The impact of the relationship between the customer and the software development team on the outcome of a software development project
Agile software is a collection of software development methods based on iterative and incremental development processes. In an Agile software development approach, the requirements and solutions are obtained through the collaboration and coordination of cross-functional teams with the customer. Agile software development processes aim to produce higher quality software than traditional approaches, and this is supported by both anecdotal and empirical evidence. However, there is little understanding about the relationship between the software development team and the product owner, and the impact this relationship has on project outcomes. The Teamwork model can be used to understand the relationships in the team using Agile software development. Agile software development adopts sets of practices and roles for organizing work during a software development project. However, some challenges exist in Agile software development that impact on the relationships between development team and the product owner. This research identifies these challenges with Agile and explains their impact on the relationship using the Teamwork model. To understand the relationship challenges, a mixed method multi-study approach was undertaken. Data collection from participants involved two instruments: an online questionnaire and a semi-structured interview. Responses from the online questionnaire were analysed using descriptive and inferential statistical methods, and thematic analysis methods were used for qualitative data analysis of the interviews. Two studies were conducted, one with software development teams and one with product owners. Discussion of the results from both studies are presented and then compared in order to understand the relationships from both perspectives. The findings indicated that there were challenges in communication, project requirements, project priorities and project timelines within the team as well as between the team and the product owner. Challenges in communication, project priorities, interpersonal issues and project requirements, have an impact on the completion time of the project. The Teamwork model explained some of the relationship challenges between the Agile software development team and the customer. Challenges that fall outside the original Teamwork model contributed to understanding what factors constituted effective teamwork when applying an Agile process to software development. As a result of the findings from this current research, a revision to the Teamwork model was proposed that introduced two additional constructs: team motivation and organizational culture to the model. Team motivation impacts on the coordination, communication and team support. Organizational culture sets the overall context for the relationship between product owner and software development team. Communication within the relationship has the highest impact on project outcomes.... [Show full abstract]
KeywordsAgile software development; Agile software teams; teamwork and coordination; software development; team building; development
Fields of ResearchANZSRC Fields of Research::08 Information and Computing Sciences::0803 Computer Software::080309 Software Engineering; ANZSRC Fields of Research::15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services::1503 Business and Management::150311 Organisational Behaviour
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