This study defines the systems development methodologies named agile methods and investigates the environmental conditions where agile methods are most suitable. A definition of agile methods was developed using an analytical comparativeframework to investigate five of the earliest published agile methods; Dynamic SystemsDevelopment Method, Extreme Programming, Scrum, Adaptive Software Development,and Crystal Methods. The framework decomposed each method into its componentparts; philosophy, models, techniques, tools, scope, outputs, practice, and the extent towhich the method may be adapted to a situation. Based on this analysis and a literaturereview, a theoretical model of the target environment for agile methods was developed.This theoretical model is a proposed set of organisation, people, project, technology,and domain factors that relate to the successful use of an agile method.A mixed method research methodology was used. A qualitative design, consisting ofpositivist case studies, was used to test the theoretical model. Data was gathered fromnine software development projects, both agile and non-agile, using questionnaires andinterviews of project leaders. Then cross-case analysis was carried out on each projectfactor in the theoretical model. The relationship between environmental factors andagile method usage was investigated using non-parametric quantitative data analysis.This led to a revised model of the target environment for agile methods. The empiricaldata showed that specific organisational culture factors correlate with effective use of anagile method. These include the organisational characteristics of feedback and learning,teamwork, empowerment of people, collaboration, leadership, loyalty, and a resultsorientedculture that values entrepreneurship, innovation and risk taking.This research is significant for method users, those carrying out empirical research into agile methods, and those carrying out studies of systems development methodologies.
|Creators||Strode, Diane Elizabeth|
|Publisher||Massey University. Department of Information Systems|
|Source Sets||Australiasian Digital Theses Program|
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