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Making Software Teams Effective

How Agile Practices Lead to Project Success Through Teamwork Mechanisms

Chaehan So

How does good teamwork emerge?
Can we control mechanisms of teamwork?
The author has analyzed these questions in a study involving 227 participants of 55 software development teams. First, he empirically confirmed his teamwork model based on innovation research, goal setting and control theory. Second, he measured the impact of a wide selection of agile practices on these teamwork mechanisms. Third, he explained these impacts based on a thorough review of current psychological research.
This book is intended for people working in agile contexts as they will gain insight into the complexity of how «good teamwork» emerges. This insight on team dynamics may also prove valuable for upper management for calibrating agile practices and «soft factors», thus increasing the effectiveness of software teams.

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Contents

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1 Introduction 1 2 Theoretical Framework 7 2.1 Agile Software Development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 2.1.1 Core Values and Principles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 2.1.2 Agile Practices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 2.1.3 Research Coverage of Agile Practices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 2.2 Team Effectiveness Research . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 2.2.1 Basic Terminology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 2.2.2 A Causal Model of Teamwork . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 2.2.3 Model Extension . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 2.3 Goal Setting Theory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 2.3.1 Goal Commitment and Participation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 2.3.2 Social Support . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 2.4 Control Theory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 2.4.1 Open Communication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 2.4.2 Adaptation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 2.4.3 Integration of Control Theory and Goal Setting Theory . . . 39 2.5 Hypotheses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 3 Method 43 3.1 Sample . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 3.1.1 Sample Organizational Context . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 3.1.2 Sample Agile Context . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 3.1.3 Sample Participants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 3.2 Procedure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 3.2.1 Item Generation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 3.2.2 Pretest 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 3.2.3 Pretest 2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 3.2.4 Final Study . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 3.3 Conceptualization of Measures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 ix 3.3.1 Independent Variables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 3.3.2 Dependent Variables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 3.3.3 Process Variables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58 3.3.4 Descriptive Variables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 3.4 Scale Construction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 3.4.1 Referent-Shift Model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 3.4.2 Content Validity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 3.4.3 Reliability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 3.4.4 Factor Structure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 3.4.5 Improvement after Pretest 1: Model Reduction . . . . . . . 67 3.4.6 Improvement after Pretest 2: Scale Refinement . . . . . . . . 69 3.4.7 Scale Construction Finalization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 3.5 Structural Equation Modeling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70 3.5.1 Causality in Structural Equation Models . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 3.5.2 Theoretical Fundamentals of SEM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72 3.5.3 Model Estimation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 3.5.4 Model Evaluation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80 3.5.5 Small Sample Size Approach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83 3.6 SEM Assumptions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89 3.6.1 Continuous Distribution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89 3.6.2 Normal Distribution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90 3.6.3 Unidimensionality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93 3.6.4 Uncorrelatedness of Errors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94 3.6.5 Recursive Model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94 4 Results 95 4.1 Scales...

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