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Evaluation of the Relevance of Agile Maturity Models in the Industry: A Case Study
Blekinge Institute of Technology, Faculty of Computing, Department of Software Engineering.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Background.

Over the years, agile software development has become increasingly popular in the software industry. One of the reasons is that agile development addressed the needs of the organisations better than the traditional models, such as the waterfall model. However, the textbook version of agile development still leaves something to be desired. This could be learnt by observing the implementation of agile methods/frameworks in the industry. The teams often customize agile methods to suit their context-specific needs. When teams in the industry decide to adopt the agile way of working, they are confronted by a choice¾either they have to implement all the agile practices at a time or adopt them over the time. The former choice has shown to come with risks and, therefore, was found that practitioners generally preferred the latter. However, agile practices are not independent, they have dependencies amongst them. A new approach to agile development emerged in the recent years known as Agile Maturity Models (AMMs). AMMs claim to offer a better path to agile adoption. In AMMs, the practices are typically introduced gradually in a particular order. However, these AMMs are multifarious and haven’t been sufficiently evaluated¾especially in the industry practice. Thus, they need to be evaluated in order to understand their relevance in the industry.

 

Objectives.

The goal is to evaluate the relevance of AMMs in the industry. By finding relevant AMMs, they could be used to alleviate the formation of agile teams and contribute toward their smoother functioning. By finding those that aren’t, this research could act as a cautionary to those practitioners who could potentially implement these AMMs and risk failure. The objectives are: identifying the agile practice dependencies in the AMMs; finding the agile practice dependencies in an agile team by conducting a case study in the industry; comparing the dependencies from the case study with those in the AMMs.


 

Methods.

The agile maturity models were identified and analysed. A case study was conducted on an agile team to identify the dependencies between the agile practices in the industry practice. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with members of the agile team. Qualitative coding was used to analyse the collected data. The dependencies from the case study were compared with the AMMs to achieve the aim of this research.

 

Results.

It was found that dependencies between individual agile practices in the AMMs were almost never possible to be found. However, practices suggested in each maturity levels were derived. Hence, the dependencies were found in the maturity-level level. From the case study, 20 agile practice dependencies were found. 7/8 AMMs were found to be not relevant. 1 AMM couldn’t be evaluated as it heavily relied on the practitioner’s choices.

 

Conclusions.

The researchers could use the evaluation method presented in this thesis to conduct more such evaluations. By doing so, the dynamics present in the industry teams could be better understood. On their basis, relevant AMMs could be developed in the future. Such AMMs could help practitioners leverage agile development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 95
Keywords [en]
Agile Maturity Models, Agile Practice Dependencies, Case Study, Agile Development, Agile Practices, Evaluation, Industry
National Category
Software Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:bth-16788OAI: oai:DiVA.org:bth-16788DiVA, id: diva2:1232513
Subject / course
PA2534 Master's Thesis (120 credits) in Software Engineering
Educational program
PAAXA Master of Science Programme in Software Engineering
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-07-12 Created: 2018-07-11 Last updated: 2018-07-12Bibliographically approved

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