Socially shared regulation in Scrum teams : A multiple case study into the regulation processes in Scrum team meetings and variations both within and across teams

Muller, A. (2017) Socially shared regulation in Scrum teams : A multiple case study into the regulation processes in Scrum team meetings and variations both within and across teams.

Abstract:In our knowledge economy, organizations highly depend on the performance of their teams. Innovative software organizations often make use of agile software development methods, for example Scrum, in which software developers combine their knowledge, and work in small self-managing teams. However, many Scrum teams experience difficulties concerning the interaction in the team, the coordination of teamwork and the evaluation of performance. There is still much unknown about these difficulties in Scrum teams from the perspective of software development. From educational perspective, we know that the regulation processes planning, monitoring and evaluation are essential for effective teamwork. These regulation processes appear to be most effective when regulation is socially shared in Scrum teams, which means that the team functions as a whole, and regulation occurs in unison. In order to solve the difficulties Scrum teams face in teamwork, it is very important to acquire more knowledge about how Scrum teams regulate, and to what extent regulation is socially shared. It is essential as well to investigate where variations in regulation, to be able to determine the cause of the problems in Scrum teams. Therefore, this study focused on two research questions. The first research question was: How do Scrum teams regulate during meetings? The second research question was: To what extent can variations in regulation be related to the type of meetings and individual differences? To investigate this, a multiple case study was employed using mixed methods. This case study was conducted at a software organization in the Netherlands. The 19 Scrum team members from three different teams in this organization all participated in the research. Meetings of the Scrum teams were videotaped and analysed to investigate regulation processes. Furthermore, team members participated in a short questionnaire each sprint, in which team characteristics were measured. Result in this study showed a low amount of evaluations in Scrum teams. Results also showed that Scrum teams often spent little time to reflect on how they work and what can be improved. Another key finding of the present study was that only a few socially shared regulation episodes were found in the Scrum meetings. A lot of engaging contributions of team members was observed in the meetings, but a lot of these discussions ended without a clear conclusion. This indicates that teams may find it hard to draw conclusions and to make plans on how to improve their work. Results of this study also showed differences in participatory roles of team members. During meetings, the Scrum Masters showed a more leading role than the other team members, they were often in charge of leading the meetings. Future research is needed to further explore the influence of participatory roles in Scrum teams on socially shared regulation and team performance. The present study gave valuable insights in regulation in Scrum teams, which can be built on by future research.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:54 computer science, 81 education, teaching
Programme:Educational Science and Technology MSc (60023)
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