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Ensuring the pigs don’t chicken out : Improving the use of good practices in agile software development

Hoorn, R. van der (2011) Ensuring the pigs don’t chicken out : Improving the use of good practices in agile software development.

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Abstract:This research takes place in a small company in Enschede, The Netherlands. The company delivers web-related IT services and software. Its main activities are web development and web hosting. The reason for this research is that managers and developers are not always completely satisfied with the software development process. The following research goal is applicable: The purpose of this study is to improve the agile software development process from the point of view of developers and managers in the context of a small web development company with off-site customers by analyzing available documents, doing a literature review and conducting interviews. This lead to the following research question: How can we improve the use of good practices in the agile software development process of a small sized company? To answer this question, we did an exploratory case study research with the following elements:  We used theory on agile methods to describe that the agile software development process consists of the collection of agile methods used.  We used theory on practices to describe what a good practice is.  We used 20 dimensions to describe the context of the company’s projects, so they can be easily compared.  We analyzed available documents in the company, conducted interviews with managers and a developer, and observed the actual software development process to determine what the root causes of the problems are the company experiences and what good practices the company uses. Based on the data we collected and analyzed, we recommend the following process for improving the agile software development process: 1. Investigate which problems the company has and find out what the root causes of these problems are. We recommend using a problem bundle to visualize the dependencies among these problems. 2. Keep track of the good practices that the company uses and doesn’t use. We recommend writing the practices in the form of patterns to keep a consistent structure between practices. 3. Try to match potential useful unused practices to the problems the company experiences and implement these patterns to solve the problems. 4. Have managers and developers share among each other which patterns they are using in which projects, through a knowledge management system, like for example a Wiki. This also allows new employees to quickly gain knowledge how the company works, and ensures that knowledge is kept in the organization if someone leaves. We believe this process not only leads to an improved use of good pracWe believe this process not only leads to an improved use of good practices in the agile software development process of a small company, but also encourages managers and developers to find solutions to problems they are experiencing, while also keeping knowledge about the development process inside the company.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Information Technology MSc (60025)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/62855
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