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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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3 Method 43

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Chapter 3 Method This chapter is organized in chronological order of the methodological steps undertaken in this study. The first section gives a short overview on the fun- damental methodological considerations, followed by a description of the con- ceptualization and operationalization of constructs. Afterwards, the description of procedure outlines the two preliminary studies (“pretests”) and their subse- quent modifications, and the resulting design of the final study. This is followed by a description of the central analysis method, structural equation modeling, com- monly abbreviated as SEM. This chapter will detail how this study approached its main methodological challenge that SEM generally requires very high sample sizes for stable parameter estimations (P. Bentler & Chou, 1987). Aggravating to this dilemma was the model’s non-conformance with the parsimony requirement for SEM models, because it comprised seven independent and seven dependent variables. This study’s approach to solve this dilemma, as will be delineated in detail, consisted in systematically reducing the number of estimated parameters with two different techniques of aggregating indicators of each latent variable, forming index scores and item parcels. 3.1 Sample In this study, team members (n=227) of software development teams (N=55) applying agile practices across industries were tested. The following section gives a more detailed insight on this sample in terms of its organizational and project context, the agile software development context, and the participants. 3.1.1 Sample Organizational Context The descriptive statistics regarding the context of these teams are illustrated in Table 3.1. For all figures except for team...

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