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Agila projektledningsmetoder och motivation: Varför man blir produktiv av att flytta lappar på en whiteboard
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Karlstad Business School.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7626-8068
2015 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Agile project management methods and motivation : Why moving sticky notes on a whiteboard boosts productivity (English)
Abstract [en]

Agile methods for Information Systems Development (ISD) projects are claimed to encourage developers to be more flexible and efficient by means of arrangements in the development team’s physical and social environment. Research has, however, not yet answered the questions of how, why, and in what contexts agile methods work. ISD can be understood as a highly complex undertaking, which requires the developers’ creativity. The creative process is susceptible to the individual’s task motivation, which in turn is affected by the physical and social environment. In view of this, I argue that theories of motivation, such as the Self-Determination Theory, and theories of creativity could be usefully applied in such research. This study analyses Scrum, one of the most popular agile methods. Empirical data were collected through focused interviews with developers who had extensive experience of working in projects using various agile methods. Narratives of work episodes with perceived high and low motivation were analyzed in terms of motivation theory. Interview data were classified according to the type of motivation experienced and analyzed in relation to the agile method arrangement involved. The results of the investigation demonstrate how agile methods affect developers’ motivation in ways that are conducive to creative performance. The most pronounced effects are related to the individuals’ perceived work-related competence, autonomy, and sense of belonging to the team. Several agile arrangements in combination affect motivation in the positive direction, the single most influential factor being the team’s daily stand-up meetings. The agile arrangement that seems most difficult to implement without causing episodes of low motivation is the product owner role. The analytical approach taken in this study contributes to a better understanding of the aspects that are critical to the successful implementation of agile methods.

Abstract [sv]

Agila metoder för systemutvecklingsprojekt syftar till att öka utvecklarnas flexibilitet och effektivitet genom arrangemang av utvecklarnas fysiska och psykosociala arbetsmiljö. Forskning om hur, varför och i vilka sammanhang agila metoder fungerar är dock ännu otillräcklig. Systemutveckling kan beskrivas som en komplex uppgift som fordrar utvecklarnas kreativitet. Individens kreativa process påverkas av individens uppgiftsmotivation, vilken i sin tur påverkas av faktorer i den fysiska och psykosociala arbetsmiljön. Mot den bakgrunden framhålls psykologisk teori om motivation, som Self-Determination Theory, och teori om kreativitet, som relevant för forskning om agila metoder. I avhandlingen analyseras Scrum, en av de mest populära agila metoderna. Empiriska data har hämtats från fokusintervjuer med utvecklare med lång erfarenhet av arbete i agila projektmiljöer. Deras berättelser om episoder med starka motivationsupplevelser har analyserats med stöd av teorin. Intervjudata har klassificerats avseende motivationstyp och i relation till inverkande agila arrangemang. Resultaten visar hur agila metoder inverkar på utvecklares motivation i avseenden med relevans för kreativa prestationer. Starkast var inverkan relaterad till utvecklarnas upplevelse av arbetsrelaterad kompetens, autonomi och samhörighet med utvecklingsteamet. Flera samverkande agila arrangemang inverkade positivt på motivationen; allra starkast inverkan hade teamets dagliga stå-upp-möte. Det agila arrangemang som var svårast att implementera utan att bidra till uppkomsten av negativt inverkande episoder var rollen produktägare. Studien bidrar med kunskap relevant för implementering av agila metoder i systemutvecklingsprojekt. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstad University Studies , 2015. , 227 p.
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2015:9
Keyword [en]
Agile methods, systems development, project management, motivation, creativity
Keyword [sv]
agila metoder, systemutveckling, projektledning, motivation, kreativitet
National Category
Business Administration Information Systems, Social aspects
Research subject
Information Systems; Projektledning
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-34919ISBN: 978-91-7063-620-2OAI: diva2:782985
Public defence
2015-03-03, 1B 364, Frödingsalen, Karlstads universitet, Karlstad, 14:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2015-02-11 Created: 2015-01-15 Last updated: 2015-03-17Bibliographically approved

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