Scrum ceremonies, hiring agile coaches, and having a methodology champion. Being distributed did not play an essential role for the use of agile practices.