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Association for Information Systems

AIS Electronic Library (AISeL)
UK Academy for Information Systems Conference Proceedings 2010 3-23-2010 UK Academy for Information Systems

AGILE DEVELOPMENT – SCRUM ADOPTED IN PRACTICE BUT NOT IN PRINCIPLE Kiriaki Flouri
University of Wales Institute Cardiff, kflouri@uwic.ac.uk

Hilary Berger
University of Wales Institute Cardiff, Hberger@uwic.ac.uk

Recommended Citation
Flouri, Kiriaki and Berger, Hilary, "AGILE DEVELOPMENT – SCRUM ADOPTED IN PRACTICE BUT NOT IN PRINCIPLE" (2010). UK Academy for Information Systems Conference Proceedings 2010. Paper 21. http://aisel.aisnet.org/ukais2010/21

This material is brought to you by the UK Academy for Information Systems at AIS Electronic Library (AISeL). It has been accepted for inclusion in UK Academy for Information Systems Conference Proceedings 2010 by an authorized administrator of AIS Electronic Library (AISeL). For more information, please contact elibrary@aisnet.org.

AGILE DEVELOPMENT – SCRUM ADOPTED IN PRACTICE BUT NOT IN PRINCIPLE Kiriaki Flouri Cardiff School of Management, University of Wales Institute Cardiff, Colchester Avenue, Cardiff, CF23 9XR, UK Email: kflouri@uwic.ac.uk Dr. Hilary Berger Cardiff School of Management, University of Wales Institute Cardiff, Colchester Avenue, Cardiff, CF23 9XR, UK Email: Hberger@uwic.ac.uk Abstract The move to agile software development methodologies has generated great enthusiasm. The emphasis on team-oriented development and reliance on people rather than predefined processes is transforming software development into a socio-technical process. Through the lens of a real-world project we examined the difficulties experienced when an IS development project shifted from a structured waterfall approach for upfront requirements gathering to a Scrum agile approach for the development activities. We specifically look at the agile values and principles of ‘people, working software, end-user involvement and responding to change’. Although the transition was successful in practice, in principle the project failed. The empirical case study evidences the characteristics involved and we put forward critical factors of the preparation of the environment (i.e. adequate Scrum training), effective communications (i.e. consensus on a standard working context and sufficient time for testing), optimal team structure (i.e. personalities) and effective team leadership to inform future development practice.

Keywords: Agile Methods, Scrum, People, Working Software, End-users, Change.

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Introduction

The shift from former traditional structured development approaches such as the Waterfall Model to agile software development methodologies is well documented. However whilst the move from the former static traditions to the more dynamic nature of agile development practices improved the discipline of systems development it did not resolve all the problems associated with the need to accommodate business uncertainty and the changing requirements of stakeholders/users (Elliott 1997; Graham 1989). Continued high rates of project overrun, over budget failures and systems that did not meet user requirements remained challenging (Boehm 1999; Coughlan and Macredie 2002; McConnell 1996). Consequently growth and change are recognized as intrinsic elements of IS development thus creating a demand for alternative more flexible development approaches able to respond to the increasingly

dynamic nature of evolving business environments – namely agile approaches (Elliott 1997; Martin 1991; Raffoni 2000).

A number of agile software development methodologies or lightweight methodologies have been developed since 1990s to embrace, rather than reject, high rates of change (Abrahamsson et al. 2003; Boehm 2002; Williams and Cockburn 2003). Some examples are Adaptive Software Development (ASD, Cockburn 2000), Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM, Stapleton 1997), eXtreme Programming (XP, Erickson...
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