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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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2 Theoretical Framework 7

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Chapter 2 Theoretical Framework 2.1 Agile Software Development This section gives a short overview of agile methodology, emphasizing the con- ceptual characteristics in terms of its underlying values, principles, derived prac- tices and scientific coverage. In one of its core values, as will be presented in the next section, agile methodology gives priority to “individuals and interaction” over “processes and tools”. A need is thus created for the analysis of psychologi- cal mechanisms influenced by agile practices. These agile practices are analyzed with a behavioral lens in this study. The following delineates terminology of software development that is necessary for comprehension of this study’s con- text. First and foremost, the conceptual difference between software develop- ment processes and practices is crucial. On a general level, according to the McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Sci- ence and Technology (Concise Encyclopedia of Science and Technology, 1995), a soft- ware development process is a structure imposed on the development of a software product...describing approaches to a variety of tasks or activities that take place during the process. The semantics of a software development process is synonymously referred to as software process, software life cycle or software development method. The latter term was referred to in the term agile methods. As the term method in the software development context is not used to signify exclusively process according to the above definition, but in many cases stands for technique, the term “agile process” would be more precise than “agile method”. Yet, the latter term has become...

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